Reflections: Tuesday of the 11th Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Genesis 4:1-15

Daily Lectionary: 1 Kings 12:20-13:5, 33-34; 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 

And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Lord says to Cain, “What have you done?” It echoes what the Lord said to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9) We all have Cain in us. In his anger, Cain was tempted to sin. You are tempted in various ways to sin. The Lord comes to you through His Word to empower you to resist temptation and not sin. Yet, because like Cain you are a child of Adam and Eve, you give into temptation and sin. Sin results in consequences. For Cain, it means he becomes a fugitive and wanderer of the earth, always on the verge of death. You and I, because of our sin, are fugitives from God and wanderers of this earth, too, always on the verge of death. 

Along comes another shepherd, the Good Shepherd who is led outside of the city to be killed. Abel points us to Jesus. The Good Shepherd has been killed outside the city to save sinful fugitives and wanderers. Jesus has been killed to forgive you all your sins, all the times you have given into temptation and sinned. 

Then He was buried. His bloody corpse was laid in a tomb in the ground. Your brother’s blood cries to the Father from the ground. And what does it cry? The Lord says, “What have you done?” and the voice of your brother Jesus’ blood cries out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). The blood of Christ Jesus, your brother, cries out forgiveness, for you. 

Therefore, you are no longer a fugitive. “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). You are no longer a wanderer. “In my Father’s house are many rooms. . . If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-3). You have been marked with the sign of the holy Cross in Holy Baptism, so that death can no longer kill you eternally. The voice of the blood of your brother Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has cried out a better Word than the blood of Abel, a Word of Absolution for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

In Adam we have all been one, One huge rebellious man; We all have fled that evening voice That sought us as we ran. But Thy strong love, it sought us still And sent Thine only Son That we might hear His Shepherd’s voice And, hearing Him, be one. (“In Adam We Have All Been One” LSB 569 sts.1, 3)

-Rev. Daniel Voth, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, ND.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.