Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

11 August 2013

Sermon: Trinity 11 (OT)

11 August AD 2013
Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Title: Blood for Vengeance, Blood for Peace (MP3 Audio)

Cain Murders Abel Summary: Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life, and blood for blood — this is justice, this is vengeance, this is what God’s Law requires of sinful human beings. The Lord commanded just retribution, saying, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. (Genesis 9:6)”

God also knew that none of us could make blood atonement for our own sins nor pay in full the price of our rebelliousness against Him. Therefore, He prepared an atoning sacrifice: Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.

In some ways, Jesus’ life and death echo Abel: Both offered pleasing sacrifices; both were struck down by those who resented them. Yet while Abel’s blood cried out asking God to exercise His justice, to bring retribution to Cain, Jesus’ blood cries even louder, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

In Grace, the Father sent His Son to save us from our sins. By faith, we believe that all our sins are blotted out by Jesus’ “holy, precious blood” and “His innocent suffering and death (Small Catechism, Apostles’ Creed)” and that we are cleansed by the “washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit. (Small Catechism, Holy Baptism)”

As His dear children, God leads us to have the same attitude toward others that He does toward us. He moves us not to get even but to have mercy, to forgive and not to condemn.

Weimar Altarpiece Text: Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.

In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.

The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 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 for you, but you must rule over it.”

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”

He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Genesis 4:1-15

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Explanations to the Apostle’s Creed and Holy Baptism quoted from Luther’s Small Catechism, © 1991 by Concordia Publishing House.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Blood for Vengeance, Blood for Peace. Preached to the saints of God at Trinity Lutheran Church, Norborne, Missouri.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 50:7-23; Ephesians 2:1-10; Luke 18:9-14

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