In order to truly understand the importance of God’s role in our lives, as well who Jesus is and what He accomplished on the cross, we must understand the basic story-line that exists throughout the Bible. We must be sure to not only understand the story, but the important elements that make this story so vital to our lives today. But, where do we begin? While the entire Bible is important, the story arc that includes Jesus redemption on the cross doesn’t require that we visit every Bible story, but it does require that we start at the beginning – Creation and the story of Adam and Eve.
Instead of going line-by-line through scripture, we need to understand the important bits that take us on the journey that culminates with Jesus. This begins with Genesis 1:1,
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
To put it simply, God created everything. This included the planets, the air, all the animals, and eventually humanity. When God created man, starting with Adam and Eve, He gave us a beautiful garden to live in. Imagine what it must have been like to be in Paradise before humanity started to have it’s impact here on the earth. No river would have been mined for Gold, so I like to imagine the waters would sparkle. The green grass and the flowers must have been so vibrant as the world didn’t know pollution and destruction. The air clean and the weather beautiful. The garden was so grand that God actually spent time there in relationship with His creation. Adam and Eve, scripture says they could “hear the sound of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” (3:8) There was, however, one thing that God created in the Garden that Adam and Eve were not to partake of, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
Temptation and Sin
I imagine that Adam and Eve must have wondered what that tree was all about, but in a loving relationship with their creator they abstained. That is, however, until temptation made its way in by means of a serpent,
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[j] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)
In a moment of weakness, Eve took of the fruit and then shared with Adam. The two instantly had not only disobeyed God (what we call “sin”), but their eyes had now been opened to what it meant to be both good and evil – something they could never take back.
Separated From A Just God
Once God had discovered their actions, he made a swift judgment of justice,
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—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 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. (Genesis 3:22-24)
From this point forward, Man was separated from God. God being perfect, holy, and pure in all that He is, He could not be with those who defied Him by sin. Our knowledge would never allow us to be holy again as we would now act and think in ways that are often evil in His eyes. Therefore, He sent them out and all came under God’s eternal judgment.
How Adam and Eve Impacts The Larger Story
Understanding the events that happen in the creation story are so vital to understanding God’s love for us. Why? Because even though we did wrong, God still loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. The story of Adam and Eve shows us how we are the ones that ultimately betrayed Him. It was our own decision to defy Him and afterwards, God had every right never to forgive us for the ‘sins’ we committed against Him.
Why discuss Adam and Eve in relationship to Jesus? Even though God should have made us pay the price eternally for our sins, He immediately put into action a series of events that would reconcile us into his loving embrace once again… even if it meant sacrificing the most precious thing to Him.