The Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived was a perfect place. God provided them with food, shelter and a promise of eternal life. God gave only one limitation to Adam and Eve. They were not to eat the fruit of the tree that would give them the knowledge about good and evil. God made it very clear that eating from this tree would bring the penalty of death. This tree was a visual reminder to trust and obey God.
Adam and Eve knew what they were supposed to do. The devil came and tempted Eve. Genesis 3:2-3 shows us that Eve knew God’s rule. “The woman answered the snake, ‘No, we can eat fruit from the trees in the garden. But there is one tree we must not eat from. God told us, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch that tree, or you will die.”’”
When Adam and Eve sinned, that tree became a symbol of death. Many years later Jesus was crucified on a cross. To people in Jesus’ time, a cross was a symbol of shame and death. But God took that symbol of death and changed it into a symbol of love and grace.
When we see a cross today, we don’t have to think about death. We can think about God’s wonderful grace and salvation.