The author of the book of Hebrews wrote to people who were struggling to understand what it meant for them as Jews to recognize that Jesus was the Messiah promised when God said to Abraham, “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3 NIV). Toward the end of chapter 12, the author says, “You have not come to a mountain that cannot be touched,” referring to Sinai, the place where the nation of Israel was born.
At Sinai, God established his absolute righteousness in the minds and hearts of the descendants of Abraham. He enforced their respect for his righteousness by requiring them to keep their distance. He showed them the difference between himself and sinful humanity. He threatened them with death if they came near enough to touch the mountain on which he met Moses and wrote the Ten Commandments on stone tablets with his own finger. According to the man who penned the book of Hebrews, even Moses said, “I am trembling with fear” (Hebrews 12:21 NIV).
This same writer, however, comforts the Hebrew readers who are trying to understand how Jesus of Nazareth could be the Messiah by saying to them that instead of a mountain that nobody dares to touch, they may approach Mount Zion, because Jesus has mediated a new covenant in his own blood. Jesus, perfectly sinless, satisfied the righteousness of God in his own blood. Innocent of any wrongdoing, just like Abel, the first murder victim, the blood of Jesus cries out to God, just as Abel’s blood did. However, even though Abel was innocent when he was murdered, Abel was a sinful human being. His blood cried out his innocence, but his blood could not cleanse humans of sin, because Abel was as sinful as anyone else. Jesus, however, was not only innocent, but also sinless. The author of Hebrews says that Jesus is “the mediator of a new covenant,” and the sprinkled blood of Jesus “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
Our world is, sad to say, filled with the sprinkled blood of innocent human beings. Every day, more babies are killed by abortion than were killed in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. In the US alone, more than 3,000 babies die every day by abortion. That is a lot of innocent blood. While nobody says that babies are sinless like Jesus, it is obvious that they are innocent–as innocent as Abel. Their blood cries out for God’s judgment as surely as Abel’s blood did.
The blood of Jesus speaks a better word than Abel’s blood, and it certainly speaks a better word than the blood of innocent babies. Christ’s blood speaks of righteous cleansing and purification from sin and guilt. If 3,000 babies die every day by abortion, then 3,000 mothers are suffering from the guilt of those murders. Each person who performs even one of those abortions suffers the guilt of knowing that an innocent human being died at his or her hands during each abortion. Nurses, aides, and even receptionists know the mayhem in which they are participating, and if they ever stop to listen, the blood of those innocents will call out to them for God’s judgment.
The blood of Jesus, on the other hand, calls out for God’s forgiveness. The righteousness of God is poured out over every human being who chooses to receive forgiveness though Christ. The righteous blood of Christ can cleanse all mothers who have given up their babies to abortion, as well as abortionists, nurses, technicians and office staff who have participated in the murderous processes of abortion. The blood of Abel cried out, “I am innocent!” The blood of aborted babies cries out, “I am innocent!” The blood of Christ cries out, “God loves you. Come be cleansed of your guilt. Be purified. Be forgiven for the sin of shedding innocent blood.” At Sinai, the righteousness of God pushed the people away, lest they be destroyed by his righteousness. At Calvary, the righteousness of Christ pulls people toward him, in order to cleanse them of their unrighteousness. Sinful, guilt-ridden people, covered in the blood of innocent babies, can be cleansed of their guilt if they turn away from murder and choose life in Christ.
This is the better message spoken by the blood of Christ.