Lesson for the Lord’s Day

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 11:4

After the first world war, the German currency collapsed in a way that has probably never happened before or since. The money was so worthless that a wheelbarrow full of it was required to buy a loaf of bread and a liter of milk at a store. In order to buy and sell, the Germans had to find something better than their own money. They turned to gold and to foreign currencies that had value. In today’s text, we discover that Abel found a more excellent currency for his dealings with God. By presenting the best of his flocks, Abel presented a more excellent sacrifice. And yet, it was not that the lamb was of more monetary value than Cain’s offering of produce. The value lay in what each of the offerings represented. Cain’s offering represented the works of his hands, the production of a cursed earth, the best that mere man can afford. Abel’s offering represented an innocent life given for the guilty, a provision by God for the impoverished sinner.

The excellency of Abel’s offering was not in animal life but in the life of the Lord Jesus. His more excellent sacrifice points us today to the most excellent sacrifice, to the one great sacrifice for sins forever. As our minds picture Abel’s altar with the slain lamb upon it, we also focus on Calvary’s cross, with the slain Lamb upon it. As Abel stood and appreciated God’s acceptance of his offering, so do we today stand at the foot of the cross and appreciate God’s acceptance of His offering. It means all to us today that God would see of the travail of His (Jesus’) soul and be satisfied. Beholding by faith the death of the Lord Jesus, we exclaim like the centurian, ‘Surely, This was the Son of God!’

Our gathering together to worship is because of the excellent Sacrifice, the fulfilment of all that Abel’s excellent sacrifice spoke. The excellency of that Sacrifice is God’s testimony that we are righteous. – Jim MacIntosh

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