The opening scene of humanity is set in a garden..the perfect place. All is provided. Man and woman in perfect harmony. Naked and unashamed. God walking with man and woman…unhindered. Enter serpent, temptation, the desire to be like God…tranquility broken…unashamed no more. Sin had entered into the world starting in a garden and so…like all the rest of us who have felt the weight of shame and regret…they flee…they hide. Hiding gives one the false sense that we are in control of what can be made known but as we ultimately find out it is our very lack of control that gets us there in the first place.
Scene two…Some years later we open the pages of scripture to find another garden. As with the first garden…God walks with man here as well but this time around God is man…Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. This second Adam has no shame…he has no shame because there is no sin upon him, although the sin of the world will soon change all of that. Enter serpent via Judas, temptation, the desire to be like God at its worst…tranquility broken…unashamed no more as the naked once again flee and hide and yet this Adam does not. This Adam does not hide because that is not how the story goes the second time around. It cannot be the same song second verse and let the curse have its way. This Adam begins the reversal of the curse in fulfilling the very words spoken of him in the first garden that the enmity between the son of man and the serpent will result in a bit heel and a crushed head. Game, set, match.
Final scene…Beyond both of those gardens is a third garden. This garden is in a place where there is no night. There is no shame. There is no temptation…only tranquility and peace. No one flees…no one hides. God walking with his people. All live in perfect harmony. In this garden, the final garden is “the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 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. 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. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 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. (Rev 22:1-5).
Three rivers…full circle…where all things are made new…where curses are reversed, where shame is no more, where darkness is brought to light and where we all, once more, walk with God healed and unhindered…fully alive. I can’t wait to walk a few miles with you there!