I am struck by the parallel of the story of Adam and Eve, and the story of Jesus.
The very first example of disobedience happened in a garden – the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve went against the will of God and decided to do things their way. Because of their choice, they were banished from the place of peace and harmony, where their every need was provided for. Because of their choice, they were subject to pain and death.
The ultimate expression of obedience to God also took place in a garden – the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus knew what God wanted him to do. He’d read the words of the prophets and knew that this is what had to happen. He didn’t want it. He said “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42, NIV). He was hoping that there would be a way out, like the ram that appeared when Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac due to God’s command. He was hoping that there would be another way, that he would not have to suffer and die.
And yet, he accepted what had to happen. Knowing what was going to occur, yet trusting in his Father, he submitted. He was fully obedient, knowing that it would cost him his life. Because of God’s love, he gained his life back.
Because of his example of total obedience to God, we now have a pattern for how to live our lives – trusting, without fear, knowing that even death has no hold over us if we are following God’s commands. The doors to heaven are open to us if we follow his example.