Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived two brothers. The elder brother was a farmer, while the younger was a shepherd. One fateful day, both decided to bring an offering to the Lord. The younger brother’s offering was acceptable and pleasing to the Lord, but the Lord rejected the elder brother’s offering. The elder brother seethed with anger and became jealous, and he murdered his younger brother in a field.
Yikes. That’s not how fairytales are supposed to go.
The Curse on Cain
This story doesn’t have a happy ending because it’s not a fairytale. Rather, it’s the true story of Cain and Abel found in Genesis 4. The majority of us are familiar with Cain and Abel’s story up until this point, but most of us miss the significance of what happens next. After Cain, the elder brother, murders Abel, God punishes Cain for his sin:
“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.’ Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is more than I can bear. Today You are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from Your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me’” (Genesis 4:10-14 ESV).
Abel’s blood had the last word in Cain’s life. From this point on, Cain would always live in the shadow of fear, hopelessness, and condemnation as a direct result of his sin. Worst of all, he was forever driven from the presence of God Himself.
Cain was cursed.
You were cursed too.
The Curse on Us
Because of your sins, you were born under a curse; the curse of death:
“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23 ESV).
Like Cain, because of your sin you were forever cursed to live in the shadow of death, and with it, fear, hopelessness, and separation from the very presence of God. The curse of death had the last word over your life and destiny.
That is, until Jesus came.
Jesus died on the cross to set you free from the curse of death. He took the curse of death upon Himself so that you wouldn’t have to. Galatians 3:13 tells us, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree…’”
As a result of Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross, you are told: “[You have come] to Jesus, the meditator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24 ESV).
Death and sin no longer have the last word over your life. Jesus’ blood speaks a “better word”. While Abel’s blood spoke fear, hopelessness, and condemnation over Cain’s life, Jesus’ blood now speaks life, confidence, hope, and victory over your life.
A Better Word
Jesus said, “I come that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV).
Jesus did not come only to speak a “better word” over your eternal destiny. Yes, He came so that you may have eternal life with Him in Heaven. But He also came to speak a “better word”, a word of life, over you in the here and now. The “better word” that the blood of Jesus speaks over you is truth. It is the final word.
Does death speak a “word” over you as you battle anxiety and depression, addiction, or illness, telling you that there is no hope? Jesus’ blood speaks a “better word”:
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11 ESV).
Jesus’ blood speaks hope over you, guaranteeing you overwhelming victory even in the midst of your battle. Cling to that word.
Does death speak a “word” over your past, telling you that you could never be used by God and racking you with shame, guilt, and regret? Jesus’ blood speaks a “better word”:
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace…” (Ephesians 2:13 ESV).
Jesus’ blood speaks total forgiveness and acceptance over you, forever redeeming you from all your mistakes. Cling to that word.
Does death speak a “word” over your identity, telling you that you are unwanted, unseen, and unloved? Jesus’ blood speaks a “better word”:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 1:7 ESV).
Jesus’ blood speaks love over you, telling you that you are so precious that He would go to great lengths to bring you near to Him again. Cling to that word.
Does death speak a “word” of condemnation over you, causing you to fear that God will never be pleased with you, no matter what you do to serve Him? Jesus’ blood speaks a “better word”:
“Therefore, brothers…we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus…” (Hebrews 10:19 ESV).
Jesus’ blood speaks confidence over you, assuring you that you can freely approach God without fear because of God’s grace, not your works. Cling to that word.
You Have a Choice
Ultimately, you get to choose whether or not you will align your thinking with Christ’s “better word”, which is God’s truth. As a Christian, you know that you have been saved and granted eternal life through Christ’s blood. However, you can still live with an “under-the-curse-of-death” mentality in the present.
You can choose to live under Christ’s “better word”, which speaks forgiveness over your past, or you can choose to live under death’s “word”, which speaks condemnation and regret over your past. You can choose to live under Christ’s “better word”, which speaks victory over your struggles, or you can choose to live under death’s “word”, which speaks hopelessness over your struggles.
In what areas of your life are you allowing death’s “word” to reign?
The curse of death no longer has to have any power over your life as it did in Cain’s, unless you allow it to. In order to allow Jesus’ “better word” to reign in your life, you must surrender. You must humbly choose to strip off your old beliefs, habits, and emotions and instead choose to clothe yourself with God’s truth about you, His “better word”.
Are you going to surrender your life to the “better word” that Jesus’ blood speaks?
Don’t wait! As you align your thinking with Christ’s “better word”, your life will begin to change. Today, allow the “better word” that Jesus’ blood speaks to reign over your identity, over your past, over your battles, over your life. Declare its truth and walk in it.