Gen 2:8-17- God put humanity in a setting to enjoy life with Himself, wholly and fully. There is talk of the tree of Life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Rivers are flowing out of Eden to other parts of the world. God beckons Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge…however, we know how this story ends…
Jumping forward to 1 Corinthians, Paul writes in chapter 15 verse 22, “for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.” Ha! Look at this Paul is comparing Jesus to Adam; Christ is the 2nd Adam, the new Adam, the new and recreated humanity. What Adam made wrong, Christ made right. Adam let sin in, Christ conquered sin.
Here’s a good one…Paul writes to the church in Rome. In chapter 5 he writes, “For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. …Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.” I love this because Jesus was the missing piece that set all of creation back to rights…
I love this one…In John chapter 20 starting in verse 11, Mary is weeping outside the tomb of Jesus because His body was no longer there. She sees a man, who is actually Jesus, and “supposes Him to be the gardener.” As N.T. Wright would point out, this is a great mistake for her to have made. I guess He was sort of a gardener. Here we see a beautiful reprise of the Garden of Eden being put back to rights.
And finally in Revelation 22, we see the new city of God being described. “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life.”
And there you have it. It started in the Garden of Eden, but didn’t end there. Jesus came to inaugurate God’s project of new humanity although its fullness will not come into fruition until the end of the age. Although we long for it to; we have a hope. And our hope is beautiful… “He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”-Rev 21:3-4
We were made in beauty and for beauty and to beauty we shall return. Let it call; our souls are listening, we cannot help but see it and be pointed to the author of all beauty, our God.
 Lecture given at ACU, Simply Christian.