The Tree of Life [Part 1]
Are you ready for some good news?
Though Adam and Eve sinned and lost access to the tree of life, you’re invited to have your fill.
Today’s Text: “Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.” (Genesis 3:22–23, ESV)
God stopped mid-sentence. The Hebrew grammar makes it clear. God couldn’t, or wouldn’t, finish His thought. I don’t know of another such instance in Scripture. “Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the Tree of Life and eat, and live forever—.” God refused to finish the sentence because its concluding thought was an unbearable one. Instead of uttering the unutterable, the Creator moved to bold action. He drove out the creature made in His image and placed cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the path to the Tree of Life. When sin entered the world, so did curse and deathly consequence.
But this hasty banishment and this heavenly guard were not part of the punishment; they were evidence of unending love.
There were two trees given names in the Garden of Eden: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. One tree was forbidden, but Paradise wasn’t smothered with prohibitions, it was dripping with permission. Eat and enjoy any of the fruit of any of the trees (including the Tree of Life). Just don’t eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Remember the story? The Liar snaked his way into a conversation with Eve and lured her into the primal deception: you need to do something to make yourself more like God. How woefully ironic – the creature that was already like God (Eve) listened to a lecture from the creature who wasn’t like God (the serpent) on how to be like God.
All dead religion is built on this basic deception: there is something that you need to do in order to be like God. That’s the lie of the anti-Christ in a nutshell.
Why the radical exile and angelic sentinel? Why the unfinished sentence? Because the Tree of Life was the tree of eternity. The Tree of Life bore fruit for immortality. It was the tree that makes things last forever. If sinful Adam ate of the “forever” fruit, his guilt would become permanent. The unclean soul could not intermingle with the holy fruit without suffering eternal shame. God could not, would not, allow His beloved to be permanently separated from Him. And that’s the Gospel!
(excerpted from: Wright, Alan (2013-12-17). Grace x2: Multiplying the Grace of God In Your Marriage (Kindle Locations 695-698). Wyatt House Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
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