Echos of the Heart
Creative Meditations for the Developing Soul
Have you ever heard a fellow believer say, “If only Adam & Eve would not have eaten the forbidden fruit.” This statement is often accompanied with sighs of remorse and wishing for a reality where we had never been separated from God due to sins and evil. It is easy to say to oneself, “Life would have been better if we stayed in the Garden of Eden.”
But, if Adam & Eve had not eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, who’s to say Cain or Abel wouldn’t have eaten it themselves? God, in His omnipotent kindness and love, gave us the ability to make choices. Our choices are based in our desires. With how quickly Adam & Eve seemed to disobey God, I wonder if they had mature love for God?
When I consider the garden of Eden, God had ordained one wedding, between Adam & Eve. There was never a marital union between Jesus and man. Did the Father know that humanity not ready to be betrothed to His most precious Son, Jesus? When I consider Adam & Eve, they were like spiritual newborns, birthed in perfection, prone to curiosity and naïve, unaware of the pains of separation from God. In Adam & Eves immaturity, we faced the consequences of being an immature bride & lover of God. Humanity needed to be prepared for their wedding day.
In the Old Testament, the book of Isaiah, Jesus was prophesied as the Bridegroom for Gods covenant people. Isaiah says, “For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”
But, what if Jesus also needed to be prepared as a Bridegroom for His chosen people? By Jesus becoming the slain lamb for humanity, he was preparing us and himself for our wedding day.
In Revelation 19:7-9, it states: “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then the angel said to me, Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
The marriage between humanity and Christ is specifically called “The Marriage Supper of the Lamb.” When Christ was obedient to die for humanity as the perfect slain lamb, in God’s sight, He became worthy for the highest glory in all of heaven and earth. The Father seated Jesus at the right hand of Himself and gave Jesus the name above all names. Jesus was granted greater authority from the Father after He victoriously lived on earth as a man.
In Philippians 2:8-11, it states about Jesus, “And being found in the appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Jesus had to go through a process of humility: he lived on earth, endured suffering due to sin, and choose to follow the Father in love, before rising into greater glory. What if God is doing the same process for us? Just as Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice raised him to greater glory, God will use our suffering and sacrifice, to raise us into a higher position than what we had in the Garden of Eden. God’s plan is to use our difficult circumstances to make us a prepared and sanctified Bride: a humanity that is suitable for union with its eternal creator. What if God knew that humanity had a greater potential to mature and marry Christ, than if we had stayed safe in the Garden of Eden?
The Church is a lover of God who knows the pain of separation from Him, and yet we chose Jesus over and over again. We are being matured in our love. We are choosing to sacrifice ourselves for Christ, who sacrifices himself in return. Mature love is a personal choice to love despite difficulties. Mature love is reciprocal despite obstacles.
Do we remember stories of Adam & Eve sacrificing themselves for God? No. But the most compelling displays of love come with sacrifice. When Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross, he stated the words, “It is finished.” In Aramaic, those are two words that when spoken together, sound like the word “Bride.”
Christian believers today have something that far surpasses what Adam & Eve had in the garden: we have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us as a mark of covenant, a marriage promise, with God. Adam & Eve were surrounded by the presence of God in Eden, but we have the presence of God within us. Even though today we live in a fallen world around us, we have a greater love-covenant inside of us.
In the end times, we are not “returning to the Garden,” as we know it. We are receiving a new paradise, where our souls are divinely tethered to God in love. All of the people who are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb will be people who chose and love Jesus. Every person will be in agreement that Christ is the most beautiful lover.
Imagine our future renewed heaven and earth: there will be no wayward hearts, no apathetic followers, no naivety to the destructions of sin and evil. We will all truly believe, from the depth of our spirit, that God is the greatest goodness we have ever known. At the end of time, every soul that will stand before the throne of God will worship and adore Him.
Can you believe that through all of our suffering and heartache on this earth, God is welcoming us into something much greater than the original garden of Eden could have given us? Our God is not merely a God of restoration, He is a God that creates greater beauty than our former beauty.
If we, the church, persists to our end, we will be raised up to a position of honor that is greater: we will be the mature Bride of Christ Jesus. We will have eternal oneness, in spirit, truth and peace, with our God.
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