Monday, April 8, 2013

Thoughts of the tree of life

Won't it be great to see the Tree of Life!

In Genesis 3 we sorrowfully read that Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden after they sinned by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were exiled because the Tree of Life was there. If they ate of it whilst in their sinful state they would live forever in their sin. (Genesis 3:22). It actually was an extensive mercy to be exiled and put away from that terrible possibility.

"He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life." (Genesis 3:24)

I wonder what that tree looked like? Do you ever wonder that? A tree ... of life!

Barnes Notes offers this beautiful thought on the above verse:

"[H]e sets his cherubim to keep the way of the tree of life. This paradise, then, and its tree of life are in safe keeping. They are in reserve for those who will become entitled to them after an intervening period of trial and victory, and they will reappear in all their pristine glory and in all their beautiful adaptedness to the high-born and new-born perfection of man."

Where is that tree in safekeeping? Heaven. That time will come at the end of all things when Eden will be restored. Revelation 22 has it. The NIV titles the passage "Eden Restored". The ESV, which is my preferred translation, titles it "River of Life".

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." (Revelation 22:1-5).

Jesus was hung on a tree, a tree of death. "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). (By this he means the cross).

His death led to life, first His in the glorious resurrection, and then ours as God drew men to Himself through the crucified tree...but all flows through the the tree of life which awaits the overcomers.

John MacArthur writes in his sermon "The Victorious Life",

"But did you know that God transplanted that tree out of the Garden and into heaven? ... Now that's a big tree, if it is on both sides of one river! It has twelve kinds of fruit. Did you ever see a tree like that? Not without a lot of string on it! It yields its fruit every month. Its leaves serve as therapy for the nations. The word "healing" doesn't refer to the healing of disease; it refers to providing health. We won't be hungry or thirsty in heaven, but we will eat and drink for pure enjoyment. Revelation 2:7 says, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." That means the overcomer is promised heaven. The first delight for overcomers is the eternal enjoyment of God's presence in His paradise."

When your day gets dark or your strife too heavy, think on this promise. Eternal enjoyment of God in His paradise, feet dipping in the river of life, eating one of the fruits, sitting in the Light of heaven under the tree of life.. It will be a glorious tree, because His eternal glory is life itself.

2 comments:

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