And the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), knowing [how to distinguish between] good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take from the tree of life as well, and eat [its fruit], and live [in this fallen, sinful condition] forever”— therefore the Lord God sent Adam away from the Garden of Eden, to till and cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So God drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He [permanently] stationed the cherubim and the sword with the flashing blade which turned round and round [in every direction] to protect and guard the way (entrance, access) to the tree of life.Genesis 3:22-24 (AMP)
What a tragedy! We had become more like God, able to determine the difference between good and evil, but we are not gods, we had become but a fractured image. If we were to live eternally at this point, by eating from the tree of life I imagine we would never see the time where—
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.Revelation 21:4 (AMP)
Jesus is the key. His death was our redemption. He fulfilled death’s requirement once for all who believe. His ascension restores our access to the tree of life. Look at this description from Revelations:
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.Revelation 22:1-2 (NLT)
Symbolism is not always easy to interpret, and I don’t profess to be a Bible scholar, but when I look at this imagery this is what I imagine: The river with the water of life functions like the Holy Spirit, flowing from the Father and Son. It flows down the main street, we have full access to the throne. The tree of life is mostly interpreted in its singular form, yet it is on both sides of the river. To me, this again reveals one source, the Holy Spirit, uniting us with God. The tree produces twelve crops, there were twelve disciples. The tree is fruitful. Scripture speaks frequently about God’s desire for us to bear fruit. Through the legacy of the disciples witness and testimony, their leaves, the nations are healed.
I do want to point out that this scripture most often is interpreted as a future event, but time can cloud our vision and cause us to miss the important message. The life that comes from God is the source of a fruitful life here on earth, and what will ultimately sustain us in eternity.
Grace & Peace,