Many of us have imagined what the Garden of Eden looks like. Based on the Bible, such a place is filled with peace, abundance, beautiful scenery and awesome creatures. Both believers and nonbelievers have conducted numerous studies regarding the Garden of Eden. There are some experts who have even suggested an original location of the garden. You can also find many theologians and scientists who have formulated different theories about what it was like to live in the Garden of Eden. According to some Biblical scholars, the Garden of Eden, in a sense, is a “temple,” like that of the New Jerusalem. The entire environment of the Garden of Eden is Holy, blameless, and without sin. Moreover, the Garden of Eden is said to be a temple, since there is full and unrestrained access to God by man (And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. Revelation 21:22).
The Garden of Eden is a place of unrestricted communion with God. God and men had an intimate relationship and humans were not blinded by sin. However, the quality of this sweet and unrestricted relationship was destroyed by the presence of sin in Adam and Eve’s being (Genesis 3:1-24). God was gracious, such that He gave man the authority to reign over all the creatures in the Garden (Genesis 1:26). Man had become the steward of creation – and then the fall happened. The disobedience of Adam and Eve corrupted their hearts. The relationship between God and man changed dramatically. The God of all creation is holy and men had become sinners. Expulsion from the Garden of Eden then occurred. And now all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth, to this day (Romans 8:22).
Beautiful but Not Glorious
Although the Garden was indeed full of delight and pleasure, it is important to note that it was not yet glorious. The Garden of Eden wasn’t yet everything God intended for His creation (Genesis 1 and 2). It was pure and pristine, yet somehow incomplete. Bible scholars believe that the Garden was not meant to be static and that it was headed toward consummation, towards glory. If we study Genesis 1:28, where God blessed humanity and said, “ Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground,” we notice that although the garden was abundant, it was not yet expansive. It is clear that God wanted His creation to expand, since He ordered Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. The Garden of Eden was abundant, yet God still wanted more.
Good but Not Secure
It is said that the Garden of Eden was indeed good, but not entirely secure. The Bible described the beauty and goodness found in the Garden of Eden, but somewhere in the garden, evil, lies, and death lurk. The good news is, this evil and uncleanliness will never enter into the new and greater garden (Revelation 21:27). There was true intimacy between God and man, but their bond and union were vulnerable to brokenness. Even though Adam and Eve were in perfect harmony and union, their marriage was fragile.
There is no doubt that both Adam and Eve enjoyed God’s presence all over the Garden. God warned them not to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. God said that “in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Mankind chose disobedience and ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9).
The New Garden
The Garden of Eden was undoubtedly a beautiful place, but something greater is about to come. The tree of life is still out there, planted in the center of the New Garden. We can all be part of this Perfect Garden if we put our faith in Jesus Christ. We might have missed what it looked and felt like to roam the Garden of Eden, but rejoice all you believers in Christ, for Jesus will return and He has prepared a better place for us!