Two Gardens

In Genesis 3, the first Adam is tempted. At the heart of the temptation is that his will should reign. Choosing to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil means that he looks to his own will to decide right from wrong.

By the way, I personally think that this helps us see how the tree functions in a “sacramental” not a magical way. Adam and Eve make the decision in their hearts and minds before they express it outwardly in taking the fruit. Furthermore, I would suggest that once they have decided to make their own minds up and not simply trust God’s word, they are on an irreversible trajectory that means they will eat the fruit -even at the point where they are simply deciding to decide for themselves. They have made a choice about who and what they will believe.

Many years later, the second Adam, Jesus is in a garden.  He is faced with that same age-old temptation “Whose will?” His prayer to the Father is “Not my will by yours.” 

The Garden of Eden presents us with Adam as the disobedient Son who wants to grasp equality with God and to be autonomous from him, following his own will. The Garden of Gethsemane presents us with the new Adam, Jesus,

“Who though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
he took the humble position of a slave[c]
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”