The Gardens

Garden of EdenArrogance, insolence, audacity, pride, smugness, haughtiness…

You’ll find these, back long ago, in the Garden.

They set the stage for the Downfall, the Rebellion.

Though they were warned, it happened anyway.

“Is that what God really meant?”, the serpent asked Eve. The way in which he proposed his question, he really was saying, “Oh, come on, woman! You’ve been around long enough to know the score. Sure, God said something about that tree. But you and your husband are in charge. You’ve got to make some decisions for yourself, you know. You’re not stupid! You don’t need someone telling you how to run your life. It’s your garden isn’t it? Well then, act like it!”

My, how tasty the fruit looked!

Arrogance will always distort one’s senses.

Adam (he was with his wife) and Eve stood in front of the tree, as the serpent’s toxic words poisoned their souls.

You can only listen to the serpent, the tempter, for just so long. There will come a time you must act. Either you’ll act on the poison you’ve heard, or you will turn and walk away.

Adam and Eve chose to stay. They didn’t cry out to God, instead they handled it on their own. They believed they could figure out life, handle all their problems, decide what’s right and wrong for themselves.

Besides, they were hungry!

Arrogance went to seed – and it spread throughout the human race. The first Adam left his mark.

And left the Garden under the dominion of the devil.

Fast forward a few thousand years. To another Garden.

You’ll find Jesus, facing the Trial, the Temptation, of the Ages. His trial was the same as the first Adam’s. No, it wasn’t about which tree He should eat from. But then, the first trial wasn’t really about the tree or the fruit.

Jesus’ faced the same serpent, the same devil, as Adam and Eve. The venom of arrogance, pride, haughtiness, and the like loomed large in Jesus’ ears.

“You don’t need to go to the cross, Jesus.” (remember, the devil tried telling Jesus that same thing earlier, through Peter) “You have done so much good, cast out so many demons, healed so many who were sick. Why, you’ve even raised people from the dead! No, this world needs you. Just like you are. Give it up. Eat this fruit I’m holding out for you. It’s about time you started thinking for yourself, anyway! Besides, you’re the Son of God, remember? It’s time you stood on your rights and demanded blessings from your Father.”

My, how tasty rebellion looks when peddled by the spirit of arrogance!

All of Heaven was watching, waiting in silence, as Jesus battled those words in His mind. Once or twice He even questioned His Father, “is there possibly some other way?” Of course, there were other ways! That’s what made the devil’s words so powerful! Jesus had options. So did Adam and Eve.

Adam and Eve took the easy route. They gave in.

Jesus said, “Not My will, but Yours be done.” The second Adam was not going to fail. He acted. He set His heart, His mind, and His body toward the cross. It was there He would pay for Adam and Eve’s rebellion. It was there He would bear the wrath of God for all mankind.

But it was in the Garden where the greatest battle was fought.

Jesus stood up, wiped the drops of bloody sweat from His brow, and headed toward the cross. Arrogance and pride, the serpent’s venom, could not turn Jesus from His Father’s plan.

The second Adam left the second Garden a victor!

“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:10-18 NKJV

The price would be paid for Adam and Eve’s rebellion. Once Jesus was raised from the dead, the devil would have no legal authority over man any longer.

The cross bore the Savior, Who bore our sorrows and grief (Isaiah 53). The tomb stored the body of Jesus until full payment was made. The Resurrection was God’s declaration to the world, the angels, and the devil himself: “Sin is no longer the master of the human race! Arrogance and rebellion no longer have the final word! Whoever will humble themselves and receive My Son, shall not walk in darkness or sin, but will have the light of life!”

“He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” Romans 4:25 NLT

Amen!

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