"The blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
—Heb. xii. 24.
It was poured out on the Cross. It lies now on the Mercy-Seat in the heavens. The eyes of God rest on it with satisfaction. In the ears of God it speaks better things than the blood of Abel, His martyred saint and servant of the old time.
For it speaks of love and not of hate. The world was young ; but in its youth it was stained with blood wrongfully and cruelly shed. It was wide ; but it was not wide enough for two brothers to dwell together in unity. Cam's sin conceived, and brought forth death. But the blood of sprinkling preaches the mystery of grace : God manifest in the flesh, and dying in the flesh out of the compassion He bears to me. Cain hated and slew the only brother whom he had ; Christ loved and gave Himself for the wanderer and the foe.
And it speaks of God's forgiveness and not of God's displeasure. Cain had missed the favour of the Lord before, and had been told that his offering of trailing leaves and golden fruits could not be accepted; and this was mournful enough. But now Abel's blood brought him God's anger and sentence ; and this was a thousand times worse. How different the tones are of the blood of Jesus ! It declares my redemption. It comes and says, Fear not \ And, since Christ has died, who is he that can condemn?
Of inward peace it speaks, too, and not of inward trouble. All the perfumes of Arabia could not sweeten the hand that had been dipped in Abel's blood ; all the multitudinous seas could not wash away its stain. On the face of Cain, Cardinal Newman says, " toil, care, and guilt their hues have set, and fixed their sternness there." But the better I understand the blood of sprinkling, the more is my fear allayed and my remorse overcome. I behold Jesus, and my sorrow and sighing flee away.
And it speaks of Paradise regained and not of Paradise lost. To Adam and Eve the blood of Abel was proof only too vivid and lurid that they were no longer dwellers in Eden. They had wandered far, they had fallen low, when this could happen. But Christ's blood gives me back the Eden I have forfeited. Does it not make the prodigal a child again? Does it not win for my soul God's fellowship here and God's heaven hereafter?
It speaks, moreover, with power and not with feebleness. Abel and Abel's blood did live in the Lord's remembrance. Yet the ruddy stream had no efficacy to cleanse away Abel's guilt. His own death could not charm his sins out of God's memory and hide them from God's view. It needs a better blood to do that—the blood of Him Whose day Abel greeted from afar. I pray my Judge to hear the blood of sprinkling as it begs mercy for me. " And then the Judge will be my Father and my Friend.