Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Looking for Better Things
Living by Faith
Terry R. Baughman
“To the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:23–24 NKJV).
When a violent murder occurs and there are no suspects or leads to apprehend those who are responsible, family members and friends champion the cause for justice. They may offer rewards for information, seeking to bring the perpetrators to answer for their crimes. Other people cry out for justice when they feel that someone's rights have been violated. The mistreatment of a victim or a perceived civil rights infraction can cause hundreds to rally for justice. The quest for social justice will never end, for in our world there will always be those who will oppress the weak and exercise power over those who cannot defend themselves.
Abel was overpowered by his angry brother, Cain, and became the object of the first murder in the Bible. God pronounced judgment on Cain declaring, “The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10). The gospels refer to the “blood of righteous Abel,” announcing a particular justice for the death of an innocent man. (See Matthew 23:35 & Luke 11:51.) The bookends of Old Testament justice extended from righteous Abel to Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom was murdered between the temple and the altar.
Whenever we see social inequities, natural calamities, and human tragedies we are made to question whether there is anything fair in our world. Why is it that the evil seem to lead a trouble-free existence and another moral and trustworthy citizen falls prey to a plethora of losses, tragedies, and personal conflict? We may ask, “Where is the justice in all of this? Why do these things happen?” Then we may sigh and say, “It just doesn’t seem fair!”
Justice is only found in a belief that God is just and He will always be fair. God is sovereign and reigns supreme over all the earth. However, much of what happens on earth is a result of sin and the consequence of humanity’s disobedience. God will always be just and justified in whatever He does. While he may allow the course of natural events, we know that ultimately all will stand before God and when the books are opened everything will become clear.
Our only hope is in Christ Jesus. His sinless life and spotless sacrifice provided access into the “better things” that God has prepared for us. The blood of Christ sanctifies us from sin and connects us with redemption. Through His sacrifice we are united with Christ have the hope of everlasting life. We don’t have to be the ones who bring justice for everyone who ever lived and try to right the wrongs of every sinner. Rather we come to Jesus in our sins and ask for His forgiveness and receive the promise a new life and peace that comes only from Him, our Savior.
Jesus’ blood and the New Covenant speaks of better things for us, more righteous than Abel or Zechariah, more worthy than any good thing that any holy one has ever accomplished. Our hope is in Christ alone! In Him we are looking for better things!
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13).