Sunday, September 28, 2008

Symbolic Sunday

Oh, how the days go by! It seems like only last week that I posted my previous Symbolic Sunday... oh, wait... it HAS been a week! Even if I don't have time to post any other day, I want to at least keep up with my Symbolic Sundays.

The Tree of Life

"And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden...." (Gen. 2:9a).

"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" (Gen. 3:22-24).

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7).

"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev. 22:2,14).

The Tree of Life represents eternal life in Jesus Christ. Regardless of how it works out physically, it inextricably ties immortality with being in the mighty presence of our Maker.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve had it made. They had access to the Tree of Life, allowing them to live forever, as long as they ate of its fruits, in a veritable paradise. But their sin separated them not only from God, but also from access to the tree. Their bodies were doomed to a finite existence, because God could not bear to allow their sinful natures to endure forever.

If we read the Bible cover to cover, we spend most of it reading about how God repeatedly reached out to His stubborn and idolatrous people, while they continued to disobey. Punishment brought about repentance, but only for a time. The true Cure did not come, until Jesus Christ came to die for our sins. He made a way for us to get back to God's presence, which is where we belong.

The triumphant return of the Tree of Life is very fitting for the last book of the Bible, tying together God's entire plan of salvation. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Rom. 11:33).

In short, more than mere immortality, the journey of the Tree of Life represents God's children coming full circle, back to the everlasting presence of their perfect Creator, and His boundless love, mercy, and wisdom, in bringing it all about. Thank You, Jesus!

1 comment:

Farrah said...

Did you talk about that and I wasn't listening?? I never made that connection! I'll have to think about that some more! :-)