“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV).
We were made for eternity. We always have been. Our spiritual great-grandparents, Adam and Eve, were never meant to die, but to live forever in the Garden of Eden, their God-ordained Paradise.
Formed from the barely settled soil of Creation, Adam took his shape in the skilled hands of his God. His frame was carefully constructed, its proportionality determined by his Creator. Sinews and ligaments connected Adam’s muscular frame, every inch measured to perfection. His forehead was dimpled, where eyes would be placed, their hues of color unmatched by anything else in all of creation. Every detail of Adam’s design was considered, from the tiny wrinkles on his brow to the distinguishing prints on the tips of his fingers.
And then, with a mighty exhale of his breath, God breathed life into Adam’s still body. Adam’s heart pounded, and blood pulsed through his arteries and veins. His senses awakened to the beauty of the Paradise that surrounded him, and his eyes beheld the first faint glimpse of his Maker. Whispering in his ears were the soft sounds of the Garden, the leaves rustling and the birds singing. The fragrance of flowers and morning dew enlivened his sense of smell.
Paradise was God’s extravagant gift to man, and Adam had all of eternity to enjoy it. God even made Adam a partner named Eve, formed from the very flesh of Adam. Waking from a deep slumber, Adam would behold the beauty and practicality of a helper. They would live and work together in the Garden forever.
There was but one rule in Eden. All things were permissible with the exception of the fruit from one tree located in the middle of the Garden. God forbade it. Not even the tiniest of nibbles was allowed. The one thing Adam and Eve could not have, however, was the one thing they came to desire the most. The fruit was so captivating, so alluring in its simple beauty. Surely a small taste wouldn’t hurt anything.
Then, supported by the moral authority of a deceiving serpent, Eve took a bite, and with it, she tasted death for the very first time. It was not that the fruit tasted deadly, but death was the very thing that her sin bore. She shared the forbidden fruit, along with her sin, with her partner, Adam, and he took a soul-defeating taste. Immediately, too, his body began to die, slowly, but with all certainty.