The Tree of Life

David Bast

Read: Revelation 2:7; 22:1-5

To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (2:7)

The original Tree of Life was in the Garden of Eden, along with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their innocence was lost; their relationship with God and his world was ruptured. Sin not only affected them; it affected the whole creation. Yet God was merciful; he clothed Adam and Eve, and gave them a promise that one day evil would be destroyed by a Son of Eve. Then God drove them out of paradise, and placed an angelic guard at the gate to bar their reentry.

That doesn’t sound like mercy. But it was. God himself explained why: “‘Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—’ therefore the Lord God . . . placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen. 3:22-24). Imagine if Adam and Eve had been able to go back and eat of that other tree. Think about it: eternal life in a fallen world, everlasting struggle with our own sins, with dysfunctional relationships, with the frustrating contrariness of nature; above all, everlasting life apart from God. That’s not paradise. That’s—quite literally—hell.

So there is no way back to Eden. We can only go forward. But for all the faithful, the tree of life awaits. —David Bast

As you pray, thank God for keeping his promise to send the Savior.