Summary: This is a message regarding the progression of the biblical account of The Tree of Life from Genesis to Revelation with special emphasis to Cross.
“The Tree of Life”
This morning I want to talk to you about the biblical concept of “Tree of Life.”
The Word of God is real; the Word of God is relevant. We came here today to worship God and to fellowship one another, but let’s also leave with something that we can apply to our life, today.
Professor Merrill C. Tenney, Dean of the Wheaton Graduate School of Theology, is quoted as saying: "Neglect one area of the Scriptures in our teaching and preaching and that area will become the seed bed for tomorrow’s heresies."
The Bible is foundational for Christian living. We don’t need any “self help” books. As followers of Jesus Christ we can go to the source. The Word of God is like a spring of life to those who find it. So, this morning I just want to get into God’s Word and seek to understand it better.
The first place in Bible where we hear of the tree of life is in the very first book of the Bible. In Genesis 2:9 (ESV) the Bible says; “And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
You see, in a special place in the center of the Garden of Eden there were two trees; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life.
The book of Genesis describes the fall of man. When Eve was deceived by the serpent and subsequently Adam was deceived as well. They both ate of the forbidden tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Listen to what the Bible says concerning the other special tree; the tree of life, after mankind had fallen into sin;
In Genesis 3:22-24 (ESV) “Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever--" therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the Garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.”
Mankind had access to the tree of life in the garden. In the book of Genesis we see that God gave permission to Adam and Eve to eat from every tree. So we have no reason to believe that they did not eat of the tree of life prior to the fall.
Mankind was intended to live forever. Now we don’t know what kind of fruit was on these trees. But the Bible is clear; there were two trees with literal physical fruit.
The importance of the fruit of the tree of life is that the benefit of that fruit is eternal life. All believers still have the hope of sharing in the fruit of the tree of life.
After the biblical account of the tree of life found in the book of Genesis, we again find the tree of life spoken of in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 22:1-2 (NASB) “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
The JFB Commentary says that, “just as different seasons are now marked by their own productions; only that then, unlike now, there shall be no season without its fruit, and there shall be an endless variety.”
In the garden mankind tasted of the tree of life. Prior to the fall of man into sin, men and women would have enjoyed eternal life. The fall brought with it the curse of death.
This death is and was both physical and spiritual. When Adam sinned, he acted as the head of mankind. His sin has become our sin. God judged that sin and cast us out of not only the garden but also away from the tree of life.
Revelation 22:14 (NASB) goes on the say; “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.”
Regarding this passage Adam Clarke in his commentary on the Bible, says, “God’s grace through Christ produces the good, and then rewards it as if all had been our own.”