By faith Abel offered God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain. Hebrews 11:4
The sacrifices in the Old Testament all point us forward to the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ when He died on the cross. This is how we are to come to God. You cannot come in your own name, or in any other name. You cannot offer God your own achievement. But if you come to God confessing your sin and believing in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for you, you will receive mercy.
Don’t you wish we could rerun the story of Cain? If he had made some different choices, it could have turned out differently. Suppose when God invited Cain to do right, he had said: “Lord, I’m struggling with anger toward my brother. It’s like a fire inside me. I need your power.” Suppose he had said, “I have this hatred inside of me. I need your love.” Suppose he had said, “I have this pride within me. I want to make a big impression all the time. I need your peace.” Suppose he had put his faith and trust in God to do for him what he could not do for himself.
And even after killing his own brother, Cain could have taken a different course. He could have turned away from self-pity, taken ownership of the deed he had done, faced the consequences, and then thrown himself on the mercy of God. He could have said, “I have sinned, and I stand before you without excuse. Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.” He didn’t do that. But what Cain didn’t do, you can do today.
What is one story from your own life that you’d like to rerun? What would you say differently to God this time? Why?