11th April 2020

A Tale of Two Trees

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”
Genesis 3:6 (NKJV)

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.”
Acts 5:30 (NKJV)

The story of humanity revolves around two trees. In the Garden of Eden Adam, the representative of all humanity, was confronted with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which God had explicitly told him not to eat of lest he die (Genesis 2:17). Unfortunately Adam disobeyed God, ate fruit from the forbidden tree, with severe consequences for his progeny.

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus Christ, the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), obeyed God (Matthew 26:36-44) leading to his crucifixion on a tree. In doing so he reversed Adam’s disobedience providing life where in Adam was only death (1 Corinthians 15:22). According to St. Irenaeus, Christ ‘was making a recapitulation of that disobedience which had occurred in connection with a tree, through the obedience which was upon a tree.’

Whereas Adam and Eve consumed wrongfully from the forbidden tree in Eden that led to their death; we now consume rightfully the bread and wine of the communion that represents the tree on Golgotha and leads to life (John 6:54-55). We can only eat and drink from the Lord’s Table because of Christ’s death, which resulted from his obedience to the Father (Philippians 2:8). In taking the bread and wine we participate in the obedience of Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:16) and reject the independent spirit of Adam. As a result of participating in Jesus’ death we now participate in his life, both of which are commemorated and celebrated in the communion, and for that we can be truly thankful.

Father, thank you for the loving, self-sacrificing obedience of your Son in which we are all included and can participate. May it fill our hearts with joy and deep gratitude.

Study by Barry Robinson

About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder and part of the National Ministry Team directing Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. He is also a pastoral worker in the South of England, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11 am

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: camberwell@gracecom.church

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