Last week, I shared a comment I wrote in response to an Atheist’s post on the topic of eternal life. Later, while musing on this topic, I went back to the Beginning…to the Garden of Eden, where it all began for mankind. I learnt something from that. I learnt that mortality is a curse.
You see, we were never supposed to die. We were supposed to live with God forever, nourished by His Light, as we are now nourished by the Sun. In the absence of sin, Adam and Eve would still be alive today, along with billions of humans, who died after them. Even without eating from the Tree of Life! God’s presence would have sustained us, just as He sustained Moses for 40 days and nights without food and water on the mountain.
However, once Adam and Eve sinned, they were corrupted and suffering entered the world…because when we go against the will of God, we inflict pain and suffering on ourselves and others, even without knowing it. And the thing about corruption is that it is an insatiable pit. Have you noticed how a small lie turns into a great and mighty delusion? Have you watched how food rots with just a singular fly? Likewise, once corruption takes hold, it cannot be satisfied until all that is good is made evil.
With this turn of events, God, in His great mercy, made us mortal! How did He do that? By first withdrawing His presence and casting them out of the Garden of Eden. He even put up a flaming sword to keep them from eating from the Tree of Life, which would have made them immortal. Knowing that they were corrupt, there was not much He could put past them. Rebellion was now the order of the day, so to save us from ourselves, God prevented mankind from becoming immortal.
Do you see His mercy? Suffering and immortality would have been a terrible terrible curse on Adam and Eve and all humans after them. That would be Hell on Earth! Imagine the worst kinds of wickedness, escalating endlessly, and the same murderers, rapists, thieves and villains unable to be stopped, because they are immortal. Imagine sickness and suffering, all sorts of diseases…but they cannot kill you, because you are immortal. There would surely be no good thing or person remaining, because corruption would devour all! So with sin came the need for mortality (Rom 6:23)! And after death, judgment (Heb 9:27)!
So when God warned Adam that the day he eats of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which he had been forbidden to eat from, he would surely die…He wasn’t exaggerating at all. It wasn’t that the tree was bad. Of course it was good, like the devil said. But their disobedience was evil. Maybe God wanted to train them first, before rewarding them with its fruit. But they presumed themselves wiser than God, and rebelled against Him.
We also know that on account of their sin, the first animal was killed, to cover up their shame; for they came to know that they were naked and were ashamed. The death of the first animal to serve as Man’s clothing, would certainly not have helped to foster cohabitation between animals and humans. See how sin was already unraveling God’s good plan?
God could have killed Adam and Eve right there and then, and decided to start again, but He rather took advantage of the situation presented, to teach mankind His ways… And then He sent Jesus to redeem us, and restore us to His original plan. Those who believe in Jesus, who forsake their sin, and the corrupted world, choosing instead to deny themselves and follow Him, would be restored in their relationship with God and given the gift of eternal life… Knowing Him and God, in Paradise, and living forever in peace and harmony with one another and all God’s creatures.
I love how our Heavenly dwelling is depicted in Revelation: “Then 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 2 down 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. 3 No 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. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There 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” (Chapter 22; verse 1-5).
Immortality is our destiny as children of God. It is right for us to desire it. Power is our birthright as royalty. Let’s take hold of it. Sin, Sickness and Death are defeated in Christ Jesus and corruption has no more hold on us. Let us not live as though we do not know our heritage… Let us live as those who have been redeemed, bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. And may His Kingdom come and be restored on Earth… Amen.
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