Hebrews 12:22-24 “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
The phrase “the blood of sprinkling” goes back to Old Testament days. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would take the blood into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle it on the mercy seat. Jesus Christ was both our High Priest and our sacrifice. (Hebrews 9:12) It is through the shedding of Christ’s blood that we have the forgiveness of our sins, and that blood gives us salvation – eternal, everlasting life. But, salvation is not that last time we need the sprinkling of the blood. That is not the last time we sin. I got saved when I was five years of age, so most of my sins of my life were committed after I was saved. I do not need to get saved again and again and again. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin at salvation. But, we need a new sprinkling of the blood for our sins after salvation. First John 1:7 declares, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” The blood speaks. Verse twenty-four says that Christ’s blood speaks better things than Abel’s blood. So let’s compare the two, and see what they have to say. In Genesis 4, we see the first murder in human history. Abel was killed by his own brother, Cain.
Cry of Abel’s Blood – Justice.
I believe that when Cain slew Abel, he probably buried Abel’s body and thought, “I’ve gotten away with this.” But, he did not get away with anything. God confronted Cain for his evil deed. God said, “I heard a voice. I heard the voice of some precious, righteous blood.” In Matthew 23:25, Jesus Himself talks about the blood of righteous Abel. Abel was a man who loved God and lived for God and served God. When he was slain, his righteous blood cried out to God. Based on God’s response to Cain in verse in eleven. Abel’s blood cried out to God and said, “Justice! Vengeance!” So God, responding to the voice of Abel’s blood, came down, and confronted Cain. He said, “Cain, you’ve sinned. Because you murdered your brother, I am going to punish you with a curse.” Cain said, “This is more than I can bear.” Abel’s blood cried out for justice – with good reason. But, I am so glad that there is another blood crying out with its voice.
Cry of Christ’s Blood – Mercy.
On the night of the first Passover, each Jewish family was instructed to take the blood of a lamb, put it in a basin, dip a hyssop branch in the blood, and sprinkle the blood on the top and sides of the door. This act of faith and obedience spared their firstborn children from death. The blood spoke for their covering. Thousands of years later, Jesus Christ was crucified on the very night of the Hebrew celebration of the Passover. He was, as John the Baptist announced, the Passover Lamb that took away the sins of the world. The blood of the Passover lambs, and the blood of the high priest sprinkled on the mercy seat only covered sin; Jesus’ blood cleanses sin! Sins that are only covered can be brought back against us again. Sins that are cleansed are gone forever. God says concerning those sins, “I will remember them no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)
Ark of the Covenant.
To understand fully what Jesus’ blood says, we have to understand the Ark of the Covenant. As part of the instructions for worship that God gave to Moses in the book of Exodus, he was told to make a special box that would go in the tabernacle. Exodus 25:8-9, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle.” You cannot build the tabernacle on earth after the pattern of the tabernacle unless there is another tabernacle to be patterned after. The instructions God gave to Moses allowed him to recreate on earth a picture of what is in Heaven. If you read on through Exodus 25, you will see very specific instructions for the size, shape, and composition of the Ark of the Covenant, and the rest of the items that would go into the tabernacle. The pattern that God gave Moses for worship followed the pattern from Heaven. If you read Hebrews 9 and 10, you will see how the sacrifices in the tabernacle picture what Jesus Christ would later do.
Run to the Mercy Seat.
When was the last time you went to the throne of grace and asked for mercy? We all sin. The problem is too many people sin and then say, “Well, that’s too bad.” How many times I have heard, “I just couldn’t help myself.” Our natural tendency is to make excuses instead of repenting and asking for mercy. But, if we make excuses instead of repenting and asking for mercy. But, if we make excuses for our sin, we are certain to begin to fail in Adversity University. Our A’s will go to B’s, our B’s will go to C’s, and our C’s will go to D’s. It will not be long before our hearts are cold and hardened and we are far away from God. Instead, we need to be running to the throne of mercy. We need to come there, and we need to confess our sins. We need to forsake them and say, “Dear God, I’m not coming to you because of anything worthy in and of myself, but I’m asking for Your mercy.” The path on which you travel to get mercy ought to be well worn, but the tragedy of many Christians is that they are so busy, so caught up in their lives, and so unconscious of wickedness that they forsake that path. But, apart from that path, we miss out on the mercy, we miss out on the grace, and we slide away from God. The only way back to an intimate relationship with Him is to get back on that path. Those Christians who are closest to God are close to Him because they are often at His throne seeking mercy. When we are distant from God, it is because we have sin in our lives, and we are not coming to Him and dealing with it, confessing it, and finding His mercy. The blood of Christ speaks better things than the blood of Abel. I will take Christ’s blood, how about you? I do not want justice, I need mercy. Thank God we can find it at the throne of grace.