The story line of the Bible can be summed up simply in this way:
Things start good, they get bad, and they end even better than the beginning.
If you’ve read along with me this year, I’m sure you’ve picked up on that. The first two chapters of the Bible are really good. Everything is perfect, there is no conflict, and everyone experiences only the absolute best. But starting in Genesis 3, things get bad, and they pretty much stay that way throughout the whole Bible.
There are bright spots here and there, but it’s easy to see the stain of sin on the pages of Scripture. Even the climas of the story, the cross and resurrection, are filled with evil people doing evil things.
But things do not stay bad. In fact, the final two chapters of the Bible show us an ending that is even better than the beginning. And there is one key reason why.
In the garden of Eden, there are two trees, the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God commands Adam and Eve to steer clear of the second tree because it poses a serious threat to their perfect lives. We all know how that one ended.
But look at this section from Revelation 22, the last chapter of the Bible:
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
In the new garden, in the new city, there will be the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil will not be there. Why? Because there is no more danger of corruption. There is no more evil to know. Christ, the conquering King, will crush sin so completely as to destroy it from the universe. There will be no more reason to fear. Those who trust in Christ will live in the presence of their Savior, rejoicing in the glory of their God, forever, and there will be no threat to that eternal life of joy.
This is the very good ending for those who are called the Children of God, and it should cause us to join the Apostle John in saying:
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!