Why did God wish to prevent Adam and Eve from eating from the Tree of Life after they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? I discussed one reason in my last post. If you haven’t read it, take a quick peek before reading on. The second reason is the subject of this post.
The LORD God said, “Since man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil, he must not reach out, and also take from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”
(Genesis 3:22 HCSB)
Jesus died to pay for our sins — that was one reason He died, but His death accomplished more than that. We were all doomed to die physically, but in a sense, we were already dead while we lived. (I’m speaking to believers here.) We were dead to God. We were separated from Him and from one another. Just before He raised Lazarus from the grave, Jesus told Martha,
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die–ever. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 HCSB)
This seems a bit cryptic. Let me paraphrase: “The one who believes in Me, even if he dies (physically), will live (spiritually and physically). Everyone who lives and believes in Me (that is, a person who is alive in his spirit) will never die (spiritually.)
And just as it is appointed for people to die once–and after this, judgment– (Hebrews 9:27 HCSB)
The reason Jesus could say that a person who lives and believes in Him would not die was that such a person had already died (in Him) and would not die again. Death is the only way to be freed from the obligation of the Law, and the only way to be freed from the tyranny of this world and of the sin nature.
Therefore, my brothers, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the crucified body of the Messiah, so that you may belong to another–to Him who was raised from the dead–that we may bear fruit for God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions operated through the law in every part of us and bore fruit for death. But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law. (Romans 7:4-6 HCSB)
For through the law I have died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:19-20 HCSB)
By putting us to death in Christ, God freed us from both our sin nature and our obligation to keep the law. Jesus paid the penalty of the law, which was death, and as God placed us in Him, so that counts for us as well. As we died with Him, we also live with Him.
For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, no longer dies. Death no longer rules over Him. For in that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives to God. (Romans 6:6-10 HCSB)
There’s a lot more I could say here, but you see my point. Our ability to die is the very thing that allowed us to be freed from this horrible bondage brought on by our former father’s sin. Now Jesus has become the last and second Adam. He put the Adamic race to death in Himself on the cross, and He became the head (source) of a new race which flows from Him.