Trees and Gardens

I have been going through the Bible Project’s, Torah Journey, Bible study. What I love about the Bible Project, and the Bible itself, is the one cohesive story that points to Jesus. It reveals incredible connections and patterns throughout Scripture. One pattern I love is the recurrence of trees, gardens, and high places. We begin the biblical journey in a garden with trees and in a high place. In Genesis 2, God places humanity in a garden and tells them they are not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil or they will die. As the story goes on, we encounter the crafty serpent, and Adam and Eve do what is good in their own eyes and ignore the word of God. But God still had a plan for humanity. He promises one who would destroy the serpent’s power and die in the process, setting the stage for the rest of scripture. We see person after person find themselves in a garden, on a high place with trees – Abraham, Moses, David, and the citizens of Israel. Each time we are led to ask, “Is this the promised one who will crush the head of the serpent? Will this person finally do what God commands and not do what is good in his own eyes?” We don’t find the answer to this question for some time, but on the Mount of Olives, in a garden called Gethsemane, we see a new Adam faced with a choice. This is the moment when we all hold our breath. Jesus presents the question to His Father three times, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me?” And three times, Jesus answered the question like no one before – “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus would go from the garden to be struck by the serpent, and on the third day He would rise from the dead and crush the head of the serpent once and for all.