Summary: What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus
When I was in high school, the world was very different to me. My parents both worked, tried to raise us right. My brother was the greatest friend I could have, being my younger brother. I had sisters, and it was good time after good time. It was a good time to grow up.
I was sitting in my French class one afternoon in late November. The loudspeaker came on, the principal stating that the President of the United States, John Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. My world changed that day. My outlook on life and goodness and joy changed that day. I realized there was evil, and that evil could strike at any time. I realized that wrong was done in this world, and horror can strike your head and your heart when you least expect it. This was a strange phenomenon to me. Things were in a certain place and shock wasn’t always there.
I remember seeing the pictures of Lee Harvey Oswald. I thought of him as evil itself. I saw him in black and white in the paper and on the television. His unshaven face and that dirty, white tee-shirt. He had destroyed so much with that evil act.
Our Bible story tells us that evil reared its head in the early days of human history. The serpant tempted Eve and Adam fell. Cain and Abel were born, and Cain killed Abel. Murder is a terrible crime. It’s so final and terminating. It kills the body and someone dies. It steals life. Murder is a capital offense. It is a black spot on your record, if you did it. It is part of the whole backdrop of your life. If you die with the sin of capital murder on your soul, God help you. If you know, Lee Harvey Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby two days later. As long as life exists in these United States, the name Lee Harvey Oswald will be infamously linked to this capital murder of President Kennedy. He died unrepentant, shot in the stomach, bleeding to death almost instantly.
Let’s go back to the Bible story, because that’s where a lot of things started. It gives us a glimpse of the human condition, and right and wrong thinking and right and wrong living. Like my dad used to say: "There’s a right way of doing things, and there’s a wrong way."
Cain and Abel were the two sons of Adam and Eve. They were just living out their lives, as most people do. At this point, there is no detail on their families or children or anything like that. Just living the life in the Vida Loca.
Abel represents to us innocence. He represents Christ in so many ways. He was a shephard, he had flocks, he took his best, he offered it to God. Blood was spilled as he divided the lamb, taking the best, fatted portions and offering it to God. The blood was spilled, the perfect animal sacrifice took place. Act one ends.
Cain represents a lot of us. He has good intentions, but he takes a wrong turn. He represents evil in us. He represents wrong choices. He represents the working man: working with his hands, tilling the fields, looking for an increase, a yield. He brings the fruit of the ground as an imitation. Notice he didn’t follow his brother’s lead. After all, he was the older brother. He went out to the fields, grabbed some grapes, and some weeds, and whatever and brought them hastily to the sacrifice. We’re a lot like Cain. We think we can do good enough. We think we’re alright. We run through life oftentimes, slap-dash, good enough. Mistake after mistake, wrong choice after wrong choice. Stupid mistake, dumb error, good enough. God looked at Cain, and said not good enough.