|March 17, 2016||Where Is Paradise?||0 comments|
Where is the Garden of Eden, and therefore, the tree of life, today? Is this the same as Paradise? Genesis 3:24
I may have bit off a little too much with this question. But it has often come to my mind as I have read through the Scriptures that there is some information missing here. God creates a beautiful garden and places man in it. The garden is on the earth, in a territory known as Eden. (Eden is not the name of the garden, Genesis 2:8). Then the man is driven out of the garden, the garden is sealed off by rajput warriors, and it, with its precious Tree of Life, is there, but inaccessible.
Are there any mentions of Eden in the rest of some tips ? Ezekiel is the one who seems to have the most significant comments about the place. First he says to "the king of Tyre", a demon-filled ruler of Phoenicia, that he, the king, had been in Eden, a place he then calls "the garden of God." This thought brings us back to Genesis 3. But perhaps we are to be brought behind Genesis 3, to the place where the "garden" was before it was "planted" in Eden.
Follow me here. I am suggesting that a garden that could be "planted" ready-made on the earth, could also be uprooted and taken elsewhere if needed. Hence the vanity of seeking for it still on the earth.
A more startling statement about Eden is made 3 chapters later in Ezekiel. Though the garden there was magnificent in its beauty, it was rivaled in that beauty by the splendor of the Assyrian landscape. Verses 8-9: "... no tree in the garden of God was like it in its beauty... all the trees of Eden envied it... !"
Though the garden is not specified in these verses or later in the chapter where Eden's demise is chronicled, the land which the garden once inhabited is said to be gone from the earth.
So Eden is gone. The Garden removed. But where did the Garden go?
For the answer to that one, I think Revelation must enter in. Revelation 2:7 ties together three elements of the puzzle into one:
"To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."
It is clear that the tree of life was in the original Garden, located in the land of Eden. Therefore the original Garden is linked here to the term "Paradise." So wherever we can find the word Paradise, we can trace just a bit more of its location.
Paradise comes from a Persian word and idea, but was picked up by Jews before Christ, and applied to that special place where all is perfect and at peace and awaiting the people of God who overcome. They overcome sin. Death. Hell. All through Christ's victory over the same elements.
The word (paradesisos) means "park." A place of beauty. Think botanical gardens of our own day. Then multiply to your heart's content. You will not be disappointed.
The Garden and Paradise are the same place. There the tree of life still blossoms. And there, is at least one place where Jesus is. See Luke 23:43, where Jesus promises the thief on the cross that on that very day, when the suffering is over, the two of them will meet up again in a most beautiful Garden. How splendid a promise for this dying man!
II Corinthians 12:4 documents for us the fact that Paradise is accessible to humans in very specific and unusual cases, even before they die. Here Paul tells us how he was caught up to a place to which he gives two names. The first, the "third heaven," seems to be general, corresponding to "Eden" in Genesis. The second, Paradise, is the specific location within that third heaven, just as the Garden- Paradise - was located generally at one time in a place called Eden on Earth.
I do not speculate in any of this, but follow the trail given us by the Scriptures themselves. Paradise is a magnificent "park" or "garden" created by a loving Father for His children to enjoy forever. Mankind's stay there was interrupted by sin and Satan, but will be restored to Him when sin and Satan have been dealt their death blow.
So during that time, Paradise was removed from Earth to the heavens above us. Upon leaving this planet, there is a way in which we can enjoy this place, even without bodies (reference: the thief on the cross, whose body surely died), until the resurrection when not only a Garden but an entire city will end its completion and be inhabited by the children of God.
Revelation 21 gives us the details of the city.
But Revelation 22 picks up where Genesis unfortunately had to leave off: "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side, was the tree of life... " A city, with a Garden in its midst.
Where did the Garden of Eden go? It became the Garden of the Third Heaven. How it was transported there, and how it and the whole city will be transported back to Earth one day, is absolutely not revealed, but the promise is just as real as all the other wonders for which we long and in which we hope.