Empty Eden

For him, it never began.
Genesis 1 is the start of the story
but our protagonist is already on stage
and he’s been there forever:
‘in the beginning, God.’

Not in the beginning, nothing,
for he was there.
Not in the beginning, us –
we were nowhere to be seen,
but in the beginning:

Divine community.
Existing in infinity.
Dwelling in eternity:

For us, it began:
‘in the beginning, God created,
and it began in a garden.

We were made in his image,
made in his likeness,
and he was delighted to watch
us give animals names,
learning to reign
and imitate our Father
in his creativity.
The ground was unbroken
Face to face, we had spoken to God
as we do with our friends.

Then we listened to the lie:
There’s something better than this.
Do you really want to be with God,
when you could be like God?

We envied God’s position,
his power and his knowledge.
We rejected his authority
preferring our autonomy,
we traded perfection for brokenness,
His presence for loneliness,
our shamelessness for shamefulness.

Enter sin.
and death.

See, here’s our family history in a nutshell:
our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents
weren’t so great.

By the bent of our hearts.
We see our teeth marks
in the same fruit as Adam.

This first garden was the place
where we questioned God’s goodness.
But God himself would weep in another garden
because he is overwhelmingly good.

Understand this:
had our rejected Creator never responded to us with anything but anger,
he would have been justified.

But God responded to our empty Eden
by enfleshing the everlasting,
and in a little town called Bethlehem,
the one who had always been,
was born.

The one through whom all things were made
was made like us, for us;
that humanity would find hope
in a second tree
and another garden,
because in Gethsemane,
Jesus obeyed.
He bore our sin,
and with humility,
He did what we didn’t:
He did what his Father asked.

And for our disobedience,
Jesus died.
and for our assurance,
and for God’s glory,
Jesus rose.

This is the gospel:
two gardens; two trees.
From one death came to Eden,
On the other, victory
over death came
through Jesus,
that we would fall on our knees
and worship
for we are granted life and spared death,
at the cross.