I’m hiking in the woods a lot. I see all sorts of plants and trees. Together, they make this beautiful array of landscape that our Heavenly Father created. Sometimes though, you have to watch out. All of this foliage creates a perfect hiding place for things that can harm you. There’s snakes, poison ivy and tree roots to trip you up, etc. These are just a few obstacles you may not see coming if you’re focusing on the beauty only. Adam and Eve were certainly content in their environment that the Lord created. I cannot even fathom the beauty. God, in His graciousness, did warn them of one particular tree to stay away from. Apparently, Eve, like a lot of hikers, lost her footing one day. She wasn’t prepared for the serpent and the story of redemption was put into action. Yes, the greatest story of love ever told got its start right there with humanity in a mess.
And to the man He said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it” (Genesis 3:17 NLT). Disobedience always brings consequences. In this case, the whole human race was affected. This tree, that was off limits, looked good at the time, but produced a curse for mankind. God, in His love, has to give us choices. Love and obedience are both choices. We’re not robots. That wouldn’t be fair. We have to choose to do right. We have to choose to love. Choices we make today affect our tomorrows. But even with this horrible decision, God had a plan! And that plan is still in place today for all of us that make some “not so great” decisions.
We’re all messed up in some way. Some people admit it, others do not. If you look at yourself from the perspective of God’s holy standards, I think you would agree that this is the case. The Law was given as a moral code to literally keep us safe. Any good parent places parameters in which to protect their children. But how many know that just because you say so doesn’t mean the children aren’t going to test the waters? That’s humanity! We all find ourselves in this category. But then there’s Jesus! The one person who got it all right. But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When He was hung on the cross, He took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13 NLT) He destroyed the curse on that tree that Adam brought in by partaking of another tree! The Bible says “A tree is identified by its fruit.” (Luke 6:44 NLT) The fruit from this tree says, “I love you enough to literally die for you.”
The great exchange has been accomplished! We can literally trade in our mess for Christ’s perfection. He did this selfless act for us. All we have to do is accept His free gift. There again, choices. This decision is easy. I can stand before God one day with Jesus’ accomplishment as my representation or I can stand with my portfolio of sinful acts. God, in His infinite wisdom, knew He had to do something. Nobody was able to be righteous on their own. So we get the opportunity to accept Jesus’ righteousness as our own. What a loving trade. What an amazing plan!
Accepting Jesus doesn’t just mean that we get to be with Him in Heaven. We get to walk this life with Him directing our paths, warning us of dangers and being loved by an imperishable love. He’s always looking out for us. I’m sure poor Adam didn’t understand the future consequences partaking of that tree would produce. However, we can be completely confident of the victorious future Jesus secured for us when He was nailed to that tree. There’s a distinct difference between humanity and an almighty God. We are flawed and He is perfection. But He loves us and wants to be with us. We can see that in the tale of two trees.
Today’s guest writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband Robby and cat Harold.