God placed two trees in the garden with Adam and Eve, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. Somehow these trees represented a portion of God's being, namely that God understands good and evil and that He is eternal. These two trees were not to be tasted or tested.
When Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil she not only became aware of the depths of evil and suffering she also began to die. Were she to also eat from the tree of life then her new, fallen, broken condition would last forever. In other words, we would be eternally broken and lost once we ate from that tree of life.
Read: Revelation 22; Genesis 3:21-24
1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. 6The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place."
21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 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.
It is interesting that the tree of life is at the start of our story and the end. The tree is in the garden with Adam and Even and it is in a garden in heaven with Jesus. The first tree represents eternal death and suffering. The second tree represents eternal life and peace.
The key difference between the two is timing. Had our first parents eaten from the tree of life they would have died forever in that state. There would be no hope of life and no hope of rescue.
Jesus was Adam's answer. It is foreshadowed in the first sacrifice used to cover Adam's body(Gen. 3:21). One poet captured it this way, "Nakedness is not exposed flesh but exposed intention. Was Adam any more naked after he discovered shame? Yes." Adam was not just exposed physically but also spiritually. His condition could not be fixed externally. He needed a deeper rescue.
To eat from the tree of life after the fall would have meant certain and eternal death for the human race. Timing is everything.
We stand in the gap between the two trees. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we are saved but not still ready to eat from the tree of life. That will not happen until the end of all things.
As we live between the two trees we have the opportunity to be daily renewed by Jesus. We cannot eat from the tree of life but we can eat the Lord's Supper and know His life. He is our Life and he invites us to come to him for life. That has been the message of Revelation. Jesus invites us to open the door and fellowship with him.
This is why we read the bible. This is why we pray. We do this to know him and fellowship with him who is our life. We need to die to ourselves daily. After all, I have been crucified with Christ and it is not longer I who live but Christ lives in me. He is our life. Amen.
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