The Old Testament readings this week describe God's judgment on the world in the Flood, His covenant with Noah, and the His dispersal of the nations as a result of man's hubris in constructing the tower of Babel. The New Testament readings in the Gospel of John goes to the eve of the Passover week that would culminate with Christ's crucifixion.
Many commentators observe the typological parallelism of Abel as a type of Christ, as well as the idea that Abel’s offering was of a blood sacrifice, anticipating the sacrifice that Christ would make in dying on the cross. More, however, can be said in terms of the covenantal significance of Gen. 4:1-6:8. This passage speaks of both the nature of man, the nature of God, and the way God has chosen to engage with man under the Covenant of Grace.
In understanding the Bible, we need to realize that it revolves around a two covenant structure. The Covenant of Works (as the Westminster Confession puts it) or the Covenant of Life (as in the Larger Catechism terms it) highlights the potential for man to have had greater communion with God, had the covenant head, Adam been faithful to God. His failure to do so cast all mankind into misery, but opened the door to God's redemptive plan.
The covenantal nature of Genesis 1 can be more clearly seen if one remembers three essential aspects of kingship, namely that a king—must have a realm over which to rule, the power to rule that realm, and legitimacy in exercising that rule, typically manifested in the majesty and glory that accompanies his reign. We see all of those things in Genesis 1:1-2:3, even though God is not explicitly called a king.
This week begins the lectio continua readings for this year. The Old Testament readings cover the opening chapters of Genesis. In parallel, the New Testament readings go through the first five chapters of the Gospel of John. The Psalm readings begin the Psalms of David, starting with Psalm 3.