“The serpent… said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?”’ And the woman said, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden,.. lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and… was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she gave some to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked… and they hid.” Genesis 3:1-8
“Then Jesus went with them to Gethsemane, and… began to be sorrowful and troubled. He said, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.’ 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will…’ For the second time, he prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’ Again.., he prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.” Matthew 36:36-39,42-44
What differed was the response to the fruit. The tree in the middle of Eden’s garden was lush, beautiful, and delicious, but forbidden. Nothing in the fruit was inherently sinister or infectious. God in His love gave Adam and Eve free agency to live and love as no mere puppets, and they rejected His word, falling to sensual pull enticed by the serpent’s deceptive ideology. The cup Jesus was offered was anything but lovely and enticing, rather, bitter and repulsive. God in love sent Him to take it, and in love back, for His Father and the world, He willingly submitted to its virulence. Obedience and the call of redemption won out over physical, emotional, and spiritual temptation, effecting God’s prophetic word even if it meant excruciating* agony. (Isaiah 53:4-7; John 3:16)
Adam and Eve’s fall burdened us with inherited sin, but Christ’s ascension relieved us of its weight. Living by faith instead of the flesh, we daily choose what to do with the fruit offered us: our freedom to indulge self or honor God? How much our flesh wants our will, not God’s! We grow impatient waiting for our dreams to be fulfilled and desires met, so we choose what looks and feels good for now. Jesus took the long and high view, seeing beyond temporal suffering to eternal glory and what it would effect for His children.
How can we grow into not my will but Thine? Would we ask to be willing to be made willing, and unclench our hands to hold His scarred ones? As we make one choice for Him at a time, He will work in us what pleases Him and is for our good. (Philippians 2:13)
Lord, give me such intimacy with Thee that my will becomes Yours, and is embraced and lived for Your glory.
*‘ex-cruciate’ means ‘out of the cross’