Hebrews 9:22 (NKJV) And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Abel came by faith to offer an animal from the flock. It was the more excellent sacrifice because there was the shedding of blood for his sins. He was humble and obedient to the way stipulated by God. Cain, on the other hand, tried to use the produce of the land cultivated by his own effort, and God rejected Cain’s offering because it displeased Him.
Isaiah 64:6a (NKJV) But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s are like filthy rags
Likewise, there are times when we attempt to use our own strength, good works, and abilities to come before God. However, we cannot boast of our own effort, just like Cain who approached God based on his terms, because our self-righteousness is like filthy rags, and makes us inappropriately dressed to meet God. Instead, we should just have faith in the blood of Jesus Christ which gave us our imputed righteousness. This is what pleases God!
Genesis 4:4 (NIV) And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering.
Blood represents life. The shedding of blood is sacrificing a life for another life. God was pleased and looked at Abel favourably because he obeyed and did it according to God’s requirement. Therefore, Abel was seen as righteous and Cain unrighteous. Likewise, we need to obey, acknowledge, submit, and have faith in the way that God has established for us to approach Him through the blood of Jesus Christ. We need to come before God by faith based on what Jesus has done for us on the cross of Calvary.
Also, we will enter a state of rest when we cease from using our own strength and futile works to approach God. We need to have the conviction that Jesus’ sacrifice is good enough, and we cannot add to His work by adding on what we do in our own strength, nor can we subtract from His work.
Sermon Series: What Pleases God? (Part 1)
希伯来书 11:4 亚伯因着信，献祭与 神，比该隐所献的更美，因此便得了称义的见证，就是 神指他礼物作的见证。他虽然死了，却因这信，仍旧说话。
希伯来书 9:22 按着律法，凡物差不多都是用血洁净的；若不流血，罪就不得赦免了。
以赛亚书 64:6a 我们都像不洁净的人；所有的义都像污秽的衣服