A Meditation on Hebrews 12:22-24
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
Blood speaks. That sounds bizarre, but that is exactly what the writer of Hebrews says about the blood of Christ and the blood of Abel. To understand what the writer means it is helpful to first consider the blood of Abel, who was murdered by his brother Cain. In Genesis 4:10 God says this to Cain, “The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.” Now what Abel’s blood was crying out for was ‘justice,’ ‘punishment,’ ‘retribution,’ and ‘vengeance.’ The writer of Hebrews tells us that the blood of Christ speaks a better word.
What is this better word that the blood of Christ speaks? First, it speaks of God. Emmanuel has come. He who could have called upon ten thousand angels remained upon the cross, spilling his blood. Yes, the death of Christ was murder, as was the death of Abel. The difference is that Jesus is God and He could have stopped it, but He chose to allow it to happen. The blood of the Cross of Christ speaks of amazing ‘love,’ sacrificial, unconditional ‘love.’ Do you hear the blood of Christ speaking? Second, the blood of Christ speaks of man. Why would Jesus allow himself to be killed? Why would He remain upon the cross? It speaks of man’s need. The blood of Christ speaks to man’s condition of sin, guilt, helplessness and unrighteousness. It speaks of the Righteous One who died to save the unrighteous. Third, the blood of Christ speaks of the one who died. Christ our substitute died in our place. He died for us. He bore the wrath we deserved. Christ, the Sacrificial Priest, did not slay an animal for our sins. Instead He offered Himself up as the perfect sacrifice slain once for all. Lastly, the blood of Christ speaks a better word, a word of ‘peace.’ Furthermore, the blood of Christ demands a response; it is an offer of peace with God that says, “Come, believe and receive.”
-Pastor Corey Mitchell