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In Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in God’s garden, where God would visit them from time to time. There was no barrier between the human and the divine. When Adam and Eve decided they wanted to be like God, they were packed out of God’s garden to go and build a life on their own strength.
Genesis 3:24 says (NLT): “After sending them out [Adam and Eve], the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”
Adam and Eve initially lived in heaven on earth, a place where all their needs were provided for. When they chose to live independent of God, heaven closed its doors, and put a mighty cherubim, an angelic guard, to keep it closed. Heaven remain closed, till when Jesus came down to open the way again. The gospel of Mark records two unique events that point to an opened heavens today.
In Mark 1:9-10 (NIV) we read: “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.”
At the crucifixion in Mark 15:37-38 (NIV) we read: “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”
At Jesus baptism when he started his mission, heaven opened up, but this was witnessed by a few. When Jesus completed his mission, the curtain in the temple that separated the seat of God from the people, was ‘torn in two from top to bottom‘ – the opened heavens was announced to the whole world. Next week we will look at the implication of the opened heavens for you and me.
Lord, open our eyes to see that Eden has opened up again, Amen!