The Garden of Eden, that place of pleasure and delight, we lost because of our sin—and God, in His mercy and grace, will restore it to us on Christ’s behalf.
The Garden of Eden was a place where man could meet God. The Creator “was walking in the garden in the cool of the day” in Genesis 3:8, and Adam and Eve could be with Him and converse with Him.
The Garden of Eden was a place of total provision. God had seen to every detail in designing a home for humanity, created in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Adam and Eve lacked nothing and were “free to eat from any tree in the garden” (Genesis 2:16), except for one. Their diet was vegetarian (Genesis 1:29).
The Garden of Eden was a place of unity and fellowship. Eve was created in the garden and brought to Adam (Genesis 2:21–22). Thus, Adam had “a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). The unity and fellowship enjoyed by the human couple was a reflection of the unity and fellowship they both enjoyed with God.
The Garden of Eden was a place of work and fulfillment. When God placed Adam in the garden, He gave the man a task: Adam was “to work [the garden] and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). What God had planted, Adam was to maintain. This task was in addition to Adam’s mandate to “be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:29). Mankind was blessed by God, given responsibility, and provided work that was meaningful, creative, and beneficial.
The Garden of Eden became a place of atonement and hope. The sin of Adam and Eve was met with God’s judgment, but in the midst of the judgment was mercy. God covered their nakedness—of which they were now ashamed—with animal skins (Genesis 3:21). And He gave them good news: in His judgment on the serpent, God said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This verse acknowledges the curse on mankind and the related strife, but it also promises God’s provision of a Savior who would do battle with the serpent and win. This Savior would be the “offspring of the woman”; eventually, Jesus, the virgin-born Son of God, came “to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). From the beginning, God had the plan of salvation in mind, and no sooner had sin entered the world than He informed us of that plan.
The Garden of Eden will be restored. Our access to the eternal garden of God is based on our restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ (see Luke 23:40–43). The One who laid down His life for us has defeated the serpent and opened paradise: “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). In the New Jerusalem, there is “a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything” (Revelation 22:1–3a, NLT).
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