God has blessed me with the ability to think with pictures as well as words. I can visualize one Bible scene and see the similarities to another Bible scene. Contemplating those parallel images always yields incredibly rich results. The story of two different women and two very different trees is a prime example.
In the first picture, Eve is standing in front of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. She invites us to disobedience, to partake of the forbidden fruit on the tree behind her. Take and eat then you too can be like god determining for yourself what is good and what is evil.
In the second picture, Mary is standing at the foot of the cross. This woman personified obedience, calling herself the handmaid of the Lord and telling Gabriel “Let it be to me according to your word.” She encouraged the servants at the wedding feast of Cana “Do whatever He tells you to do.” Mary is not offering us forbidden fruit. No, what is hanging from the tree behind her is Jesus.
It was Jesus who at the Last Supper took bread and wine and told His apostles, “Take and eat. For this is my body and this is my blood.” Earlier Jesus had said that whoever eats His body and drinks His blood will have eternal life. The cross is the Tree of Eternal Life from the Garden of Eden and His Body and His Blood are the fruit.
No longer is the path to that tree barred by angels. The false promises of equality with God are actually fulfilled with this tree. It is here that we become children of God by heavenly adoption. It is not by our own grasping for glory, but by Jesus’ generous sacrifice. If death came to mankind from eating of the first tree, then life for mankind has come from the second tree.
While in Eden, Eve was called “woman”. After the fall, Adam named her Eve, meaning “mother of the all living”. Here at Eden revisited, Jesus called His mother “woman” when He gave her to His beloved disciple and His beloved disciple to her as a son. We are no longer children of the fall. So listen, all you who have been born not of the flesh but of the spirit to your new mother, and “Do whatever Christ tells you to do.”
Picture again, side by side, Eve in front of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and Mary in front of the Tree of Life. Underneath each picture are the words “Take and eat.” The fall of man has been undone. Now each of us has a choice. Choose your tree, choose your food, and choose your mother. Choose life.
Scriptures referenced: Gen.3:1-7,24 John 19:25-27, Luke 1:38, John 2:5, Mark 14:22-25, John 6:50-57