“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
Do you sometimes think about our expulsion from the garden and wonder if we got off lighter than we should have? We had it all but that apparently was not enough, and we ended up breaking the first ever “Do Not Touch” rule. This act of disobedience resulted in God removing us from the garden but, He did not remove us from existence. He did not erase us from the earth nor did he add an obedience upgrade to our nature. We remain version 1.0 created in His image. In spite of His disappointment, He showed love and still wants to bring us back to the place where we will have all we need for all of eternity.
God had given Adam the garden rules, including the one about avoiding the tree of knowledge. Adam shared his knowledge with Eve but didn’t seem to emphasize God’s direction well enough. That fateful day probably started out like any other. Adam and Eve went for a stroll, and Adam, like all the men that followed him, probably didn’t take the time to ask directions to where they were going. Before they knew it they were looking up at the tree they were told to avoid. Had they intentionally been drawn to this place because the fruit was good for food and looked appealing to the eye? No matter their initial reason for going towards the tree, they found themselves looking at it and, they were not alone. Satan was lurking about ready to take advantage of the situation?
That walk had eternal consequences including the introduction of the blame game. Satan tempted Eve to eat, and as she reached up to take the forbidden fruit, Adam stood by saying nothing. After she took the initial bite, Adam also took one and all hell literally broke loose. Making mistakes and pointing fingers started in the garden and flourishes today. When caught Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed Satan but God knew they were both at fault. God knew temptation to be a human shortfall, but He did not abandon us. Even as he was chastising us at the garden gate, He revealed His plan to reconcile our relationship with Him. He spoke of a future heir that would correct the wrongs. He handled the situation as the loving Father we know Him to be.
The garden was a taste of what God had in store for us in eternity. At the garden God showed that disobedience must be addressed, blame is irrelevant and that only by His grace will we have another chance. He also pointed out that no matter what path we take or how disobedient we become, He will meet us wherever we end up and will offer reconciliation. In His Word, we learn that the One who spoke the universe into existence wants to speak with us. He freely offers eternity and allows us to accept or reject it.
In the garden God did not hide his intent or expectations; He told Adam, “disobey and you will die”. He tells us that if we choose other than Him, we will be separated from Him for all eternity. God wants us to recognize that we all have sinned. He wants us to accept responsibility for our actions and to ask Him to forgive us for our transgressions. He also wants us to recognize and believe that He sent and allowed the blameless one, Jesus, to die so that we could get back on the path to heaven.
God reveals the truth, helps us understand that truth, and while we have breath in our lungs, He longs for us to accept that truth. As Easter approaches and you look toward the tree where God’s reconciliation hung, have you reached up and accepted the real source of life eternal? Have you accepted God’s truth, Jesus? If not, ask God now and you will receive it. Do you know someone who has not accepted the truth? Pray now for their salvation and seek them out to share God’s intent for their life.