The first man saw that the trees in the Garden of Eden were pleasant to look at and good for food. God told him, “…Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat…” Let’s take a look here at two particular trees in that garden: “…the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9, emphasis mine). God had warned the first man in advance that “…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2: 16-17). This referred to spiritual death at once (cutting man’s direct connection with God), and physical death in due time.
Adam knew that God had given him that one restriction—to not eat the fruit of one particular tree in the midst of the garden. But the first woman was deceived and she ate one piece of fruit from that tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Then she gave some to Adam. He ate it too—knowing it was wrong to do so. They both yielded to their own desires instead of obeying and pleasing God. The first man and woman instantly became transgressors, guilty of disobedience to their Creator. God had made it clear that they then would experience the process of death, which began the very day Adam and Eve ate that fruit. How quickly wickedness began to grow after man sowed those first seeds of disobedience. Then he began to reap the sad result. The sin of man brought shame into the world. And the end result of sin is death. God was therefore forced to place restrictions on all human beings who were yet to come in the world.
Why did God plant that tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the first place, knowing it would be the source of disobedience in man?
As a sovereign or supreme entity God is not under the authority of anything or anyone therefore He has the freedom to say or do as He chooses. And He created man in His own image—so man, like God, also has a free will. This means God gave man the power of choice. Man can choose to obey God or disobey Him, to love God or hate Him. He can choose to serve God or his own physical nature. God is all-seeing and all-knowing. So He already knew what man’s reaction was going to be before Adam and Eve ever ate the forbidden fruit. Yet man had to be tested, to prove whether or not he would be obedient to God.
Man was created capable of reason (unlike the animals). God also gave all of us the capability of deciding for ourselves. And He made us capable of being immortal—by eating the fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. This special tree was an indication that Adam and Eve would never have died if they had not disobeyed God.
This means that there would have been no physical death in the garden, because the fruit of this special tree would have been available to them for healing if needed. Therefore, man did not originally need to die, but could have lived forever with God instead.
And that same original life God gave man furnished him with a nature fully capable of knowing, loving, and serving God. However, having this kind of relationship with God does not guarantee man’s salvation—meaning deliverance from the power and effects of sin. Only those who have been quickened into new life through spiritual rebirth (being ‘born again’ by His Holy Spirit) are really His children.
Jesus Christ created the whole universe. He declared Himself to be not only the Creator, but also the object of creation. “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3) by Jesus’ divine, eternal, living Word. And all the true children of God have been born again by means of the word of God (1 Peter 1:23).
The Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden symbolized Jesus coming down from Heaven into this world as a man, in order to be the eternal living ‘Tree of Life’ for man. His ‘fruit’ from this tree for the nourishment of life is within man’s reach.
All need to eat of this fruit, not the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Jesus, as that ‘eternal Tree of life,’ has been made available to us so that we can live—with God—forevermore!
For more information on how to obtain this ‘fruit’ for yourself please click here.