Sometimes I wonder how little details of Biblical events were fulfilled. How hard did Jesus cry at the tomb of Lazarus? Was it heaving sobbing? Or did he just shed a few tears? When Michal looked out the window and despised her husband dancing, did she just make a face? Or did she start complaining loudly to everyone in sight? Just how far away was the pillar of fire visible? And the list goes on.
One thing that I have wondered over the years is how did Cain know how to kill Abel? Yes, I know this is a morbid thought, but hear me out. No person that we know of had died before Abel died. And certainly no one was murdered in cold blood before Abel was murdered. So how did Cain know what to do? Nowadays, we have a thousand different TV shows demonstrating to us how to kill someone in cold blood. But Cain didn’t have that luxury. So how did he know what to do in order to kill his brother?
As I was pondering this morbid thought, I remembered that Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, and the rest of the first society were exposed to death by killing. It is not explicitly stated that they slaughtered an animal, but this is the only conclusion that someone can come to after studying the passage. The lamb (or other animal) that Abel offered was the firstborn and it was the best. It was not a lamb that died of its own accord. This lamb had to be killed, most likely by Abel himself. Time and again those who witnessed the event would see Abel kill the lamb and offer it to the Creator LORD God who had banished them from the Garden of Eden. Abel most likely had a tool that he used to slaughter the animal with, perhaps a sacrificial knife.
One of Cain’s darkest moments would be when he would witness his younger brother sacrifice the lamb to the LORD God. He knew that once again, Abel’s sacrifice would be accepted and his sacrifice would be rejected. As he saw the sacrificial knife plunge into the body of the animal, his heart would be filled with hatred, knowing that his brother was superseding the place that he should have in the first family. Abel was acting like the mediator between God and men, while he was just an angry man who chopped at the thorns growing from the ground. This heart filled with hatred became the breeding grounds for envisioning the sacrificial knife to be used against the one that he hated most.
Maybe I’m letting my imagination get away from me. But then again, think about it. Cain had a sure way of knowing that his brother would never bother him again. All he would have to do is use the sacrificial knife on Abel the same way that Abel had killed with it countless times. So on a particular day, Cain lured his brother into the field. The sacrifical knife was used one last time. The mediator between God and man became a sacrifice as his blood spilled out onto the ground. The evil in the heart of man had slain the innocent one. Here is a great paradox. If Abel was the chosen seed-promise, if Abel’s sacrifices were truly accepted by God, why did Abel have to die at the hands of sinful man? Why did Abel have to become a sacrifice himself?
We could not have a more vivid picture of Christ.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman