Photo by Al Butler on Unsplash
Read: Gen. 3:20-24
I am sure that I am not the only one who loved the Indiana Jones movies. Apparently, we are all about the movie references these past few weeks. Anyway, where it might have sparked the imagination of millions to find the “Lost Ark,” I was always (and still am) more fascinated by the idea of the lost Garden of Eden. I remember, as a child and amateur adventurer, wondering, “What if I could find the Garden of Eden? What if it is still out there? What if the cherubim is still holding that flaming sword guarding the entrance?” To be completely honest, I have no idea what the theological doctrine is on this topic, but wouldn’t it be amazing to see the garden the way God had created it?! Would it still be the same, or would it hold the scars of the curse?
Last week Jerry (my hubby for those that don’t know us) taught about how the ground was literally cursed. The ground dried up. Thorns and thistles began to grow. There were weeds and kudzu–I am assuming that was a result of the curse. But the fact remains that God’s dwelling with His people wasn’t destroyed because of the banishment from Eden. In fact, the very reason they were pushed out of the garden and away from the tree of life was so that one day Adam and Eve could walk with God again.
However, at this moment Adam and Eve are banished and sent out. They understand that the tree of life has been taken and their source of food is gone. They had to leave their home. I imagine them wandering in an unknown land, going over and over in their heads what went wrong; feeling so confused, wondering why they believed the lies of a serpent; and realizing with dread that they no longer would live forever. All I know is that if I were Adam and Eve, I would have been devastated. It doesn’t escape us that at times we all know what it is like to feel lost, hopeless, helpless, and weighted by everything that bears down on us.
But Genesis 3 is only the beginning of the story. By the time we get to the Gospels, God’s desire to dwell with and reunite with His people has been on full display. But, once again, the story doesn’t end with the arrival of Jesus.
John 13 is packed full. It includes the washing of the disciples’ feet, the betrayal of Judas, the giving of the new commandment, and Jesus’ foretelling of Peter’s denial. Then, John 14:1 starts with Jesus telling His disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” I’m sorry, what? Did Jesus not experience what everyone else did? How are they to not let their hearts be troubled?
As Thomas probes at this obvious problem, Jesus has the answer.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Jesus’ answer to not letting their hearts be troubled, knowing He is about to be led away and crucified, is Himself. He is the way, the truth, and the life. When we are lost and feel we have no place, He is the way. When we are listening to the lies, He is the truth. When we are scared by death, He is the Life.
All that was lost in Eden is being restored. All that entered into our worried minds is being reversed. And all that is broken between God and man is being reconciled.
Jesus has come to set all things right. He has come to bring us truth, to find us when we are lost and cast out, and to give us eternal life. All that Adam and Eve lost, Jesus is restoring.
Imagine we found the Garden of Eden. Maybe the beauty of it would remain, but I think we would also feel the emptiness and loss that became the story of Eden. There would be no people dwelling in unity and peace, and God would not come to walk the garden with his children. I think it would break our hearts. But would the loss of it bring us to worship? Would we exalt the name of God as we barely grasp all that the trinity has done to restore God to His lost people? The point is this: the story of God’s work is only beginning in Genesis, and there is a hope that is astounding to behold as God’s work to restore our souls unfurls throughout the rest of His Word. Take time to marvel at the One who seeks to be with His people, for His work has not come to an end, but is continuing in our lives.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself. 2 Corinthians 5:18.
Praise be to Him!