COLUMN — God’s agape love for all mankind
When we think of love there are all kinds of ways to express love.
There are even love languages for Christian marriages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. Basically these say that this is how love is communicated to you. I am a time person. Spend time with me and it says I love you. If you do not have time for me, then I am not feeling loved very much.
Then you have agape love which is a Greek term used to express unconditional love. As Christ followers we know this is the kind of love God has for us.
Going back to Adam and Eve, God really loved them. He spent time with them, created them perfectly and placed them in a perfect world. There was no sickness, no disease, no disagreements, no death –everything and everybody was unified. But then, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and when He came to them they tried to make excuses and even blamed God for their choices. So there were punishments involved – consequences to their disobedience/sin. One of these consequences is significant to me.
The word says, “So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”(Genesis 23, 24)
God in his amazing love for mankind actually blessed Adam and Eve while they were reprimanded for their disobeying God. You may ask how can this banishment express love?
By listening to his wife Adam had disobeyed God and abandoned his leadership role which had been given to him by God. So, once his sin was exposed he was punished. His body was no longer perfect. It began to age and his cells began to die. The perfect world was no longer perfect. If Adam stayed in the garden, he could have very well eaten from the tree of life and lived forever. However, who would want to live with sickness and disease for an eternity. Who would want to watch the world fall apart day after day for the rest of eternity? God showed mercy and absolute love by making them leave and live out their days, by not having them experience suffering for an eternity.
God is merciful to us today. Although we also have imperfect bodies, as Christ followers we know one day we will be like Jesus- when we see Him face to face. We are the redeemed of the Lord and we will experience a perfect heaven and a perfect body, as God had always intended from the very beginning.
Yvette Perrin is a columnist for The Charlotte Gazette. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.