Genesis Types: 2. The Offering of Abel, A Type of the Sacrifice of Christ

(Genesis 4) Abel’s offering was an expression of his faith in God’s Word. "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof" (Genesis 4:4). "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain" (Hebrews 11:4). Abel’s faith must have been based upon a divine instruction given to Adam and Eve and their family; namely, for sinful man to approach a holy God, he must do so by offering an animal sacrifice. A sinner today must approach God by faith in the offering of Jesus on Calvary’s cross as atonement for sin. Abel’s offering was acceptable unto God. "The Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering" (Genesis 4:4). The Lord regarded with favor Abel’s approach to Him through an offering because he came in the divinely appointed way. He came bringing the divinely acceptable offering for sinners. Any sinner coming to God in penitence, and pleading only the merits of Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary, will be accepted by God. The offering of Abel was not like that of Cain. "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord" (Genesis 4:3). Cain was self-righteous, not thinking it was necessary to approach God as a sinner needing a sacrifice, but rather offered God the fruit of the ground, the result of his own labors. His actions are typical of many modern men who think God will accept them on the ground of their good works, instead of coming to God as lost sinners needing a Saviour. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9). The offering of Abel was a blood sacrifice, and thus prefigured Calvary. "And to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel" (Hebrews 12:24). "That [blood of Abel" here means the blood of his sacrifice, which was a type of the better blood of Jesus shed on the cross. It was this blood that was lacking in the offering of Cain. "Without shedding of blood is no remission [i.e.], of sin]" (Hebrews 9:22). In my hand no price I bring; Simply to Thy cross I cling. [Old Testament Types - FHW]