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Can the Garden of Eden ever be better than it once was? Yes, infinitely better, if that’s possible (and it is). As a matter of fact, it’s already much better than it was. Believe it or not, the Garden of Eden is so much more advanced now that there’s no comparison now to what it was then.

God designed the Garden of the Eden to be a garden sanctuary (i.e., temple)—the holy of holies where God made his presence known on earth. Simply put, the Garden of Eden was the place of God’s dwelling on earth. This is why it was such a massively hugh deal that God created man and personally placed him in the Garden. The climax of God’s creation of man at the beginning of time was not simply that He created man in His image but mainly that He placed man in the one location on earth where His presence dwelled, the Garden of Eden.

Think of it this way: Man was created by God to commune with God in a one-of-a-kind paradise—the Place of all places. A place where there was separation. No division. No in-siders or out-siders. Everyone who lived there enjoyed unbroken communion with God and each other. Eden was, as it were, heaven on earth.

Everything Adam and Eve did, then, was done in the communing presence of God. Cultivating the earth, cooking meals, gazing together at the stars, early morning strolls, the daily planting and tending of vegetation, etc. All things that we call work and leisure were done before the God who loved them. For them and for His glory God created a planet in which He could express His fatherly love for them and they could joyfully respond to it.

But rebellion broke in. Sin ruined that which had never before known ruin, not even a hint of it. What was once beautiful beyond our belief became spoiled by our sin and rebellion. No longer was the Garden of Eden a sanctuary or a paradise temple. Rather, because of our sin, the Garden of Eden became a forbidden land.

So, what’s all this have to do with Jesus?

When the Son of God became man in the incarnation, the Garden of Eden became located in his Person. The Garden Sanctuary was the Temple of God; and when the Son became incarnate, he himself became the Temple of God on earth. For the very first time since the Fall, perfect communion between God and man took place, and it transpired within the one Person of Jesus. In the one Person of Jesus, who is both fully God and fully man, we have God communing with man and man communing with God, perfectly and unceasingly. All of this means, for all intensive purposes, is that Jesus became the new, the renewed Garden of Eden. God made Jesus to be in his own Person what the original Garden of Eden failed to be on earth because of human sin.

This is one reason why the reality of whom the Son of God became in the incarnation is so vital to the renewal of the entire cosmos. This is why the Apostle John writes, “And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb (John 21:22). One day there will be no temple on the earth because Jesus will be the one place where God and man live in perfect, unbroken, loving communion. He will be the New Garden of Eden on earth. That’s why union with Christ by the Spirit through faith is such an important topic in Scripture. It’s also why we “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23).

A new day is coming—a day that gives us and orphans immense hope. One day the New Garden of Eden will be revealed in its full-spleandor and glory on this earth. The result will be a renewal we’ve all been hoping for—a day when everything sad will become untrue. This Eden, the one found in Jesus, will never be lost. Jesus will sooner cease to be God and man in one Person before the New Garden of Eden will be undone. Our future as the children of God is as sure as sure can possibly get.

The above art is by the excellent Chris Koelle. Chris and I are both members of Downtown Presbyterian Church.

Thank you for reading. Please check out Together for Adoption’s new book, which is available for purchase at Amazon, Cruciform Press, and elsewhere.

  • Rob T

    well said. and nice art!

  • Thearchersapprentice

    Very well written. So do you mean we are also the garden of Eden by the indwelling of the Spirit through faith in Christ?

  • Anonymous

    No, I simply mean that Jesus is in himself, fully God and fully man the Eden or Temple of God. Eden has been restored in his own Person. We are now ushered back into Eden because he took the sword that barred our entrance into it. One day the restored Eden that he himself (God and man in perfect, loving communion) will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. That will become a full-reality when Romans 8:23 is fulfilled. We are now brought into Eden-restored to enjoy fellowship with God by the Spirit of adoption through faith in Jesus.

    Make sense?

  • thearchersapprentice

    Ok, I think I understand your point better now. Thanks you for expanding. I don’t have the theological training to go too deep. But I just thought it was interesting to think that we are already experiencing part of the “Eden experience” by being in Jesus. But you explain that that won’t be a “Full-reality”, until the adoption referred to in 8:23 is fullfilled. I see how the whole idea is more harmonious now..thanks! Be blessed and hope to see you in the new earth!

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