The Time-Transcending Salvation


Genesis 3:24 says, "(God) drove the man out, and at the east of the garden of Eden He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned in every direction to guard the way to the tree of life."

The Tree of Life

When God created man, He placed man in front of the tree of life so that man may partake of it and receive the eternal life. Yet man chose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Consequently, sin entered into man and became one with man. In his fallen condition, man's body became flesh, his soul became the self, and his spirit was deadened.

This is why God blocked the access to the tree of life after man's fall lest man would partake of the tree of life while in sinful condition. Sin and eternal life cannot co-exist within man because God Himself is that life; how can then God and sin be hand-in-hand?

The Cherubim, The Flame, and the Sword

There is a more thorough elaboration on the significance of these three items guarding the tree of life in Genesis 3:24. In brief, the cherubim signifies God's glory, the flame is God's holiness, and the sword is God's righteousness.Thus it was God's glory, holiness, and righteousness that closed the way for man to partake of the tree of life. These are the requirements that need to be fulfilled for man to contact God.

Christ is the Fulfillment of God's Glory, Holiness, and Righteousness

Christ's redemption fulfilled all the requirements above: glory, holiness, and righteousness. In Christ alone, we can thus contact God and partake once more of the tree of life, which is essentially God Himself in Christ as the eternal life to us.
In Hebrews 10:20, it is clear that Christ's blood has opened a new and living way for us to enter into the presence of God, into God Himself. This is awesome!

Abel, Enosh, Enoch

Now let us continue on. The accounts of Abel, Enosh, and Enoch in Genesis chapters 4 and 5 immediately followed after God's dealing of the fall of man. These three men's lives were written in the Bible in such a particular way.

Abel was famous for being the first victim of murder, but actually, the highlight of his life was the fact that he offered a well-pleasing sacrifice to God. He took God's way of redemption, which was through the shedding of blood. If you pay more attention, later on the children of Israel had to present their offerings in the same way that Abel did. Abel's offering was a type of our offering of Christ to satisfy God's righteous demand. 

Enosh means frail. In Genesis 4:26, it was mentioned that at his time, men began to call upon the name of the Lord. When you call on someone's name, you get the person. In the same way, when we call upon the Lord's name, we get His person. Enosh realized the frailty of human life, thus he partook of another life. He became a partaker of the divine nature. By calling upon the Lord's name, Enosh was constituted with holiness itself because only God is holy.

Enoch walked with God in Genesis 5, then he was not because God took him. Enoch lived with God as his Partner, his Companion. Enoch was taken up in glory. 

Abel, Enosh, and Enoch were constituted with Christ as righteousness, holiness, and glory-- the very same requirements that barred man from partaking of the tree of life.

Although in time, the event of Christ's redemption had not taken place yet. In a real sense, the experience and enjoyment of who Christ is and what He has done to bring man back to the tree of life, back to God, had been applied to Abel, Enosh, and Enoch's lives.

Time-Transcending Salvation

It is rather divine and mysterious. How can the people of God in the Old Testament experience God's salvation in and through Christ? I shall not try to explain how, nevertheless I'm awestruck by the fact that immediately after the fall, God had provided salvation. In other words, beyond the context of time, there was not any delay in the application of God's salvation. In fact, Revelation 13:8 shows that the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world.

God's salvation is mind-blowing. We can stop analyzing and simply begin experiencing the thoroughness of God's full salvation. Aren't we convinced yet that our God is fixated on bringing us all back to Himself to be one with Him?

We shall follow the pattern in Psalms 116:12-13.
12 What shall I return to Jehovah For all His benefits toward me?
13 I will take up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of Jehovah.
For further reading: Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Genesis. Ch. 21, Sect. 7.

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