Jesus and the Garden: Part II

Courtesty Bible Project

In the first part of this series, I focused on how Jesus is a reflection of the living water that first appears in the Garden of Eden. Today’s post looks at another image that shows up in the Garden: The Tree of Life. You can see it introduced in Genesis 2:9. Both the river of living water and the Tree of Life also show up at the end of the text in Revelation chapter 22, specifically verses 1-14. If you’d like a little more context, check out my previous post.

The Bible uses tree imagery repeatedly. Look at Proverbs three. “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. Proverbs 3:13-18 ESV This is contrasted with the idea of seeking wisdom on our own. Essentially, that’s the choice that Adam and Eve had in the beginning. There were two trees in the middle of the Garden. One of them represented man reaching for understanding on their own, apart from God. The other led to life, and that life comes in the form of godly wisdom. Later in Proverbs eleven, we see another reference to the tree. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30 ESV. Righteousness, in simple terms, means to live rightly. How do we do that? Through godly wisdom. By not determining right and wrong on our own. By eating from the right tree.

So what does that mean for Jesus and for us? What other tree do we know of in scripture that holds great significance? How about the cross? The cross is also referred to as a tree…a tree that carried great significance. That significance is portrayed all the way back in Isaiah 53:3-6. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds, we are healed.” Isaiah 53:3-5 ESV. Because we continue to eat from the wrong tree, just as the first humans did, God came down and planted yet another tree that would heal our brokenness and provide the life that the original Tree of Life was meant to do.

Let’s look at this in another way. In Psalm 1:1-3 people are compared to a planted tree. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3 ESV. Perhaps this is a great description of the one who has first experienced the gift of the Tree of Life and now reflects that through their very own life.

So what’s the main idea that both of these objects, the water and the tree, are putting forward? We have the tree of LIFE and the water of LIFE. And Jesus is our source of LIFE. Remember back to Colossians chapter one?

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Colossians 1:16-17 ESV

Or back to John chapter one?

“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

John 1:3-4 ESV

Jesus is the source of the Water. Jesus is the Tree. Jesus is the one who both authored and offers life. Jesus, Himself, made so many statements about this subject.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 ESV

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10 ESV

In John chapter six Jesus makes several comparisons between Himself and the bread from heaven that gave life to Israel in the wilderness.

“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…“I am the bread of life.”

John 6:33 & 48 ESV

We are left with the same option as the first humans. We can choose one tree or the other. We can drink from the water of life or dig our own cisterns. The results of our choice will be revealed throughout our lives. Being connected to the vine will result in bearing good fruit. Drinking from the water of life will cause life to spring forth from us. The question that the Lord is asking all of us is, “Will you take the life I offer you? Will you drink from the waters and eat from the tree that I give to you? Or will you try and find your own way? A way that doesn’t lead to life, but away from it.” Choose Him. Choose life.

Peace and Life in Christ brothers and sisters.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s