Introduction

Everything in Jesus’ life is the fulfillment of God’s Word and plan; even what appear to be the smallest details reported in the Gospels teach not only of His authority and sovereignty, but testify to us personally as to His authority and work in our life. The final chapters of the first book of the New Covenant bring full circle the events of the first few chapters of the very first book of the Old Covenant. Therefore we will begin this week’s study with a review of events in the “first” garden.

First read through Genesis 2 & 3 before beginning the lesson.

8The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. 9Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

...

15Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” ...22The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

[Read Genesis 2:8-9, 15-18, 22]

Q: Where does it all start? What is the commonly referred to name of this place?

A: The Garden of Eden.

Q: What are the 3 types of trees God causes to grow in this garden?

  • “...every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food...”

  • “...the tree of life...”

  • “...the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Q: What is the difference between the first two types of tree? Don’t they BOTH provide “life”?

A: It’s an indication that God’s plan has ALWAYS been to provide not just physical, earthly life but eternal, spiritual life. These last two trees provide insight into God’s plan for man beyond merely “existing”.

Q: What was Eve’s original role? For what purpose was she created?

A: Man’s helper. This is not to be thought of as a “subordinate” or “servant” but as an advocate, supporter, sustainer. She is someone looking out for man’s best interests, a partner in the same cause.

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

4The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

[Read Genesis 3:1-7]

Q: Into what situation does Satan place the woman?

A: Temptation.

Q: What is significant about “temptation”? How does it cause one to sin?

A: Trick question: It DOESN’T “cause” one to sin. It’s a situation in which one makes a choice, a decision whether to be obedient or disobedient to what one already knows is “right” or “wrong.” Eve was responsible for the little that was already communicated by God.

Q: What is the process? How does it go from “talk” or “temptation” to “action” or “sin”?

  • “...saw that the tree was good for food...”

  • “...and that it was a delight to the eyes...”

  • “...and that the tree was desirable to make one wise...”

By taking her focus off God’s Word, and meditating on the object of desire, the woman came up with personal justifications for her decision. In effect, the wrong decision came about by changing the focus from obedience to God’s commands to the pursuit of personal desire. It’s the difference between obedience to God’s long-term plan for the sake of short-term personal pleasure.

14The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

Cursed are you more than all cattle,

And more than every beast of the field;

On your belly you will go,

And dust you will eat

All the days of your life;

15And I will put enmity

Between you and the woman,

And between your seed and her seed;

He shall bruise you on the head,

And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

 

16To the woman He said,

“I will greatly multiply

Your pain in childbirth,

In pain you will bring forth children;

Yet your desire will be for your
husband,

And he will rule over you.”

 

17Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’...

[Read Genesis 3:14-17a]

Q: Who is the first person God deals with? Who does he hold responsible first and foremost and why?

A: Satan, who produced the circumstances of temptation. He is the first one God deals with.

Q: What is the significance of v.15? What is this indicating?

A: It’s the first witness of the Messiah and His work to provide mankind with the opportunity to undo the choices made in the Garden of Eden.

Q: What is the meaning of the “bruising” of the head and the heel?

A: The serpent – in reality Satan – will be permitted to afflict the humanity of the Messiah and bring suffering and persecution on His people; however, the Messiah will effect a fatal blow to ultimately prevail for all time. Essentially this is God’s promise to provide a way to undo what was done in the Garden of Eden.

Q: Who does God deal with next and why?

A: He deals with Eve before Adam because she was the first to sin.
22Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

[Read Genesis 3:22-24]

Q: Give a brief review of everyone appearing in the Garden and their basic role in this account.

  • God: Provided an original plan to fellowship with man and, subsequently, a promise to provide mankind with an avenue back to that plan.

  • Adam: The first man, created for fellowship with God and given a suitable helper to support his pursuit of a relationship with, and obedience to, God.

  • Eve: Originally a co-equal with Adam, the first to sin by making a choice in favor of short-term personal desire over long-term obedience to God’s Word and plan.

  • Satan: Revealed as one that cannot cause sin to happen in and of itself but merely provides an environment of choice, which decisions can lead man to sin.

  • Cherubim: The guards preventing access to the tree of life, cutting off man’s access.

36Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

37And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

39And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

40And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.

44And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

[Read Matthew 26:36-46]

Q: To where does it all come full circle? What is the commonly referred to name of this place?

A: The Garden of Gethsemane.

Q: What are the comparisons and contrasts to what is happening in this garden as opposed to the first garden?

  • Whereas the first Adam was tempted and failed, the Second Adam is tempted but does not fail.

  • Whereas the focus in the first garden was shifted from the Father to personal desire, the focus in the second garden continues to stay on the Father even in the face of personal desire.

  • In both cases, each of Adam’s helpers failed.

  • Whereas the first Adam did not discern the intentions and motives of Satan his betrayer and what Satan was trying to do through Eve, the Second Adam is acutely aware of what Satan is doing through the betrayal and person of Judas because His focus and obedience is unchanged.

Q: How might we summarize Jesus’ purpose and actions in the Garden of Gethsemane in relation to what occurred in the Garden of Eden?

A: Jesus had to first undergo, and overcome, the same situation. In the flesh, with all the physical, emotional and psychological pressures and pain, Jesus successfully overcame the environment Satan creates to provide an opportunity to make a decision for or against God. Although Jesus is referred to as the “Second Adam”, He is actually the “first” to overcome and lead mankind to be reconciled to God’s original plan for them.

57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the grave.

[Read Matthew 27:57-61]

Q: Jesus is betrayed, tried, tortured, crucified, and killed. To where is Jesus’ body taken?

A: In the Gospel of John more information is given, “Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.” (John 19:41)

Jesus’ tomb is in a garden.

62Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ 64Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.”

65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.”

66And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

[Read Matthew 27:62-66]

Q: To what similar event in the first garden might we compare this to?

A: A guard was set at the entrance of the first garden to prevent man’s access to the tree of life.

1Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”

[Read Matthew 28:1-7]

Q: What are the differences and similarities between the first garden and this?

  • The first garden produced failure, defeat; this garden produces victory.

  • Mankind was thrown out of the first garden and a guard placed at its entrance; the guard and stone covering the entrance of this garden has been removed.

  • In the first garden, man’s helpmate conveyed the words and desires of Satan; in this garden man’s helpmate conveys God’s.

  • The result of sin in the first garden led mankind to run and hide from God; victory over sin in this garden leads mankind to run and seek God.
8And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.

[Read Matthew 28:8-9]

Q: With whom did Jesus deal with first?

A: Just the same as in Genesis, the first person Jesus deals with is Satan, having defeated him in the course of his death and resurrection during the preceding days. The first earthly contact He makes is with woman, an appropriate response to the sequence of events that originally transpired in Genesis. He seeks to reconcile first those who fell first.

16But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.

18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

[Read Matthew 28:16-20]

Q: What in v.17 indicates that God’s original plan has been restored?

A: “...they worshiped Him...” The original fellowship and relationship between God and man is restored.

Point: It’s not about signs, it’s not about miracles, it’s not about heavenly wonders: It’s about worship. You can believe in the existence of God but you can’t have fellowship if mere belief does not give way to worship.

Q: What in v.18 indicates that God’s original plan has been restored in the Person of Jesus Christ?

A: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” The temporary focus away from God accomplished by Satan’s provision of temptation has been restored to its proper, central point in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Q: What are the 3 commands of God through Christ to us, restored again to Him, that define our work in this life?

  • “...make disciples...”

  • “...baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit...”

  • “...teaching them to observe all that I command you...”

Q: How do these commands compare with what happened in the first garden?

A: It’s about producing obedience to God’s Word and not disobedience for one’s self.

  • Making disciples means a lifetime of mentoring and training, not just a one-time conversion experience.

  • Baptizing is the public and personal declaration to place the Trinity’s name over consideration of one’s own.

  • Teaching observance of God’s commands is instilling a legacy of obedience through each day’s choices.
 

Points to Ponder

  • Do we fully understand that when it comes to sin, we have a choice? And the result of that choice is not just personal consequences in regard to sin but the expression of our real opinion of God?

  • To what choices/decisions does the Spirit bear witness to you personally that need to be reconsidered or strengthened towards God instead of away from Him?

  • Do you see in Adam’s and Eve’s examples that bad choices can be overcome, that reconciliation is always possible, even desired by God? End