God planted a special garden for man called Eden (meaning “pleasure” in Hebrew) and told him to care for it by working and maintaining it (giving a purpose to his existence). The garden abounded in everything that was necessary for man to feel happy and contented: a harmonious relationship with his wife and the Creator and a perfect environment providing excellently for his needs. He was such an integral part of it that he didn’t have to wear clothes: he and his wife were naked.
“Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Geneses 2:9).
Trees, by their very structure and function, represent ineradicable, immovable, ever-growing, fruit-bearing sources of possibilities for enjoyment, satisfaction, rest, recreation, growth and multiplication in a place full of life in all its compartments – air, land and water.
The two specially designated trees represented unique possibilities which were not available in the other trees. The eating from the tree meant appropriating a possibility that was not part of man’s original nature as designed by God but could become such by his liking and accepting it as an act of his individual freedom of choice. Instead of choosing to eat from the tree of life, Eve and Adam opted for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and ate from it, thus doing the only forbidden thing the Lord God had told them not to do.
We all know the effect of this act. But I believe that God has provided a third tree – the tree of the cross of Jesus Christ – to make up for this catastrophic effect and bring life out of death. It is so sad… The tree, which was meant to take roots and give fruits, was cut and stripped of its branches and made into an instrument of torture for the Author of Life and the Creator of Man – a murderous and homicidal action unparalleled in grossness and absurdity. Yet, however hard to understand, it was also part of a plan: the tree meant to die, became the tree that survived the Father’s rightful wrath for our deeds deserving a death on a cross, which was mercifully born by the Son in exchange of all by whom they have been done.