In the Old Testament we read about the garden of Eden and the tree of life. Genesis 3:23 says, ‘…So the Lord God banished him [Adam and Eve after they were disobedient and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil] from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.’ What about it?
# Is there still a tree of life?
- Revelation 22:2 says that the tree of life lines the great river that flows from the throne of God in the New Jerusalem.
- However, that does not help us much, because we need to eat from the tree of life now to be able to live eternally then. Fortunately Proverbs 3:13-18 tells us we can still eat of the tree of life, ‘Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding…. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her, those who lay hold of her will be blessed.’
# Where does one find the tree of life?
Proverbs 2:1-5 says, ‘My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find knowledge of God.’ The source of wisdom, knowledge and understanding is the Bible.
# The tree of life (wisdom and understanding) is hidden in Jesus.
Paul wrote to the people at Galatia, ‘My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and understanding.’ Colossians 2:2,3
# Jesus is the gate back to Eden.
We see the logic and beauty of Scripture in John 10:1-18. Jesus said:
- He is the Gate for the sheep [believers].
- Whoever enters through Him will be saved.
- They will find pasture as He leads them.
- As the good Shepherd He knows His sheep and will lead them with care.
- As the good Shepherd, He lays down His life for the sheep and takes it up again.
- The fact that He took up His life again means He can lead all the sheep that came after Calvary.
Jesus Christ, the Cross, the opening of the gate to Eden and the tree of life, are all in one book: the Holy Word of God. At Calvary, Christ combined the entrance back to God’s presence (after the closed gate to the garden of Eden separated us) and the tree of life (found in Scripture), so we can inherit it all one day in the age to come: glorious eternal life with our blessed Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.