April 26, 2013 by Chris French
The curse is finally gone!
When Satan tricked Adam and Eve into eating the forbidden fruit their sin opened their descendants to pain. Life was going to be hard now because of sin and because of sin our stay in the Garden of Eden was cut short. God kicked man out of perfect relationship with Him and set up an angel to protect the entrance to the Garden of Eden just in case man tried to sneak back in (Gen. 3.24). The rest of the Bible is the story of God working out how to bring man back into perfect relationship with Him. The last book of the Bible tells us that one day that curse will finally be gone and we can go back to having a perfect relationship with God.
Notice all the flags God includes in Revelation 21-22 to help us remember the Garden of Eden. In Revelation 21.12 as He’s describing the new Jerusalem He tells us that this “city” has twelve gates, each one made out of one massive pearl (Rev. 21.21), and an angel to guard each gate. No longer are the angels keeping man out. Now they’re a sign of the protection and safety God’s people will find in Heaven. You don’t have to worry about being dragged out of your house and killed for your beliefs. This safety is real and eternal.
The Tree of Life also reappears in this new “city”. It’s been withheld from mankind since the Fall, but in Heaven it sits in the very middle of the city where anyone may see it. In fact, God says that it’s leaves are for the purpose of healing the nations. The curse has been lifted! We have been healed! In Heaven we’ll return to perfect relationship with God. We will “see His face” (Rev. 22.4), just as Adam and Eve experienced with God before the Fall.
Things have come full circle. This kind of intimate relationship with God was once so thoughtlessly discarded has now become the most precious commodity, worth whatever you must sacrifice to attain it even if that sacrifice is your life. God’s work of redemption is finished. He wanted us, but couldn’t have relationship with us because of our sin, so He made a way for us to put on His Son so when He looked at us He didn’t see us, but Jesus. Whatever you have to sacrifice is worth this relationship.
Over the next few days I’ll be posting some thoughts from various chapters in Revelation. It’s such a powerful book and so often overlooked. Perhaps these short thoughts will give you encouragement as it did the 1st century Christians.