The Three Trees
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest there of thou shalt surely die”- (Gen.2:17). “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”- (Gen.3:24).
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed”- (I Pet.2:24).
Why should the wooden cross of our Lord be spoken of as a “tree”? Surely God wants us to refer back to the two trees in the Garden of Eden. And it’s not happenstance that our Lord died on the tree-cross in the midst of the two other tree-crosses on which hung two thieves. There were only two special trees in Eden, but praise God there were three trees on Calvary, and the tree that our Savior died on was the most special tree in the universe, the tree of our salvation.
It was the most special tree in the universe because it gives every person on earth the opportunity to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life, that Adam and Eve committed and lost from the two trees in Eden. That is what Easter is all about. Forgiveness of sins on the tree-cross of death and then eternal life, signified by the resurrection of Christ. “The God of our Fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins”- (Acts 5:30). (And to us Gentiles as well - PTL Jesus). “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”- (Rom.6:23). God sent His beloved Son down to earth to solve man’s greatest problem, sin and the punishment of sin which is death. Christ’s tree of death became our tree of life when we’re saved.
When foolish, deceived man ate from the forbidden tree of knowledge- he died. And he died because now he was forbidden to eat of the tree of life. The flaming sword of God’s judgment and the two Cherubims kept them from eating it and living forever. As long as Adam and Eve didn’t sin by eating of the tree of death, they could eat from the tree of eternal life. Through the tree cross of Christ we now have the opportunity to repent of our sins and believe on Christ in our hearts by faith and receive forgiveness of sins and have eternal life. As man committed the first sin in a garden on a tree, so Christ died for our sins in the garden of Calvary. “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man laid” - (Jn.19:41). As sin and death started in a tree in the Garden of Eden, so the bloody death of Christ atones for our sins on a tree, and His burial and death took place in the garden of Calvary. The garden of Calvary is much more important than the garden of Gethsemane, yet few even know of it. The first Adam died because of sinning in the garden, and sin and death moved upon mankind. The last Adam paid the sin-debt in a garden and offers us eternal life. Adam died for his own sins, but Christ died for ours.
Foolish man, eating from the tree of knowledge, lost the wisdom of God because God’s wisdom was for man not to eat of it. Man must obey God’s Word because His knowledge is a trillion times greater than man’s. Being saved by Christ on the tree cross gives us back the wisdom of God that we lost through sin because Christ is the wisdom of God. “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” - (Col.2:3). Unsaved man continues to eat from the forbidden tree of knowledge and has the wisdom of the world, but not the wisdom of God. He consumes much knowledge, but his mind and heart is defiled and darkened, and he doesn’t have the wisdom to use his knowledge in a wise way. He uses much of his knowledge for evil and not good. The saved man digs in God’s Word for all the golden nuggets and treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge as we are taught by the Holy Spirit. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness… For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” - (ICor.1:18,21 and 3:19).
Eve being deceived by Satan, desired to become wise and so ate of the forbidden tree of knowledge and became a fool, a dying fool - (Gen.3:6). But the tree of Christ makes the sinner “wise into salvation” and then the Holy Spirit indwells him and teaches him the knowledge and wisdom of God. Anyone who doesn’t get saved by Christ and conquer death and receive eternal life, is a fool. Unsaved, wicked man thinks he can learn enough knowledge and science to finally reach into the tree of life and achieve eternal life, but the fiery sword of God and His Cherubims will prevent it. Can you imagine sinful man living forever?
God’s Cherubims are keeping the way into the tree of life; they allow only those whose sins are washed in the blood of Christ, God’s Passover Lamb who died on the day of Passover. The Cherubims are watching for anyone who is saved by the atoning blood of Christ, Jew or Gentile, just as they watched on the mercy seat of the ark on the Day of Atonement for the blood to be applied. Nobody will receive eternal life through any other way except Christ. He is our great high priest who sacrificed himself for our sins - (Heb.10:26).
The forbidden tree in Eden and sin is linked directly with the curse of death; both the first death of the body and the second death in the lake of fire… “cursed is the ground for thy sake… till thou return unto the ground: for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” - (Gen.3:17,19). Everyone who died by hhanging on a tree was cursed - (Gen.40:19-Josh.8:29-Est.2:23). And so it is written - “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” - (Gal.3:13). Christ didn’t just die for us, He died the cursed death of a criminal, a lawbreaker, he was nailed and hung on a tree. Man was created by God out of the ground. He then awaits the final judgment at the great white throne of God, the most cursed death of all - “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” - (Rev.20:14,15).
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” – (I Jn.3:4). We are all sinners and criminals by breaking God’s laws and are under the curse of death in the lake of fire. And so our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, has redeemed us cursed sinners, by becoming a curse for us on the cursed cross. When we receive him as Savior, He writes our name down in the Lamb’s book of life- eternal life instead of eternal death. But O the terrible words of doom upon the unsaved - “… Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” - (Mt.25:41). Billions of people have cursed Christ trillions of times but Christ will pronounce the last eternal curse. But the blessings are upon the saints of God who praise the Lord Jesus for saving them and exalt His wonderful name.
The crown of thorns that Jesus wore on the cross is the symbol of the curse that God placed upon man because of sin “… thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee…” - (Gen.3:18). Again - “But that which beareth thorns, and briars is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned” - (Heb.6:8). Again - “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” - (Mt.7:19). Two others hung on trees that day on Calvary, one died saved next to the Savior, and one died lost. Jesus said to the saved - “… today shalt thou be with me in paradise” - (Lk.23:43). The thief’s tree of deathh was turned into a tree of life in God’s heavenly paradise. Which of the two are you? Are you going to paradise or hell? The Lord Jesus is the tree of life in God’s paradise in heaven.
Are you saved and born again and producing Holy Spirit fruit? If not, repent of your sins and believe on Christ in your heart by faith, and you will be saved from hell and receive forgiveness of sins, and become a new born again creature in Christ having eternal life. Through Christ you can overcome death and hell and eat of the tree of life and live forever “… to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” - (Rev.2:7). God loves you and sent His dear Son to die on the tree for you, to become sin and a curse for you, to become your Savior. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” - (I Jn.4:9,10). O do not spurn this great love and grace of God for you in His beloved Son on the tree or the wrath of God abides upon you - (Jn.3:36).
When you are saved by Christ, you have His righteousness, and you will live a godly, righteous life. You will become a new tree having godly Holy Spirit fruit and be a soul winner for Christ so that others can be saved and have eternal life. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” - (Prov.11:30). Yes, Christ’s tree of death becomes a tree of life to all who truly believe in Him. A born again soul winner is a witness who leads others to Christ, who is the tree of eternal life. “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life…” - (Prov.15:4). A soul-winner’s tongue gives the greatest healing of all, it conquers death. “… on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for healing of the nations” - (Rev.22:2). The tree of life returns to earth to give life to man forever and ever - thank you Jesus.
Pastor Mike Storti
5000 N. LaCholla-
Would love to hear from you!