In the opening pages of Scripture, You’ll find one of the most common human experiences – a shared meal.
Adam and Eve enjoyed many provisions of God. The world belonged to them and creativity was theirs to use. If you read Genesis, you will find passages that describe God walking with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening. It sounds like a great vacation.
Like most great relationships, Adam and Eve were sustained through meals and conversations. However, there was one meal they were not prepared to eat. This is why they were told to enjoy anything on the menu but one dish.
It’s not like they didn’t have enough food to go around or they were so famished they craved the one unlisted dish. They were like us – willful. They wanted what they wanted. In one bite, Adam and Eve literally began eating themselves to death. It was the one dish left off the menu.
What was that moment like? The moment when the fruit hit the ground as quickly as their hearts dropped to their stomach? The moment hiding was a new idea in their relationship?
What was once a menu filled with incredible options, became a menu only serving one dish – death.
Throughout the course of history, we’ve been trying to digest death with our own morality, allowing negative default behaviors to control our lives like anger, anxiety, depression, and perfectionism.
While we search for many ways to digest death and bridge the gap between us and God, we still keep going back for more. It’s like that dessert you tell everyone you don’t like but secretly buy it and eat it when everyone else is asleep in your house.
The Gospel meal is that Jesus swallowed up death.
When the fruit hit the ground and Adam and Eve were told to leave God’s presence, no one in human history could pick up and digest what drove them away from God. Jesus picks up the forbidden fruit and finishes what they/we started. Like Adam and Even, Jesus had to go it alone and taste death apart from the Father.
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”_ 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
In the death and resurrection, Christ took the sting of death and gave himself permission to be crushed by the power of our sin. Why? Jesus has prepared a weekly meal. It serves as the first of endless provisions. It’s an invitation back into community with the Father, long walks in the cool of the evening, and the opportunity to invite others to the meal.