“Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.”
Jesus described Abel as a prophet. He referred to all the prophets who had been killed, “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah” (Luke 11:51). Prophecy refers to that forthtelling, which comes from the Holy Spirit. The words of the prophet are the words of God. Prophecy can sometimes, though not always, be predictive.
However, although Cain had a few things to say in conversation with God, there is no recording of any words of Abel at all, let alone any words of prophecy. So what was the prophecy of Abel?
Abel was the world’s first murder victim. If you accept the early chapters of Genesis to be historically true – which you should – then there had been no previous human death. If evolution were true, then there would have been previous deaths, so Abel’s death was nothing significant. In a word, the death of Abel is only significant if it really was the very first human death.
God said to Cain, “The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.” The prophecy of Abel was his shed blood. His blood poured out onto the ground points to the much more important blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be poured out on the ground for our sins. In Hebrews 12:24, we read, “You have come… to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
Prayer: Thank You for the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross to atone for our sins—and not just to cover them, but to wash them away completely. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Taylor, P.F. (2009), Cain and Abel: Worship and Sacrifice, (Toutle, WA: J6D Publications), pp32-35
Image: Ben Peter Scotton, commissioned by author for his use