Entry Level Theological Truth [41]

“So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24

CherubimThe cherubim were created beings that fall under the broader category of angels. Genesis 3 presents their first appearance, but they figure prominently later in the Bible as decorative representations in the Tabernacle and Temple. They adorned the veil & the mercy seat in each of those structures. Their presence on the former was a daunting reminder that man could not stride boldly into the presence of a holy God on a whim. As Hebrews succinctly words it: “The Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing” (Hebrews 9:8). Atop the mercy seat, the cherubim flanked the place were God’s glory sat enthroned (Psalms 99:1). The symbolism accentuates that these heavenly beings were sentries who guarded the Lord’s glory.

 


East Of Eden



 

As Adam and Eve left the garden, they undoubtedly could look wistfully back to their early days of innocence in Eden. But the cherubim and the flaming sword were an unmistakable barrier to accessing the tree of life. The sad reality of “paradise lost” now began to dawn on their souls, as they set out to make a living in the fallen world. The cherubim were silent sentinels whose presence ensured that no sin-tainted being could approach that beautiful tree.

 


The Cursed Tree Leads To The Healing Tree



 

Thankfully, the way to that tree has been reopened through the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. By His death on the cross – a tree marred by an irrevocable curse (Deuteronomy 21:23) – the Savior opened the way to eternal life (John 17:3). As He promises to the overcomer (i.e. the one who is born again by believing that Jesus is the Son of God, 1 Jnohn 5:4-5): “…To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). In other words, to the one who receives Christ as their Lord and Savior the way to the tree of life is opened once again. In the future eternal state, that tree’s leaves will play an integral role in healing the nations (Revelation 22:2).

 

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Photo Credit: http://rcnefeshhachayim.blogspot.com/2012/01/nefesh-hachayim-18-home.html. Accessed on 10/12/12.

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