The Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, along with the tree of knowledge of good and evil.Genesis 2:8–9 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
We start at the beginning from creation forward. We read that the earth was formed, domains made, and inhabitants created to occupy those domains.
Our attention focuses on God planting a garden that included the very thing that would provide a problem. One that would introduce an enemy opposed to God.
We tend to think of time linearly because we experience it that way. An event happens then the next one and so on. Yet, we cannot go back in time or look forward in time.
That movement of time doesn’t happen with God. He doesn’t move backward or forwards in time. He doesn’t look to the future, either. He is in every single moment in every conceivable place concurrently. I know that’s a big concept to grasp. But it helps to try to apprehend that. The psalmist sings of these wonders in Psalm 139.
The existence of that one tree would lead to the downfall of God’s imagers. One that we know He had confidently purposed to rectify.
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth was a man attested to you by God with powerful works and wonders and signs, which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know. You have taken Him, who was handed over to you by the ordained counsel and foreknowledge of God, and by lawless hands have crucified and killed Him, whom God raised up by loosening the pull of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.Acts 2:22–24 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
It is in the confidence of that already conceived plan that Jesus was crucified. It was set in order long ago before time existed… God, Himself would die for sins. The apostle John drops another bombshell about the “timelessness” of this fact.
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, all whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world.Revelation 13:8 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
It was determined that Jesus would die for sins. It was also His Blood that atoned for the sin at the foundation of the world exactly when It was needed.
Consider this: It was Jesus Himself (John 1:3) Who planted that tree. He planted the tree of life, along with the tree of knowledge. The latter is that which brought death. Jesus then died on another tree. This is where death was defeated so that humans could have restored access to the tree of life and the garden of God.
In our experience, this is the entire swath of time from creation until the New Jerusalem and beyond. For God, these things don’t happen one after another as spread across time. There is unity in that. Just as there is a unity of purpose within God Himself.
Yet in the moment of the establishment of creation up to planting the garden, the humility of Jesus is a very present reality.
Let this mind be in you all, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.Philippians 2:5–11 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
There is a lot of deep stuff to unpack there. I will leave that for another time.
There is humility built into the creation. There is also unity. One which exudes confidence. Confidence that the necessary tasks to be done would be carried out and have the desired outcome. (God is already there.)
That is part of what Paul is saying about each of us having that very mind. Humility, unity, and confidence.
If there is any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any compassion and mercy, then fulfill my joy and be like-minded, having the same love, being in unity with one mind. Let nothing be done out of strife or conceit, but in humility let each esteem the other better than himself. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.Philippians 2:1–4 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Confidence that when we are called to lead, we lead. When called to teach, we teach. When called to love, we love. When called to have compassion, we are compassionate.
All of us are called to share Jesus Christ. We can be confident that we are able to do just that.