Hebrews 12:24 “…to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
Jesus’ blood or Abel’s? That’s the question the author of Hebrews poses to us. Will we chose the blood of Christ that offers redemption and restoration or the blood of Abel that cries out for retribution and revenge?
Some of you may be like me. You hate injustice, you can’t bear to see the innocent treated unfairly, the wrong trumping the right. I think God hates injustice, too, so we’re in good company. But the rub comes when we feel it’s our job to right the wrongs, our responsibility to serve the consequences.
Sometimes, our call does entail righting wrongs. Parents discipline their children, employers fire unproductive employees, judges pronounce sentences on law breakers. We warn a brother or sister in sin.
Those aren’t the situations that usually get us in trouble. It’s the circumstances—either within or outside the family of God— we take upon ourselves to fix. Someone hurts us and rather than drawing on the grace of God to forgive, we harden our hearts, rationalizing it as the just way to act. Our lips drip with criticism toward others’ faults, flaws and failings and we refuse to season our judgment with mercy. We even do it to ourselves. Rather than facing our need for the blood of Christ we persist in thinking somehow we can compensate for our weaknesses. Such actions do not speak the better word.
Francis Schaeffer once remarked we ought always to confront injustice with a tear in our eye. We should be sad, not vengeful, about the weaknesses in others. Remember how the blood of Jesus has freed us from the worst of consequences…eternal damnation. His word of redemption has spoken louder than the word of judgment over our hearts.
Now it’s our time to speak it.