The Garden and the City

Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ is part of a series of volumes on the whole New Testament (details here). Here is another excerpt.

Point Reyes National Seashore 2, CA, Nat Park Service

The Bible covers two main things—God’s creation and God’s building. In the beginning of the Bible we have creation, and at the end we have the building. Between these two ends we have God’s building work. In creation God produced the building materials. As He carries on His building work, He fits all these materials together into one unit, which is His building.

In Genesis 2 we have a garden created, and in Revelation 21 we have a city constructed. A garden is something natural, created by God, but a city is something built up by Him. The New Jerusalem is not a natural garden but a built-up city.

Although the garden of Eden was natural and created, it contained many pictures of spiritual realities that are in the New Testament, both now and in New Jerusalem. The following post will briefly match all the pictures in the garden of Eden with the corresponding realities in New Jerusalem.

One of these pictures is the tree of life (Genesis 2:8-9; Revelation 22:1-2). It portrays Jesus Christ, who is life (John 14:6), who is a tree, the true vine (John 15:1, 5), and who is food to us (spiritual food, not physical – John 6:52, 63) so that we may have eternal life, abide in Him, and live because of Him (John 6:54-57). Jesus Christ is the reality of the tree of life for us now, every day, and He will continue to be so eternally in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

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