We recently discussed how the water of life flowing from God’s throne is not just for when we get to Heaven – it’s for right now, this very moment. We meditated on Holy Spirit’s beckoning invitation, “Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life” (Rev. 22:17, NLT).
This same chapter gives us more detail about this river of life that we’ve been invited to enjoy. Pause for a moment and picture this description in your mind’s eye: “[The river of life] flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations” (Rev. 22:2, NLT).
The tree of life. I’m sure you recall that Adam and Eve lost access to this very thing when the planet fell at the beginning of the Book. Here we find this tree again, at the very end of the Book. What does this reveal to us? This: that what humanity lost through sin, Jesus regained for us through His sacrificial gift. Now He invites us to the river of life where the tree of life grows.
Do you remember that, up until the fall, the tree of life was not forbidden to Adam and Eve? It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that was forbidden. Everything else was there, available for their rich enjoyment. This included the tree of life. I am guessing that the reason their life spans were so long in the beginning was because they had already eaten some of that amazing fruit. However, one would have to go on eating it to live forever. The curse cut them off from doing so.
The curse that fell on the earth on that tragic day, Jesus took for us on the cross: “Christ has purchased our freedom from the curse… by becoming accursed for us–because ‘Cursed is every one who is hanged upon a tree’” (Gal. 3:13, Weymouth). He was hung on a tree, to restore us to another tree… the tree of life.
The curse had driven Adam and Eve from Eden, “lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever” (Gen. 3:22). In losing access to the tree, they lost eternal life. Jesus purchased it for us once again. He now joyfully proclaims to us that whoever believes in Him will never die (John 6:47);(John 11:26).
Although we must wait for the resurrection of our bodies for the ultimate fulfillment of this promise, Jesus also taught us that everlasting life begins now: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3, NKJV).
Knowing Him. This is eternal life. Knowing Him is like eating from the tree of life. It infuses us with vitality. It makes us live forever.
Today, right now, we can know Him intimately. Today, right now, we can respond to His invitation. We can drink freely of the water of life. And we can eat from the tree of life. Jesus regained access for us. The tree of life bears fruit constantly. Twelve crops for twelve months – this means that there is never a time when it’s not available.
The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. When Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come; Your will be done, on earth as it in Heaven,” He had these leaves in mind. We can confidently ask for Heaven’s healing on earth as it is in Paradise. These leaves are restoration for our minds, bodies, and souls. His healing is available to us because He absorbed absolutely all of the curse in His body. He truly did come that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.
So today, respond to His beckoning. Come. Come to the waters. Drink freely of the water of life, where the tree of life grows for you. Everywhere this river flows, everything it touches comes alive. Let Holy Spirit’s presence flow over and through every part of your being. Be nourished… partake of a deeper heart knowledge of Jesus, as Holy Spirit reveals Him to you. Drink freely of these waters… and come more alive than you ever have been before!
Did Jesus really mean it? Did He really intend for us to pray confidently for His Kingdom to manifest on the earth just like it is in Heaven? If so, what does that look like?