By Melissa McLaughlin
For many years, I struggled to understand this phrase from the Bible, “the blood speaks a better word.” Bit by bit, the deep beauty these words carry has captured my heart.
We Cry for Justice
When we see an injustice, our hearts cry out for wrongs to be made right. For justice to be served.
Our innate sense of what is fair, right and good surges up within us. Understandably so. We don’t want to see a thief get away with our neighbor’s hard earned money. We don’t want to see a child molester get away with the abduction of our niece or nephew. We don’t want to see a business person stealing money from workers or customers.
We call for what is right. We call for justice. We call for restitution.
Why does this sense of justice bubble up within us?
The God who made us, is a God of justice, righteousness, truth.
Psalm 33:4-5 – For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.
Another Cry for Justice
This same call for justice, was the heart’s call of someone many years ago. His name was Abel. His story is found in Genesis 4:3-10.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”
In this passage, the Bible does not overtly state why Cain’s offering was less favorable than Abel’s. However, with careful reading, we can see that Cain offered some of the fruits, while Abel offered the best – fat portions of the firstborn of his flock. From this we can reasonably infer that Abel gave a heartfelt, utmost offering to God.
Regardless of the specifics, we know one thing… God looks upon the heart. And His judgments are true. God’s vision penetrated beyond the physical offerings into the heart behind each.
In the next verse, God graciously encouraged Cain to do what is right, so God clearly knew Cain’s intentions were not good or pure.
Despite God’s gentle words of instruction, Cain’s heart spilled over with deep jealousy at God’s favor toward Abel’s choices. Tragically, Cain killed Abel, adding another glimpse into the depths of Cain’s sin-blackened heart.
When questioned by God, Cain lied and tried to cover up the murder by saying he didn’t know where Abel was. God answered the question for him, “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”
Abel’s blood was calling for justice, righteousness and judgment. For justice to be served.
How does the blood of Jesus speak a better word than the blood of Abel?
In an intriguing twist, this same passage is woven into the New Testament in Hebrews 12:23b-24 – You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Abel was wronged. Abel was murdered though he was innocent. Doesn’t this call for justice?
In the case of Abel, God carried out both justice and mercy. As punishment for his murderous actions, Cain was driven from the ground and made to be a wanderer. Justice was served. Yet, God in His mercy made provision for Cain’s life as seen in Genesis 4:16 – Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Jesus Calls For Mercy
Similarly, Jesus was wronged. However, in stark contrast, though Jesus was innocent, He willingly laid down His own life.
His blood called for mercy.
Even as He hung on the cross, drenched in pain and dripping with blood, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
In a stunning move, through Jesus’ death on the cross, God once again carried out both justice and mercy.
Jesus took on the sins of humanity and accepted the penalty for our sins. God did not turn a blind eye to our sin or sweep it under the rug, for God is just, righteous and true. However, God is also merciful. In His mercy, God allowed His Son, Jesus, to be our substitute, to take our place as a sacrificial Lamb.
When we see wrongdoings, our sense of righteousness cries out for justice to be served. Thankfully, our spirits can rest in God, for on the last day, God will indeed judge the living and the dead. He will most certainly take care of exacting justice. And His judgments are true, for only God knows the thoughts and motives of every heart.
Mercifully, for those of us who believe in Jesus as our Savior and Lord, His blood speaks a better word. Jesus’ blood speaks both justice and mercy. God maintains His purity and truth by requiring the wages due for our sin, which is death. But in His mercy, God Himself, pays the death sentence and purchases us with His own blood.
The blood of Jesus speaks a better word.
Like a sacrificial offering in the Old Testament, where the blood was sprinkled to symbolize atonement for sins, consecration to the Lord and our covenant with God, so we are symbolically sprinkled with the blood of Jesus through our faith in Him.
For many years, I never really grasped the meaning of this phrase, “the blood speaks a better word.” After finally uncovering the layers of truth and mercy embedded in these few simple words, it brings tears to my eyes and I am undone.
As sinful people, we would never stand a chance before a holy God.
Hallelujah! Jesus bridges the otherwise unbreachable chasm between us. The blood of Jesus fulfills laws of justice and then cries, “Mercy!”
Hallelujah! His blood speaks a better word!
That word is… Mercy!
What is the Tabernacle? 8 Ways Jesus is Our Tabernacle By Melissa McLaughlin
The Power of Sin is Broken! Past, Present and Future! By Melissa McLaughlin
This one is a WOW! Words Of Wonder!
Glory to God! The joy of digging in to the Bible is that there are always more gems to discover. For me this, this was one of them. There is power in His blood!
Thank you Melissa for reminding us how strong the blood of Jesus is. Lisa Reid
Powerful message. When we take communion, we often say to each other “The blood of Jesus, shed for you.” That precious blood was shed for our sins. Yes, “The blood of Jesus speaks a better word.” Amen
Melissa, we sometimes say that phrase during communion, as well. May we pause and ponder the power behind those little words. Our Savior is a powerful King!
Powerful post…very well-written in the way you tied everything together.
Thank you, Linda. God’s Word is an incredible wonder to me, the way Old Testament and New Testament stories are woven together. As we unwrap the pieces one by one, I am in awe of our great God and Savior!
That Word is Mercy!This was the climax.Indeed His blood speaks a better word.This mercy and pardon we receive enables us to be reconciled and
called sons of God.
Amen! That Word is Mercy! That we can be called sons of God is a gift of immeasurable love. God bless you, Nickson!
Thank you, Valerie! All praise to our Most High God! The Lord God always blesses us when we take the time to absorb the deep meaning behind these words we sometimes gloss over. Praying He will keep revealing the magnificence of His Word.
This world needs justice, but it will never know what’s justice unless the Lord reveals. In China, this situation is even worse. Truth is always covered by lies. That’s why we only put our hope in Jesus. He is faithful, just and merciful.
Keith, I am so happy to hear from you again. My husband and I have prayed for you. We have heard how very difficult life is in China, especially for Christians. He is with you, my brother. May our Lord God Almighty protect you, sustain you and encourage your heart this day. God be with you.
Thanks Mellisa, I really appreciate that.
Your faith spurs on my faith, Be strong in the Lord. Ephesians 6:10
Yes, tears in my eyes tonight too! Thank you for this beautiful study, dear Melissa. I am undone when I think of that better word that the blood of our Jesus speaks for me. His mercy covers us with so much love. May I ponder even more the depth of what Christ has given for me. Blessings to you this week, dear friend!
Thank you, Bettie, for reading and digging deeper into the layers of Christ’s amazing, sacrificial love for us. The One who should have cried “justice”, called “mercy.” Oh what a precious, gracious Savior! God bless you and renew your heart this day, dear sister!
Hallelujah and Marantha Amen-Amein Sweet Sister in Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua Melissa!!
GOD BLESS ALL my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and my Messianic Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua and my Devout Jewish Sisters and Brothers and Your Families and Friends!!
Please Pray for all our Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and our Messianic Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and our Devout Jewish Sisters and Brothers Everyday!! “Pray Without Ceasing.” ( I Thessalonians 5:17 KJV )!!
I Love you all Everyone through Jesus-Yeshua Christ, because HE LOVED EVERYONE FIRST!! 💕 Praise Jesus-Yeshua Christ for Today and Everyday!!
“Happiness keeps You Sweet, Trials keep You Strong, Sorrows keep You Human, Failures keeps You Humble, Success keeps You Glowing, But Only GOD keeps You Going.”!! Amen-Amein Praise Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua Hallelujah!!
Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/
God bless you and yours, dear sister Kristi Ann!
The blood of Jesus, His very life, poured out on our behalf. Abel walked out into a field where his life was taken away. Jesus willingly climbed that hill carrying a cross to die in our place. The blood of Abel spoke a good word in that he died a martyr’s death. Jesus’s blood spoke a better word, dying the death of the savior, who brings life to the world!
Thank you, dear lady.
Wow. Powerfully spoken. Such an excellent summary of this simple but profound contrast. Thank you, Jesus! For you fulfilled every ounce of justice and then cried for mercy! Oh what a Savior!
So glad our God is a God of justice and mercy. He rights every wrong. He sets all things straight. And in his kindness, he met all the terms himself through his Son. The love of God is incomprehensible, that he would plan all of this before the foundation of the world and then would carry it out in a way that stuns us all — beautiful Savior! Thank God for the blood of Jesus that covers all our sins and speaks a better word.
Adding my amen to your thoughts, Melinda! We long for and rest in God’s justice and power to make all things right. And then grace upon grace, His merciful blood covers our sin and speaks a better word over our lives. Peace and joy in this life and in the life to come. Jesus, how can we ever stop thanking you?
I have to remind myself of those words Jesus cried from the cross. Such a convicting truth! I am so thankful for God’s mercy, and I am so humbled every time I realize I have not forgiven those who have wronged me. Thank you for this reminder and this beautiful article!
I have to remind myself of every detail of our incredible God and His incredible plan of salvation. May we be overwhelmed again today at the greatness of God and greatness of His sacrifice to bring us to Himself. Amazing mercy and grace!
I love that your heart was “undone” by studying and meditating on these verses in depth. May we all be “undone” by the great love of God! Bless your heart.
The more I study the scriptures, the more I can see the magnificent beauty, holiness and grandeur of God and the love He has poured out in Christ. May our hearts be ever moved by His Word!
Amen. Thank you, Lord, for your mercy through the blood of Christ. Our justification is an outcome from injustice. Thank you for this wonderful reflection the blood, mercy, and life.
So powerfully stated, Stephen! “Our justification is an outcome from injustice.” God’s justice and mercy are beyond comprehension. Such love, such grace, such mercy! The blood, mercy and life. Wonderful Savior!
Melissa, I’ve never noticed of thought about that phrase before, “blood speaks a better word.” Since it’s tied to the story of Cain and Abel, you did a great job explaining how God sees the heart can calls for justice and mercy. So thankful for the blood of Jesus that speaks a better word! Hallelujah!
It’s one of those odd Biblical phrases that always jumped out to me, but never really made sense. Then, when I saw how it was tied to Cain and Abel, it added to the intrigue for me. For so many years, I could not understand why God favored Abel’s offering. I thought God was showing favoritism. But with a careful reading, you can see that God was actually very compassionate, just AND merciful to Cain. Furthermore, we can trust God’s judgment. Oftentimes, we think of the cross as demonstrating mercy and we forget the justice. But incredibly, God is both – just and merciful! Only His blood could speak a better word! Thank you, dear Karen, for taking the time to read and share your heart here. Blessings and love to you and yours!
God seems to be coordinating a theme in my readings today:
“Like a sacrificial offering in the Old Testament, where the blood was sprinkled to symbolize atonement for sins, consecration to the Lord and our covenant with God, so we are symbolically sprinkled with the blood of Jesus through our faith in Him.”
His weaving of the OT into the NT is so beautiful!
I agree with you, Nancy! When I see the connecting strands of God’s story woven through the OT and NT with such deep beauty and magnificence, it grabs my heart and mind. I am in ever increasing awe and wonder of who God is and what He has done through Jesus. The Bible is a treasure trove of precious gold waiting to be uncovered for those who will search. God bless you in your reading, sister!
Excellent teaching on this curious passage, Melissa. Thank you for working through this with such precision!
Thank you for the kind words. Glory to God! The Bible is an absolute treasure house of beauty, truth, mercy, justice and grace. Thank you for walking through this passage with me to take in the fullness of God extended to us from Abel to Jesus. How great is our God!
it’s the most powerful force in the universe…the blood of Jesus….everything changes at the very mention of the blood of Jesus….thank you….i found your blog and title in a very timely manner today…..maybe will let you know later why i say timely….but this is what i wanted you to know that we never know how important our blog is to someone out there……so please continue to post such strengthning and uplifting blogs……will be cheering you on….
Amen and amen! Thank you, sister, for reading and sharing your feedback. Truly, the gift of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice of His blood is precious beyond words. And I agree, His blood is the most powerful force in the universe. Thank you for the encouragement. May Jesus Christ be praised!
Thank you for this bright light you have shone on this topic .I’m really blessed by the insight or revelation shared
May His grace continue to abound towards and on you for more exploit in His kingdom!
God bless you, brother James! Thank you for reading and commenting. The Bible is a storehouse of truth. Such a joy to read and learn more about God’s justice, truth and mercy in Christ!
Nailed it! Beautiful honoring of the profound mystery of Christ! Blessings and keep sharing your Holy Spirit inspired teaching!!! Thank you!!!
All glory to God! Thank you for the encouraging words, David. Truly, the mystery of Christ is profound. May the Holy Spirit continue to illuminate the Word of God, that we may know our Savior more and more. Hallelujah! God bless you!!!