Return to Eden
For those who attend the Superior Word in person, you know that most of the artwork in the church came from the hand of my paternal grandmother, Adelaide Garrett. She was a true artist, working in oils, pottery, needlepoint, and a host of other mediums. And much of her work centered on biblical motifs.
We have quite a few of her works here, but one that I never brought in until now is that of a pottery plate depicting four people in a beautiful garden setting. There is a father, a mother, and two boys. This is not an idealized picture of her own family. She had three sons and the two boys in the picture are old enough so that the third son was also already born.
This isn’t a picture of the family of one of her own sons either as it was done in 1962 which was too early for a family setting for any of them. The back of the plate gives us an insight into what she was thinking of. It is entitled “Wayfarers.”
A wayfarer is someone on a journey. Grandma knew that man, since the fall of Adam, has been on a journey. And so it seems likely that she was thinking of the first family – Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel. This seems likely when looking closely at the plate.
As I said, the family is in a garden-like setting. There is the man on the left side of the plate, meaning the right side of the family. We will call him Adam. He’s kneeling in the sand and has a butterfly on his right hand that he is curiously looking at. His left hand is on the shoulder of the younger of the two sons who is looking up at the butterfly with innocent curiosity. We’ll call this boy Abel.
The nearness of the son to dad, and the hand on his shoulder, is a sign of protection, love, and contentment. Next in the picture, to the left of the little boy is a lovely lady. We’ll call her Eve.
Her head is looking in the direction of the butterfly too, with a smile on her face. But the smile isn’t as upturned as Adam. And her eyes are wistfully looking a bit downward, as if she is lost in contemplation about something nicer than a butterfly.
He is ever the optimist seemingly taking advantage of the moment and figuring that it is what is meant to be at that time and place. She, however, seems to be remembering how much better it was at an earlier time, a time that is now seemingly gone forever. She looks lovely in the flowery lei which adorns her neck, but the look on her face steals away some of the beauty she was adorned with.
And then, finally to her left and at the furthest distance from Adam, is the oldest son. We’ll call him Cain. He is looking in the same direction as the others, to the right, but his eyes are not on the butterfly at all. Instead, they are directed down a bit from there… they are directed towards Abel.
But even more, they are looking at Abel even though they now appear closed. It seems that he looked at his younger brother, made a mental image of what he saw – standing there close to dad and with dad’s hand on his shoulder… and even seemingly guarded by mom who stands between the two boys, and his mind is contemplating what his eyes just saw.
His arms are drawn in tightly next to him, as if he’s purposely restraining them from doing what they really want to do. And, unlike his younger brother, he is partly hidden from the depiction by a wall of rocks. Maybe his mind is thinking about what he could do with one of those rocks…
Text Verse: “Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5
Trouble came into the world because of one misdeed by our first father. Paradise was lost, fellowship with God was ended, and a life of toil and struggle was set before mankind. But, even in their disobedience, the Lord promised to restore that which was lost. This has been the hope of man ever since.
Everybody looks forward to something better. Nobody in their right mind gets up in the morning and says, “I hope today will be worse than yesterday.” Instead, we are always hoping for better. And no matter how good yesterday was, we want today to be even gooder than that.
But no matter how marvelous one day is over the one before, even for an infinite number of marvelous days, none will be perfect as long as we walk in this fallen world. What we need is a new world; one where all things… are new. This is the hope of man, and this is the promise of God.
This hope is found once again through another Man. What He did makes our hope possible, and in fact, it makes it sure. The proof of it is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and this is why we have come here today. We have come to celebrate our.return.to.Eden. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. Vanity of Vanities
Concerning the plate and the symbolism behind it that I see, well… its all speculation. But the depiction so closely matches the account of our first family that it’s hard to not think that they are who were on the mind of Grandma Garrett as she worked the clay into a depiction for us to ponder.
Adam had brought trouble upon himself and his family and now it was his job to make the best of the situation. Eve’s state of mind concerning the place she had once been is evident in the naming of her two children. To understand the context of the names she chose, we need to look at the surrounding story.
In chapter 3, we saw that Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. They had every possible delight that they could imagine and nothing was withheld from them except the fruit of one tree; just one. But of all of the wonderful delights that they could have had, they instead had their eyes directed to the one thing that was forbidden to them.
They believed the lies of the serpent, they disobeyed their Creator, and all three of them were justly sentenced for their crime. But in the sentencing of the serpent came a promise. It was something that both Adam and Eve will later respond to in their own way. In Genesis 3:15, we find these words now known as the protoevangelium or “the first gospel” –
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15
A promise was made that One would come to destroy the serpent. What is implied is that if the serpent is destroyed, then the enmity between God and man would end. And what is explicitly stated is that it would be the Seed of the woman who would bring this about. Good news indeed!
After the sentencing of the serpent, the Lord sentenced the woman and then Adam. After the sentencing, the first thing that is recorded is this –
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” Genesis 3:20
It seems odd that this would be the first thing that man would do after being sentenced for his crimes, but it shows what was preeminently on his mind. The name Eve is the Hebrew word Khavah which means “Life.” Adam was just sentenced to death, and yet he names her Life. He had paid attention to the Lord’s words.
Eve was told that her husband would rule over her. By naming the woman, he claimed dominion and authority over her, just as when he had named the animals. But in choosing the name Khavah, or “Life,” he was demonstrating faith in God’s promise to provide a Redeemer. He had died spiritually, and he was sentenced to a physical death as well, but he looked forward to life.
He knew this Redeemer would restore them to spiritual life and fellowship with God, and he knew that He would be the Seed of the woman. He just didn’t know what seed or when. His concern was that He would, in fact, come. The Lord had spoken and the man believed the word. What was dead would be made alive. Only after Adam showed faith in the promises of the Lord do we read the next words of the story –
“Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
By an act of faith in the promises of God through the Lord, Adam was clothed, thus hiding his nakedness. It is a pattern which is seen in the faithful ever since – demonstrate faith and then receive a suitable covering. Once the man and his wife were covered, we read the final, tragic words of Genesis 3 –
“Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:22, 23
For them, it was the end of the garden of God. Paradise was lost and the way of access to the tree of life was guarded. All there was left was hope of regaining that access somehow, some way… some day. The Seed would make it possible. This is where their hope lay. Surely a better day lay ahead.
Until then, they could only carry the memory of the perfection they once beheld. That must have been the most painful part of the entire ordeal. No matter how good today was, and even if ten thousand times ten thousand days lay ahead, each better than the one before, it would never compare to the day… that lay behind.
This is the context of their sad state, and this is what leads us into Chapter 4 of Genesis with these even more pitiful words –
“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, I have acquired a man from the Lord.’ 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel.” Genesis 4:1, 2
At some point after being cast from the Garden of Eden, the first thing the Bible records is the birth of Cain. In victory, Eve cried out, qaniti ish eth Yehovah – “I have acquired man with the Lord.”
The word “acquired” is the Hebrew word qaniti and it’s where Qayin, or Cain, comes from. Concerning the words she chose, the significance is that she was taking credit for what she thought would be the delivery of her Deliverer.
Instead of using the word im for “with,” she used the word eth. She was actively stating that she was responsible for what had come about. If I say that I am building a house with wood, it doesn’t mean that the wood is actually doing anything. It is just being used in a passive way for the house to be built.
However, if I say that I am building a house with Jesus, then both Jesus and I are actively building the house. This is Eve’s intent in relation to the Lord. She claimed she was an active participant in what was happening as she worked to bring in the Seed who would restore her to the Garden. Although not a literal translation, the NET Bible gives us the sense of her pitiful words –
“I have created a man just as the LORD did!” (NET Bible)
The reason for how pitiful they are is because of the very next verse –
“Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel.” Genesis 4:2
There is no note of victory, no hint of joy, nothing. It doesn’t even say why he is named Abel. Instead, this is all it says. Because of this, we need to know what Abel means. Abel, or hevel, means “breath.” It is passing vapor, the kind of breath that one sees on a cold morning, just for a moment… and then it is gone. It is also translated as “vanity” or “meaningless,” and thus we can more clearly understand Solomon’s words from Ecclesiastes –
havel havelim amar qohelet havel havelim ha’kol havel, or
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher;
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 1:2
Eve felt victorious at the birth of her son. She thought that she had merited Paradise once again. Through her efforts in the pain of childbirth, she thought she was ushering in her messiah. She thought she was responsible for making a man who would redeem her and set her on high.
Instead however, with the second agony of childbirth, she realized that there was just another mouth to feed, another set of sleepless nights, and the woeful prospect of even more children ahead. She was under the dominion of her husband and she was subservient to the responsibilities she had for the children she bore.
Life under the sun was not like life under heaven. Paradise was gone and apparently the Promise was misunderstood. All is vanity; all is meaningless; all is chasing after the wind. What a sad end to the story of her life. She is never mentioned by name again in the Old Testament. She is simply referred to as the wife of Adam.
And as a final tormenting disgrace for her, her first child – in fact the first person ever born – turned out to be a murderer. He killed his little brother and he was removed by the Lord to be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth. He moved to the east, even further from that wondrous spot of delight, making himself and his seed enemies of God.
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” says the Preacher
What a woeful, mournful life we lead
It’s is even tedious to be a renowned teacher
But that’s no excuse students, so pay heed
Life under the heavens is grand indeed
But life under the sun is wearisome at best
Sit up straight and be sure to take heed
For at the end of the sermon, you will be given a test
Do you want to live out your life under the sun?
Chasing the wind, with never enough speed?
Or do you want to live life under the heavens, eternal fun
Sit up straight children, its time to pay heed
II. An Amazing Genealogy
From the early Genesis account, it can be deduced that the generations of Adam knew that a Redeemer would come. Hints of this pop up again and again in the record. Eventually, the story arrives at Abraham. About 2100 years after the creation, he was called out of his homeland and told to go to a place which God would show him.
Abraham faithfully did as he was asked and set off towards Canaan. After some years, and at an advancing age, he was made a promise by the Lord. In the exchange came wonderful words for the faithful of all ages to consider –
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”
4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
The Lord made a marvelous promise, Abraham believed Him, and we are told that He accounted it to him for righteousness. He had done nothing more than to take the Lord at His word, and he was credited with that for righteousness. Like his first father, Adam, he demonstrated faith in the word and he was covered by the Lord.
Abraham lived in faith and he passed that life of faith onto his son of promise, Isaac. From Isaac, the promise was passed on to his son, Jacob. And from Jacob, who is Israel, came twelve sons, all included in the blessing of Abraham – each son a tribe, and each tribe a part of the covenant people.
But, there were also other people of faith, and who demonstrated faith along the way. These too played an important role in what was to come. The daughters of Lot, who are so often maligned for the incestuous relations they had with their father, were looking forward to the same Redeemer that Eve had awaited.
The children they bore were to become enemies of God’s covenant people, and yet from them both (and thus from their father Lot) came sons who are in the genealogy of this Promised One. The Bible never wastes words. Each story is intended to show us something wonderful about this marvelous thing God was doing through the stream of time and human existence.
At a certain point in the life and times of the covenant people Israel, a time when they were in bondage to another nation, a child was born to a Levite. The child was named Moses and from him would come a marvelous part of the story of redemptive history.
He became Israel’s human deliverer and lawmaker. It was he who spoke with the Lord, face to face, and who received the law which would guide them for the next 1400 hundred or so years. Through him, the covenant was made with Israel which would be for many blessings and many, many curses.
Little did they know that they were being used as a picture of deeper spiritual truths for us to consider. But one thing they did know, through them would come the Promised One. The anticipation must have built each time a new prophet would come and proclaim a little bit more about Him.
Hints of His coming would be proclaimed and then be added to the corporate body of writings that they maintained. Each letter and each word would be studied and contemplated as they awaited either more words, or the promised arrival.
Backing up for a moment to a time while Jacob was still alive, it was made known to them that this Redeemer would come through his fourth son, Judah. And the record of Judah’s life gave more hints. The Deliverer would come through his own daughter-in-law that he slept with, thinking she was a prostitute.
Rather than a woman of such an ignoble profession, she was a woman of faith. She knew of the promise and she didn’t want to be denied her rights within this group of people to bear a child. In her act of faith of disguising herself as a harlot, she was granted not just one child, but two. And more, the second one, Perez, would be in the line of the coming One. Another story, another hint.
Arriving once again at the time of Moses, the story takes the people of Israel from Egypt all the way back to the borders of Canaan, the Land of Promise. There, to the east of Canaan, Moses died and was buried. After that, Joshua led them across the Jordan and to their rightful home.
From the time of the giving of the law until the time of David, history was recorded, and more hints of the Coming One were seen, but it wasn’t until the time of David that an open and explicit promise was once again made. It involved David’s house and his kingdom. Not only would the Messiah come through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah, but He would come through David as well –
“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:12-16
Because we now know that He would come through David, we know that He would come through Tamar and Perez because this is the line from which David came. But how ironic it is! Not only would He descend from a woman who Judah thought was a prostitute, but He would also come from an actual prostitute.
David’s great-great grandfather married the prostitute Rahab who was a Canaanite woman and a friend of Israel. Together they had a son named Boaz. This wonderful man of valor then married a woman of Moab named Ruth, and it is Ruth who descends from the incestuous relationship between Lot and his eldest daughter.
What an amazing God that has aligned history to take the most unlikely of circumstances, and the most curious line of people imaginable and to insert them into the history of the Savior of the world! But there is more. David, despite having received such a great promise from the Lord, failed to honor Him as he should.
One night while his army was away in battle, he arose from his bed and walked on the roof of his house. While there, he saw a woman bathing in the cool of the evening and he let his passion get the best of him. He called for her and took her, though she was married to one of the mighty men of his army.
In due time, he had the woman’s husband killed, and he took her as his own wife. From this union, to a descendant of the cursed line of Canaan, would come Solomon, the son who would continue the line of promise made to David. And from Solomon came another son who would be king, Rehoboam.
What is notable about him is that he was born to Solomon and an Ammonitess woman. Thus she was a descendant of the people from the union between Lot and his second daughter in that cave in the wilderness. Their union resulted in a son named Ben-Ammi, who is the father of the Ammonites.
What transpired in that cave between Lot and his two daughters was intended to first give us a picture of the coming Christ and secondly, to lead us to Him. In picture, the names of the children show us the Divine/human nature of the Lord. Moab means “From father.” Ben-Ammi means “Son of my people.”
Jesus is “from Father” being Divine, and the “Son of My people” being of the human stock of Israel. In blood, He comes from all five of these people – Lot, his two daughters, and their two sons. Each step of human history, each page of the Bible, and each story on each page leads us a little closer to the marvel of God’s stepping into the stream of humanity.
Unusual seems hardly the word!
What a strange set of stories, what a sordid group of people
But it is through them that came Jesus our Lord
And it is He whom we worship under the church steeple
If God could use people such as this in this way
Then surely God can use each one of us too
Don’t fret and worry your whole life away
Instead make the best of the gifts He has given to you
For Christ has come and He has redeemed Adam’s seed
In Him the victory is won; Paradise is restored
So let us follow Him and praise Him, yes indeed!
Yes, let us glorify God, through Jesus our Lord
III. Christ Died, Christ Lives, Christ Will Come Again
From David, and down through his sons, people came and went. At times, it seemed that the promise the Lord made to David would fail. Because of constant disobedience, the Lord promised to cut off the house of David and to remove it from being His line of authority. This is seen in the woeful words of Jeremiah 22 –
As I live,” says the Lord, “though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off; 25 and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear—the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were not born; and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return.
28 “Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol—
A vessel in which is no pleasure?
Why are they cast out, he and his descendants,
And cast into a land which they do not know?
29 O earth, earth, earth,
Hear the word of the Lord!
30 Thus says the Lord:
‘Write this man down as childless,
A man who shall not prosper in his days;
For none of his descendants shall prosper,
Sitting on the throne of David,
And ruling anymore in Judah.’” Jeremiah 22:24-30
The Lord promised to cut off Coniah and remove him from the throne. Did the former promise to David then fail? Was there no hope for Israel? And if no hope for Israel, then the Gentiles had none too. Isaiah’s words said that the promise would not be for just Israel, but for Gentiles. With the line severed, was all hope lost?
The answer is, “No.” After the exile, a man name Zerubbabel came along. To him, through the mouth of the prophet Haggai, the promise of restoration was made –
And again the word of the Lord came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying:
‘I will shake heaven and earth.
22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms;
I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.
I will overthrow the chariots
And those who ride in them;
The horses and their riders shall come down,
Every one by the sword of his brother.
23 ‘In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the Lord, ‘and will make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:20-23
It is this person, Zerubbabel, or “Seed of Babylon,” that the genealogy of Christ unites in the records of Matthew and Luke. Matthew’s genealogy of Christ follows the line of Solomon; Luke’s follows the line of Nathan, another son of David. But they both unite in Zerubbabel.
The signet was restored, the line would continue, hope was stirred! However, not too long after the time of Haggai, the prophetic writings ended. The last prophet to be heard from was Malachi. He gave stern warnings to Israel, but he also gave them hope. For those who were of faith, he promised hope –
“Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:1
And so the people waited. As the years passed, anticipation grew. And then after 430 years, He came. The light dawned and the heavenly host praised God saying –
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
He had arrived; the time had come; the Child was born. The long awaited Seed of the woman would come to crush the head of the serpent and restore Paradise to fallen man. However, what He did and the record of His life is confusing to so many.
The things He said, the things He did, and the path He chose seemed contradictory to a great and reigning King or a mighty Savior. And so, many of His followers fell away. They couldn’t understand what He was doing. None of what He did seemed to make sense to them. The leaders hated Him, the people for the most part scorned Him, and even His family thought He was out of His mind.
And yet, the people still questioned, “Could this be the Son of David?” The promises had been made, the lines had been set, He seemed to fit the job description in so many ways, but they weren’t sure. The things He talked about seemed hopeful, but they also seemed so distant.
If this were the Redeemer, then why doesn’t He redeem? “When will we receive the promise?” Israel couldn’t understand. The problem is that they didn’t go back to the beginning. Instead of going to the heart of the problem which was identified at the beginning there in Genesis, they worked backward to a certain point and they stopped.
They held fast to the throne of David based on the promise to him. They boasted in the law because of their great lawgiver, Moses. They called themselves Jews because they knew that they predominantly descended from Judah. They clung to their identity as Israel because they were the people of God. And they gloried in their father Abraham because he was the first Hebrew.
But that is where it stopped with them. Everything beyond that was stuff for Sabbath stories and tales of old. They missed the fact that each one of those people that they boasted in was found to have boasted not in someone who came before them, but to have boasted in the Lord. They weren’t convinced of their own righteousness; they were aware of their sin. And as for David who was under the law, they missed what he said about the law that they boasted in –
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1, 2
David didn’t look to the law for righteousness; he looked to forgiveness of the law through atonement. Israel had missed the mark and they had stumbled over the stumbling stone. The problem wasn’t oppression of people who kept them from living out the law in the right manner. The problem was oppression from sin, which the law only highlighted.
And sin was the result of the work of the…. well, of the serpent. They failed to remember the lesson of Adam. They failed to heed the naming of Abel. They missed the declaration of Abraham’s righteousness which came hundreds of years before the law.
They even failed to listen to the words of Solomon – the wisest man who ever lived. It is true that Solomon began the book of Ecclesiastes with the memorable words, “Vanity of vanities.” But he also closes the book out with them as well. In the last chapter, verse 8, he repeats the sentiment –
havel havelim amar qohelet havel havelim
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“All is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 8:12
A few verses later, he closes the book with these words –
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14
The people were admonished to stand in fear of God and keep His commandments. But the lesson of their own writings under the law that they boasted in was that none could keep His commandments. The law only highlighted their sin; it only revealed what Genesis 3 taught – the commandment brings death, not life.
Jesus, and all of His curious teachings and actions, were intended to wake them up from their slumber and to show them that they needed something more – they needed Him. He even told them this explicitly. They were looking for a promised Redeemer, and well,,,, there He stood –
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” John 5:39, 40
The law was opposed to them; the law condemned them; the law couldn’t bring life. And so He came to fulfill it for them. In the next chapter, He told them exactly what they needed to do in order to please God –
“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:29
Instead, they persecuted Him, they shunned Him, they beat Him, and they… had Him nailed to a tree. The Redeemer of the world; the One who had come through this sordid genealogy of murderers, harlots, incestuous relationships, and wayward kings… was crucified for every one of their sins.
In the wisdom of God, He set it up so that this was the inevitable end for Him, and the inevitable end of sin. From the law itself, Paul explains what Christ did for us –
But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:11-14
The law said that everyone who hangs on a tree is accursed. Christ, who knew no sin, became sin so that we might be freed from the law. Now, through Him, we have become the righteousness of God in Him. When Christ died, the veil was torn. On that veil was a depiction of cherubim. They were there, guarding access to the Tree of Life, behind the veil.
Now through the torn body of Christ, we have access once again to that Tree and to the Paradise that was lost so long ago. The flaming swords have ceased turning. There behind the veil, Eden’s wonderful delights await any who will come through His finished work, by a mere act of faith.
Eve, your Redeemer has come. Rest well because He has made a way back for you to your place of contentment and eternal joy.
But how can we be so sure of this? How can we know that what He did was sufficient? It is because Christ didn’t just die on a cross and get secreted away in a cave, there to decay along with our sins. No, the reason why we are here today is because we serve a risen Christ, a living Savior, and an Anchor for our weary soul.
Christ rose, proving that He had no sin of His own. Christ rose, proving that our sin died with Him. Christ rose guaranteeing our return to Eden, and to enjoy face to face fellowship with Him for all eternity. The story is complete in Christ. The hope is grounded. The day will come when those who have waited in faith will be rewarded for that faith. May that day be soon! Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Closing Verse: “He is risen!” Mark 16:6
Next Week: Exodus 25:23-30 Hey Mabel, wonderful things to be found in His word! (A Table in the Presence of the Lord) (69th Exodus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and a purpose for You. Though Paradise was lost, He offers access to it once again through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So call on Him, and trust Him, and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
A Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
This is the gospel which was preached to you
It is also the one you received and on which you stand
It is the gospel of salvation, providing life that’s new
And which will carry you to the promised Holy Land
What is delivered to you is what was before received
That Christ died for our sins according to God’s word
He was buried and He rose and so we have believed
And many witnesses testify to this message you have heard
Now if Christ is preached that He is risen from the dead
How can some among you say the resurrection isn’t true?
If there is no resurrection after Christ was crucified and bled
Then our faith as well as yours is certainly askew
And if so, we are found false witnesses of God
Because we have wrongly testified of this mighty deed
And our faith is futile, no heavenly street’s we’ll trod
And we are still dead in our sins, fallen Adam’s seed
Even more, those who have fallen asleep in the Lord are gone
And we are the most pitiable creatures the world could ever look upon
But indeed Christ is risen from the dead
He is the Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep
And as death came through one Man, Adam our federal head
So Christ will make all alive, our souls He will keep
But there is an order to the Resurrection call
Christ was first, the pattern for the rest when He comes
When He does, He will make a shout out to us all
And we will rise as if to the sounds of heavenly battle drums
Then comes the time, when He delivers the kingdom to the Father
When all rule, authority, and power have come to an end
The last enemy to be destroyed is death, never more to bother
Then the Son will to the Father eternal rule extend
But you ask, what will we be like after our time of sleep
After we have been buried in corruption’s pit so deep
Our body is sown in dishonor, but it will be raised in glory
It is sown in weakness, but raised in power – the resurrection story
The first man Adam became a living being, it’s true
The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit, life to me and you
And as was the man of dust, created so long ago
So are those likened unto him, also made of dust
And as is the Man, the Lord from heaven, you know
That we shall bear His image for eternity just as we’ve discussed
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God
Nor can corruption inherit that which in incorrupt
Be we shall all be changed, and so heavenly streets we’ll trod
In the twinkling of an eye, the change will be abrupt
When the last trumpet sounds we will be taken to glory
We shall all be changed, completion of the gospel story
Where O Death, O where is your sting
When Christ our Savior, us to Himself does He bring
Where O Hades, O where is your victory
When Christ translates His children to eternal glory
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin the law
But thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord
My beloved brethren be steadfast in all you’ve heard and saw
And cling confidently to God’s eternal word
Know for certain that your labor is not in vain
Be of good cheer, Christ is coming again
Hallelujah and Amen…