Hebrews 11:4 ESV By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Hebrews 12:24 ESV And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
We saw in the last study that God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected Cain’s. I would like to offer some more insights on this as we learn to offer a true act of worship.
We said that Cain’s offering was not the firstfruits. Abel made the sacrifice to God a priority in his life. Abel knew that leftovers would not do, and that anything other then the best would be unacceptable. By giving of his flock Abel was giving from the blessing of God.
But, by Cain giving his offering from the field he was giving from what he worked and tilled. He gave the fruit of his own hands instead of the blessing of God. We also see by the Scripture in Heb.11:4 that Abel’s sacrifice was “by faith” and that it revealed or witnessed that he had a righteous heart.
All acts of worship and sacrifice should come “by faith.” In Heb.12:24 we see that Abel’s sacrifice of worship was a shadow to that which was to come. The Old Testament shadow always points to a New Testament substance. Abel’s sacrifice of worship was not only a shadow but also a great testimony of his faith. But that which was the substance, our Lord Jesus Christ, stands as a far greater act of faith and a greater testimony of sacrifice and worship.
Abel was a martyr, because he died as a result of his accepted worship and Cain's jealousy. The same was true of our Lord Jesus Christ. The blood of Abel called out from the earth for vengeance, and was followed by a penalty on Cain. So was the death of the Redeemer on His murderers, for they said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
The shadow has become a testimony to the substance that we are called to worship by bringing the right sacrifice by faith.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSI Ministry, RSI School of Ministry, and RSI Publishing L.L.C..