The world we live in is sinful. It is the way it is because Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden after they rebelled against God. Because we are mostly focused on the negative, we think a lot about why things are bad and messed up in this world but we spend little time thinking about why God makes a way for us to return to paradise.
You see, one day God will recreate this world. Everything that is broken, corrupt, and wrong with this world will be gone and in its place will be paradise. But why?
Why God would go to all the trouble, especially since we are the ones who lost paradise by rebelling against Him?
Well, God goes to all the trouble, He makes a way for us to return to Paradise because at His core God is gracious and merciful.
Jen (my wife) and I like to watch movies, but we are cheap, so we don’t go to the theater. Instead we go to the Red Box. I understand you don’t get the experience of the movie theater, but I’ll take a movie at our house for a $1.50 any day. One of the movies we rented recently was Pompeii.
There was a scene in the movie where a princess in a horse drawn carriage was passing by a line of chained gladiators heading to Pompeii to fight in the arena. The terrain was very muddy. As they passed by the gladiators, one of the horses slipped and broke its leg. Seeing that the horse was in extreme pain and couldn’t go on, one of the gladiators runs over, and in a show of strength, breaks the horses neck with his bare hands.
Now, he could have allowed the horse to live, but he didn’t. He didn’t because he knew death right then was better than allowing the horse to suffer and die later. So this gladiator, in an act of grace and mercy, did what was best for the horse.
In the same way, God in an act of grace and mercy in Genesis 3:22-24 did what was best for Adam and Eve – He cast them out of the garden.
“Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Ge 3:22–24)
So God, in an act of grace and mercy, cast them out of the garden and barred them from entering again to keep them from the Tree of Life and living forever in a sinful world.
The same grace and mercy that drove God to cast Adam and Eve out of the garden is what drives God to make a way for us to re-enter the garden.
So while God doesn’t have to make a way for us to return to Paradise, He does because He is gracious and merciful.
Question for Reflection
- Do you realize God doesn’t have to make a way for us to return to paradise?
Post developed from the sermon Can We Return to Paradise?