Cain vs. Jesus

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  • November 05, 2012

Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  (1 John 3:12, 16)

This past Sunday Ajay preached on 1 John 3:11-18, one of John’s many exhortations on love.  I’ve read this text a handful of times before, but it was good for me to hear it once again. It’s easy to read this passage and oversimplify the differences between Cain and Jesus. You don’t need to know much about the Bible to know that Cain and Jesus are different. Cain is evil. Jesus is righteous. But when I dig deeper into Cain’s life and compare it to the life of Jesus, it’s amazing to see how completely different these two men are, and how we’re able to more clearly realize the fullness of Christ’s love through the comparison:

Cain Jesus
Killed the righteous 

“We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.” (1 John 3:12)

Killed for the unrighteous 

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)

Punished for his sin 

“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.” (Genesis 4:10-13)

Punished for other’s sins 

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Driven by pride 

“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.” (Genesis 4:3-5)

Humbled Himself 

“Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

Hated his brother 

“Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.” (Genesis 4:8)

Loved those who hated Him 

“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” (Colossians 1:21-22)

Given grace in spite of his sin 

“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 4:15)

Gives grace in spite of our sin 

“But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.” (Romans 5:15)

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About Binu Abraham

Binu lives in Willow Grove, PA with his wife, Sherin and two children (Sarah & Liam). He serves as a pastor at Seven Mile Road Church and primarily oversees the development of its community groups (GCMs). Born and raised in Philadelphia, he hopes to see his city being transformed by Jesus and His gospel. He also hopes to see all four of Philly's sports teams win a championship before he dies.

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