At the garden of Eden, God created humanity, breathed into it, a part of the divine. The connection was made with humanity with God walking in the garden to meet and talk with Adam and Eve. As a result of the fall, the humanity that was residing in flesh created from dust was to return to dust because of the knowledge of evil, ie the presence of sin with its decaying power. The divine nature that was within us, the Spirit man, was to be lost forever apart from the body of flesh. When Jesus died, He preached to those residing in this spiritual wasteland.
In this season of Lent, it was in the searing heat of the desert that the weakness of humanity was most profound – felt through hunger and thirsts. The desert was a place of death, where nothing grows, a direct contrast to the Garden Eden which flowed the river of God. Humanity was to tend the garden but the fall resulted in the emptiness of decay in the futility of the desert.
When Jesus walked through this life’s desert journey with us, it was not as if God was re-connected to humanity, for out of the dust of the ground, God could have easily created a new humanity. Instead God becoming flesh as one with humanity was to help us gain victory over the powers of darkness by essentially identifying with Christ Himself. We need not go through the emptiness of the desert rather our identification with Jesus means that it was us who walked through the desert and victorious over temptation and the satanic temptations. In Christ Jesus, we have already overcome.
The Temptation of Jesus in the desert was a reenactment of the temptation of humanity at the Garden of Eden. There Adam and Eve went alone to be tempted by Satan. Here Jesus went alone into the desert to be tempted by Satan on behalf of humanity itself (being born of the flesh but also of the Spirit of God). Jesus went into the desert to retrieve back humanity from the fall at the Garden of Eden. Jesus went to reclaim humanity. Hence, Jesus became the second Adam whence the first Adam had failed. We are born of the flesh in the first Adam, but born of the Spirit of God in the 2nd Adam.
Gen 2:7 Then the LORD God formed a man[a] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Humanity has longed to go back to the Garden of Eden where they had a direct line and communion with God. They were still of a human flesh yet the breath of God gave us a part of the divine nature within to be self-conscious, having a morality, conscience and care for one and all. God walked amongst us. We are the created from the ground, the life breathed into us by the divine God.
Gen 3:21-23 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
At the Garden of Eden, humanity wanted to become like God to be divine. But it was a trick by Satan. We didn’t become the divine but our eyes were opened to a spiritual world of good and evil – to know or to have “evil” ie to have sin and to be sin conscious yet having no way to justify ourselves as being righteous and holy. After being ejected from the Eden, the longing for return and be part of the divine was so strong than they build a tower to the heavens, and they did reached the heavens with the fallen angels having sexual relationships resulting in supernatural beings. The spiritual beings had the appearance of mankind yet they were not of flesh. In the flood, the flesh that was corrupted was destroyed.
The ancients’ faiths had a fascination with sex because it joins two flesh together. As the temple priests were possessed with the spirit, the deity would come into those who had anal sex with him and hence it was considered a religious abomination. It was never about homosexuality but a powerful spiritual union. The temple priest was possessed by the deity and when they had sex with the priests, they too were possessed. After the flood, God gave grace for even when humanity errs and join themselves to demonic deities; the flood did not come again. But the Holy Spirit have had to withdraw from humanity, lest judgement come.
Gen 6:3 And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive[a] with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
There was a gulf between the divine and humanity, and the Holy Spirit left communion with humanity. There was no moral reason for God to connect with humanity until Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only child. He gave a moral right for Son of God to be incarnated in the line of Abraham which carried on this covenant of faith and unconditional blessings of God. The virgin birth was a supernatural birth where the “seed” is from God rather than man. Jesus became human so that through Him we can transcend beyond our humanity and reach a divine body. The divine is not within us rather we look forward to be changed from glory to glory to the divine.
The full purpose of the incarnation became clearer when at the Cross of Calvary, Jesus’ humanity was nailed to the Cross. When He died and rose again, He was no more in human flesh but having a new body, a new creation. We need not go to the Cross for Jesus went before us representing humanity that as we identify with Christ, we too will receive a new creation, a new body in heaven which will not decay overcoming the curse of a decaying humanity at the Garden of Eden. If Jesus had come in human flesh but had not died for our sins, there would not have been any reconciliation with God. If we do not identify with Jesus, His death and resurrection, it would have no covenant for us.
When we die, our flesh of humanity departs and only in Christ shall we receive a new body not of flesh but of the divine, a new creation of God in heaven. Jesus sets the way where He took on humanity, and died in His humanity bearing our sins, but was resurrected with a new body, the new Adam. Our old humanity, the old Adam, will one day be no more for we shall receive a glorious body not of human flesh but of the divine just like Jesus.
We return back to the garden of Eden, for we now partake the tree of life, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, for we partake in His death and therein risen with Him. Jesus didn’t reconcile Himself with humanity when the Word of God became flesh for humanity will still return to the dust. He came to replace humanity. Hence, we come to a much better position than in the Garden of Eden where humanity was still in the flesh walking in innocence before God, to a position of righteousness if we do indeed loose our humanity and exchange it for the righteousness of Christ in our lives by faith in His death and resurrection for our sins. Hence, we reach a point of grace, a point of communion with the divine God.
In Christ, we exchanged our humanity with the divine new creation and become a child of God. In this season of Lent, Jesus didn’t ask us to follow Him into the desert of suffering, pain and denial. We have to take up our own Cross, not of good works, but of faith in Christ Jesus. Do you have faith in the goodness of God today? Or have the ravages and disappointments of life overcome your first love for God?
The Holy Spirit is here today if we call upon Him to reside and be with us in our lives to be Christ in our lives for we shall never walk alone again. And one day when this life’s journey is over, we will not return to dust in our humanity, but in Christ, we shall have be a new creation and there shall be no more crying but laughter and rejoicing for we shall finally return Home in heaven.
In Christ, we are reconciled with the Holy Spirit. So, let us enjoy and enter into relationship with the Divine of God. Our life’s journey may still be the harsh dry desert but now we have an abiding friendship and communion with the Holy Spirit to be with us through the desert storms of life and one day lead the way through to our heavenly abode. We are no longer thirsty in this dry land but filled with the living waters of the Holy Spirit.