Have you ever felt so mad or angry that you couldn’t control yourself?
After leaving the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had two sons: Cain and Abel. And guess what. They were both sinful just like their parents (did you know your parents are sinful too?). And because they sinned, because sometimes they disobeyed God, they needed to bring a sacrifice to God. Do you know what a sacrifice is? A sacrifice is an animal that is killed to remind us that we all deserve to die for our sins. When Cain and Abel sinned, they needed to bring a sacrifice to God so that they could show that they knew they were sinners, and trusted God’s promise of the coming hero. Abel’s sacrifice was a lamb, and that made God happy. But Cain’s sacrifice was some vegetables, and God was not happy because vegetables don’t die do they?
This made Cain very angry and jealous of Abel. Listen to what God said to Cain when he got angry:
Genesis 4:7. If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
God tells Cain that sin is crouching at his door like an animal trying to bite him, and Cain must rule over it. How do we rule over sin? Not by trying harder and harder to be good. In fact, trying hard to be good might make you even more angry and jealous, because we can never be good enough, and there’s always someone being better than you to be jealous of.
Listen again to what God says to Cain: If you do well, will you not be accepted? God wants Cain to do well. This means that he wants Cain to worship him correctly, by trusting in the death of the sacrifice (remember vegetables can’t die). Why is a sacrifice that can die so important? Because Jesus will die for our sins as God’s greatest sacrifice ever. Now we never have to bring God another sacrifice for sins. We simply trust in Jesus because he is better than our sin.
Because of Jesus sin can no longer destroy us (inside or out).
With Jesus we can worship God instead of getting angry or jealous.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Make a cup of tea together. The hot water reveals what’s in the tea bag. Talk about how the hard things in life reveal what is inside of us. Will it be jealousy of others or worship of God?
Jesus, you are my sacrifice. Help me worship you the right way, by trusting you. Amen.