Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“Keeper of sheep.”
As a shepherd, Abel presented his work to the glory of God and offered a sacrifice of blood upon his altar, and the Lord had respect for Abel and his offering. Abel provides an early model of our Lord Jesus. Like the first streak of light that tinges the east at sunrise, it doesn’t reveal everything, but it clearly indicates that the sun is coming. As we see Abel, a shepherd and yet a priest offering an acceptable sacrifice unto God, we see a picture of our Lord Jesus who brings before his Father a sacrifice to which Jehovah has full respect. Abel was hated by his brother Cain without a cause, and our Savior was put to death by hatful men. “The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
The Lord later spoke to Abel’s brother, Cain, who murdered him and said, “The voice of your brother’s blood cries unto me from the ground.” In the same way, the blood of Jesus has a mighty tongue, but it’s a cry of mercy, not vengeance. There is nothing more precious than to stand at the altar of our good Shepherd–- to see him bleeding there as the slaughtered priest– and then to hear his blood speaking peace to all of his sheep-– peace in our conscience, peace between Jew and Gentile, peace between man and God for all who are washed in that blood. Abel is the first shepherd in order of time, but our hearts shall ever place Jesus first in order of excellence.
Jesus Christ, you are the great Keeper of the sheep, and we the people of your pasture bless you with our whole hearts when we see that you died for us! [M&E]