‘When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.’ (Genesis 3:6 NIV)
‘The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.’ (Acts 5:30 NKJV)
The story of humanity revolves around two trees. In the Garden of Eden Adam, the representative of all humanity, was confronted with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which God had explicitly told him not to eat of lest he die
(Genesis 2:17). Unfortunately Adam disobeyed God, ate fruit from the forbidden tree, with severe consequences for his progeny.
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus Christ, the Last Adam
(1 Corinthians 15:45), obeyed God
(Matthew 26:36–44) leading to his crucifixion on a tree. In doing so he reversed Adam’s disobedience providing life where in Adam was only death
According to St. Irenaeus, Christ ‘was making a recapitulation of that disobedience which had occurred in connection with a tree, through the obedience which was upon a tree.’
Whereas Adam and Eve consumed wrongfully from the forbidden tree in Eden that led to their death, we now consume rightfully the bread and wine of the communion that represents the tree on Golgotha and leads to life
(John 6:54–55). We can only eat and drink from the Lord’s Table because of Christ’s death, which resulted from his obedience to the Father
(Philippians 2:8). In taking the bread and wine we participate in the obedience of Jesus (
1 Corinthians 10:16) and reject the independent spirit of Adam. As a result of participating in Jesus’ death we now participate in his life, both of which are commemorated and celebrated in the communion, and for that we can be truly thankful.
Father, thank you for the loving self-sacrificing obedience of your Son in which we are all included and can participate in. May it fill our hearts with joy and deep gratitude.
Have a good week participating with Jesus.