If you watch the courtTV cable TV channel, you’ve probably seen a show entitled “Forensic Files.”
Copyrighted image. Use here in commentary is considered
fair use. Any other use may be a copyright infringement.
A prominent theme in the show is that crime victims are often able to figuratively accuse their victimizers from beyond the grave through some piece of personal evidence at the crime scene.
We find the same idea in the Bible– more specifically, in the Book of Genesis in the story of Cain and Abel. As you probably remember, Cain didn’t get away with the murder of his brother Abel because God came to investigate– and the evidence went against Cain.
Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground– Gen 4:9-10 (ESV)
Under divine examination, the blood of Cain’s brother Abel figuratively cried out from the ground to accuse him. And so from the very beginning of scripture, we have the notion of the innocent dead speaking, crying out for justice through the evidence of their blood.
The author of Hebrews picks up on that idea of the dead being able to speak from beyond the grave. In 11:4, the writer of Hebrews describes Abel as still being able to speak even though he is dead. He also uses that same idea in 12:24– but with one big difference.
The blood of Jesus speaks just as the blood of Abel spoke, but the message of Jesus’ blood is different. The blood of Abel cried out for justice and brought a word of judgment, but the blood of Jesus proclaims justice and brings a word of hope.
As we gather around the Lord’s Table on Sunday mornings, we remember the evidence of an innocent death– the body and the blood of Jesus. It is through His blood that we have been “brought to justice” so to speak– a justice not of our own making or deserts. Rather, we have been…
…brought unto 22 … heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. …to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. … into the very presence of God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel– Heb 12:21-24