The Faith of Abel (Hebrews 11:4)

With faith did Abel give his sacrifice,
The best of blood he found within his flock.
He knew his offering never would suffice,
But sought the mercy of the living God.
And though his mother called him empty wind,
He would not turn to selfish pity’s hate,
But looked to God to save him from his sin,
And call his life and make him something great.
Yet Cain would not let God direct his life,
But sought to become great by his own deeds.
He therefore brought his hollow sacrifice,
For he believed he had no sin or need.
But Jesus counted Abel as his saint,
While Cain became a shamed and migrant mark.
We still hear Abel’s praise and Cain’s complaint,
And Abel teaches us a faith-filled heart.

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Portrait of Salvation (Hebrews 10:1-10)

Jehovah, like an artist, first began,
By roughly sketching His salvation’s plan.
The law in symbol, shadow, and out-line,
Would be memorial and as a sign.
For it could never fully cleanse our sin,
But must be done again and yet again.
And so the Father painted in the lines,
With flesh and blood the portrait He designed.
For God who spoke the Law now spoke once more,
His final Word, His Son who would restore:
This vibrant shape foreshadowed in the sketch,
Who was, and is, and who is coming yet.

God did not want the guts of slaughtered sheep,
But His desire is to make us clean.
He takes no pleasure in the blood of beasts,
But in His holy Bride is He well-pleased.
His will was never endless sacrifice,
But sons and daughters of the blood of Christ.
The portrait of salvation which God made –
Before the footings of the earth were laid –
He paints with blood and sinews of a man:
The incarnation was His perfect plan.
The Law was letters scribbled into stone,
In Christ God wrote again in flesh and bone,
To fill the nature which His law had lacked,
From contract to a personal contact.
The sketch has vanished in the final art,
The Law became a beating, human heart.