Say WHAT?! #7

Welcome to Installment #7 of our Say WHAT?! pages.  If this is your first time joining us, see my sidebar for an explanation of these pages.  Here’s today’s Say What?!:

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things that that of Abel. – Hebrews 12:24 (KJV).

Jesus’ blood speaks of better things than Abel’s.  When Cain killed his brother Abel, God said Abel’s blood cried out.  Even today, when a forensics lab tests someone’s DNA, and it clears the suspect of the crime, their blood has spoken.  The blood Jesus shed on the cross speaks too.  Only it speaks of salvation, protection, health, prosperity and being redeemed from every curse.  It speaks of what Jesus did for us.” (Source available upon request.)

Another rendering of this passage, which in context begins at verse 22 (NIV):

“But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavnely Jerusalem, the city of the living God.  You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.  You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect (vs. 24), to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

The letter to the Hebrews deals with the person of Jesus Christ, his work as the priest of God, and the response which the Christian should make to such a person and work.  The langauge is replete with reference to the priestly ritual of the OT tabernacle and may cause some to fail to grasp the profundity and magnificence of this book.

Regarding the passage noted, A. Berkley Mickelsen points out that In contrast to Mount Sinai, the believer comes to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem.  S/he comes to hosts of assembled angels and the collective greoup – the Church of firstborn ones who are enrolled in heaven.  He comes to God, the judge of all.  He comes to individual believers – the spirits of just men and women made perfect.  He comes to the Lord Jesus Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant.  He comes to an atonement – the blood of Jesus which far surpasses the sacrificial blood that Abel poured out.  Having such a prospect and belonging to a kingdom (the reign and rule of God) that can’t be shaken, the believer serves God in reverence and awe.

So, are the “better things” or “better words” of the new covenant “salvation, protection, health, prosperity and being redeemed from every curse”?  In a sense, yes.  However, Abel’s blood cried out for justice and retribution (see Genesis 4:10), whereas the blood of Jesus on the cross speaks of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Where is the justification for Christ’s blood “speaking” either implicitly or explicitly, of “health” – other than spiritual health in the sense that we are “healed” from the “disease” of sin via Christ’s substitionary death on the cross – or “prosperity”?

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