Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering” (Geneses 4:2-5)
Animal sacrifice pointed to the cross of the Lord Jesus. It foreshadowed His sacrifice. From the very beginning, any man seeking to approach the LORD came by way of a sacrifice. Abel offered the “firstborn of his flock” and was accepted but, Cain was rejected. He did make an offering “of the fruit of the ground” (he was a farmer after all) and perhaps felt that this would suffice. Surely the LORD would appreciate his sincerity and attempt to approach Him? Surely his offering would count for something? But he was wrong! Sincerity can replace obedience.
The story of Cain and Abel illustrates a common and serious error concerning that which is required to be accepted by God. It is generally held that there are “many roads” to God but this is contrary to the Bible. Jesus taught otherwise when He said “I am the way, the truth and the life no one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6). There is only “one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5)
Do you approach God through Christ’s sacrifice? He will accept nothing else.