Blood Speaks

Blood speaks. God made the world in such a way that the shedding of blood reverberates.

Cain killed his brother Abel in a field far away from earshot. No one knew because no one could hear Abel yell, or so Cain thought. But God said, “The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground.” The blood cry isn’t a certain pitch, like a dog whistle, that only certain ears can hear. The blood cry is an inescapable principle, even if men try to ignore it.

Life is in the blood and shedding blood is destroying the life of an image-bearer of God. God does not condone when we mar our own image or when we mar another’s man’s reflection. Blood witnesses that worship has gone wrong somewhere, even if the blood is a sacrifice of atonement for sin.

More than a deterrent against shedding blood, the principle that blood speaks is the reason that we are not pessimistic about the world. Yes, hatred and murder and abortion and other evils run rampant. But Jesus shed His blood and His blood makes a cry that will never be forgotten. This is the good news.

The author of Hebrews wrote about Jesus, “the mediator of a new covenant,” and how we who worship Him have come “to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24). Abel’s blood cries out for justice. Christ’s blood cries out for for justice and also for justification. God hears the blood of all murdered men, but none more loudly than the blood of His own Son.

Even as we eat and drink Jesus’ body and blood by faith, the “better word,” the saving word of Jesus’ death is proclaimed until He comes.

Not the Final Meeting

Thank God that the justice of God can never be isolated from the mercy of God. We can divide them when we study them. We can track both words through a concordance search and read passages that mention one and not the other. But in the world, in God’s nature, the two cannot be separated.

When God judged Adam and Eve, promising them pain and death, then banishing them from the Garden, He honored His righteous, authoritative justice. When He promised the defeat of the serpent and then covered the couple with skins and made it so that they could not live forever in the knowledge of guilt, He honored His righteous, loving mercy.

The same event showed more than one attribute for those with eyes to see. No greater display of His justice and mercy has been given than in the death of Jesus on the cross. Was the crucifixion the worst thing or the best thing that has ever happened? For all those who believe in God it is both.

In the Son’s sacrifice justice and mercy kiss. God’s demands are met, even as angry, jealous men betrayed and murdered an innocent man. They meant it for evil, God meant it for good. God used the unjust to satisfy His justice. God used the unmerciful to show mercy.

Golgotha was not the final meeting of these two attributes. If we trust God, then in many of our sufferings (personal and corporate) both justice and mercy are at work. Seeing one means that the other is probably not too far behind.