Jesus and the Garden: Part I

In John chapter five, Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.” Later in that same chapter, He says, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.” In Luke chapter 24, after His resurrection, it says, “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” He explained, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” The Bible, from front to back, is a story that leads to Jesus. This is according to what Jesus testified to Himself.

In this series, we are going to look at a few themes from the Book of Genesis, the Garden of Eden specifically, and what they tell us about the character and mission of Jesus. Let’s start by seeing how these two passages, separated by 64 books, overlap.

“then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.”

Genesis 2:7-10 ESV

Now look at this passage at the end of scripture.

“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 ‭ESV

What are some things that these two passages have in common? For starters we are going to look at the Water (or River) mentioned and a Tree of life. This first post will just break down significance of the waters and trace that theme through the Bible and how it relates to Jesus and us.

One of the early examples of living water in the Bible comes from Jeremiah 2:13 where God says, “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

Later in Jeremiah 17:13, Jeremiah says of God, “Lord, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water.”

Isaiah also speaks on the topic. “”Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:2-3.

Here in these passages we see that something about the water equals salvation and the source of those waters is God Himself. So what does this mean for Jesus and for us?

In John, we see Jesus at the Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles). On the last day of the feast there was a tradition to pour out water as symbolism of the springs of life provided by God. Enter Jesus…

“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'””‬‬

John‬ ‭7‬:‭37‬-‭38‬ ‭ESV

Jesus, here, asserts Himself as the source of living water. In an earlier passage of John, He said something similar during His conversation with the woman at the well.

“Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.””

John‬ ‭4‬:‭10‬-‭14‬ ‭ESV

When mankind sinned, they were exiled from the Garden. They were separated from the living water. God continued to offer it throughout the story of Israel. But over and over again they filled to drink from the waters. They built their own cisterns. They went their own way. So God came to them, in the person of Jesus. And Jesus, being the Word of God made flesh (John 1), through whom all things were made snd hold together (Colossians 1), can offer that living to every heart surrendered to Him. Jesus brings the river to you and me and says come and drink. The water of life brings life. Jesus brings life since He is the source of that water. In Revelation it says that the waters flow from the throne of God and of the Lamb. That leaves us with the invitation. Will you come and drink? Will you take the invitation to life?

Peace in Christ brothers and sisters.


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