The History of Humanity – A Tale of Two Trees

Share Two Edges of the Sword Post:

Last week we left Adam in the Garden of Eden with explicit instructions from God: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat (including the Tree of Life); but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:15-18)

Tree #1 – Our first tree in our Tale of Two Trees, referred to in the title, is introduced in these verses. Notice that God’s instructions to Adam not to eat the fruit of the first tree were given before Eve was created. However, her answer to Satan’s “has God said?…” query in Genesis 3 lets us know that Adam had very carefully briefed her.

We don’t know if Adam agreed with joining Eve in partaking of her rebellious, tasty snack or not. If he did or didn’t, he showed an appalling lack of leadership. If he had told Eve when she offered the fruit to him, “Put that back right now! You know God told us to not eat it,” whether she had obeyed him or not, mankind would not have fallen. “In Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22), not “in Eve!” He is the federal head of the human race, not Eve.

However, he did not do that. Instead he yielded his headship in his family to his wife, His “helper.” He said “Yes, Dear,” to her and her rebellion, followed at her heels like a puppy dog, ate of the forbidden fruit at the first tree, and the whole human race fell into what has become known as “original sin!” All mankind comes out of the womb having defied God in Adam.

So, in the perfect plan of God, man began a detour from his mission to rule over the earth. Now shut out from a direct, personal relationship with God at the first tree, God began the process of bringing us back. He began with a man (Abraham), then Abraham’s descendants (the Jews), and finally an individual Jewish Messiah—”Anointed One”—Jesus Christ Himself!

The Jews longingly looked for this Savior, but it was primarily to save them from the tyranny of the Roman Empire, not to save them from their sins, as Jesus declared He had come to do, and they rejected Him and then crucified Him on a Roman cross, the second tree!  

Tree #2 – Their long-awaited Messiah, their Savior, had come, but the Jews rejected Him, and consigned him to the most ignoble death available to them—death on a wooden cross; a “Tree!”

Have you ever wondered how the Jews, after watching Jesus for three years, seeing His miracles and hearing His teaching, could consign Him to such an end? It simply shows the depths of the depravity of the sin infecting humanity since the first tree.

Satan had taken Adam’s God-given “right to rule over the earth” from him when Adam became Satan’s slave at the 1st Tree: “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey” (Romans 6:16), Mankind had become Satan’s slaves in the Divine Court of Justice!

However, God in His sovereignty, had Satan, then the “god (ruler) of this world.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) right where He wanted him in a brilliant, divine sting operation! 

At the cross, Satan, in a fit of blind rage, finally eliminated (so he thought) the one God had sent to replace him as ruler of this world. However, not so fast! The crucifixion-resurrection event has proven to be, for those with eyes to see, the centerpiece of all history, the watershed event that forever changed the world, and the lens through which we must look to have any understanding of the meaning of life. 

When Jesus died outside the city wall of Jerusalem on the second tree, three momentous, eternal, seismic shifts occurred in time, never to be negated, nullified or reversed. 

1. A shift with regard to God. God’s perfect justice that decreed “…the soul that sins, it shall die” (Exodus 18:4) was FOREVER SATISFIED by Jesus’ bloody death for the sins of the whole world. God is no longer concerned or influenced in any way by our sin. God has “(Blotted) out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us which was contrary to us (we have not measured up to God’s perfect law), and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:14). 

Sin has been forever put away. God deals with us, no longer as sinful aliens and strangers, but now as BELOVED, COMPLETELY FORGIVEN CHILDREN with whom He is diligently at work, bringing us home to Daddy.

2. A shift with regard to man. Not only was sin fully dealt with, but we were dealt with as well. Our old man—fallen, ruined, unsalvageable—has been put out of his misery at the cross in Christ. Three days later, we were raised from the dead in Him, ascended to heaven in Him and currently are seated at God’s right hand in Him, as well.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6). Hallelujah!

Next week I want to finish this “two trees” idea with the third and final shift at the 2nd tree, a shift with regard to Satan himself.

Share Two Edges of the Sword Post:


  1. Duane Hodges says:

    Wonderful post. I’ve read these verses many times, but now they have “clicked” and become real. Thank you. 😊

  2. Sally Meredith says:

    My take: 2 trees in garden.
    One Life, one death
    The cross was the tree of death, (dead tree) where Jesus placed all sins upon himself and figuratively on that dead tree.
    One tree left-Life which is the same tree as in the garden but now reserved for us to eat of in the new earth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *