by Scarlett Stough
I was condemned from my conception to die, as we all were. From the beginning, God gave mankind the freedom of choice represented by the two trees of the Garden of Eden—the tree of life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17).
The fruit of the forbidden tree appeals to our senses. We want to taste and learn by experience. We are given instruction in our infancy, “don't touch̶ the electrical outlets; “don't touch” the stove because it is hot and will burn. Does the child listen? No. Mother must watch and be quick to prevent the experimentation and the resulting hurt. Mother cannot be quick enough all the time so the child ends up learning by experience to leave those things alone.
Do we change as we mature? Not really. Whatever appeals, we reach for and taste not realizing the harm the self-gratification we choose is doing to us and others. The most difficult poison to recognize in ourselves is the attitude of pride which is displayed in thinking ourselves to be better than others whose sins seem to be worse than our own; that our own sins are not worthy of eternal death.
As well-known as John 3:16 is, most are not aware of Jesus' statement in verse 18:
…whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
That sentence of death was pronounced by God before Mr. and Mrs. Adam made the wrong choice:
And the Lord God commanded the man, “ You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Our Bible is consistent from the first book of Genesis until the last chapter of Revelation. We read of the tree of life in Genesis and we can also read of the tree of life in Revelation:
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
Because Jesus, as both God and Man, took our curse, hanging on a tree in the form of a Roman crucifixion cross, the curse of death is lifted from those who believe and accept God's way of salvation. We can choose to eat of the tree of life so our condemnation can be lifted (Romans 8:1-4).