Oh, what a sight it was. As he looked out over the landscape, he couldn’t help but think this was something amazing. Animals gently grazing, fruit trees with luscious food, a stream running smoothly over rocks that seemed to be placed just so, with tender care. It’s been called Eden, thought Adam. Adam’s wife Eve was preparing a meal, smiling, beckoning for Adam to come and be playful again. Things were just so perfect. But then Eve remembered. There was another person, with the voice of an angel, but eyes that seemed to contradict the voice. He was not like them, yet he was like them. He made Eve think of the slithering creature they had seen down by the orchard one night, almost serpent like. He wanted to see her, tonight. Should she go? There was a certain intrigue about him. Maybe…
You know the story. And you know the biblical proportions of the damage that was done once both Eve and Adam gave into to the temptations presented to them. That damage has compounded due to each one of us participating in defiance of our Maker. You have felt it, and I have too. The unexpected death of a loved one. The diagnosis of cancer. The loneliness and impact of divorce. Abuse & selfish arguments that defy the good relationship we truly want with the other person. There are food shortages in much of the world. Even recently we’ve seen earthquakes and hurricanes and volcanoes erupt. Wars, rumors of wars. Then there is our society that seems to have gone mad. People hating other people because of their politics, wanting gun control (but be sure to shoot those who don’t before you put the guns away). It’s all wrapped up in a word. We don’t like it much, but we know it. Sin.
And so, we live in the wreckage of Eden. God placed his angel at the entry, flaming sword in hand, and would not allow sinful man to return to his perfect environment, no fruit from the tree of life. We’ve been struggling to make sense of things and right the wrongs ever since. We take one step forward, and two back. And that’s the nature of things. Unless. Unless we can find a way to have a new creation.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old is gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17) It was promised in Isaiah, “See, I will create a new heaven and a new earth, the former things will not be remembered.” (Isaiah 65:17) And it will be fulfilled with Jesus’ return, “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13) And again, from John the Apostle, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away.” (Revelation 21:1).
Is this world messed up? Indeed. Has your life been messed up at times, maybe even now? Indeed, I would expect you to say. But God has not left us to wander aimlessly in the dark. Through Jesus he has provided forgiveness of sins, a renewed relationship with the Lord, and a pathway back to the wonders and joy of Eden. The wrongs will be made right, every tear will be wiped away. Health restored, vigor renewed. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon, very soon. It’s what you’ve been longing for. Me too.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the lamb. And on each side of the river stood the tree of life…yielding its fruit.” (Rev. 22)