Friday, August 29, 2008

God's Gift as His Judgment

The blood of Abel cries from the ground; but God, having heard the cry, protects Cain from it. The vengeance demanded by Abel's murder would put an early end to the human race. How could the universe concede to Abel's reproach, except by dying? The author of the Epistle of the Hebrews commented, "Abel, being dead, yet speaks" (Heb 11.4): his cry for vengeance is never silenced, satisfaction never having been given, for only God's decisive judgment against the world could set that cry to rest. But God will not give him judgment... he has given it, though in a manner quite different from what was demanded: "the sprinkled blood of Jesus speaks more loudly than the blood of Abel" (Heb 12.24)

(Oliver O'Donovan, The Ways of Judgment, p.26. Emphasis original.)

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