The Curse of Eternal Life

Written by Anthony Douglas on 27 April 2018.

Fiction has been with us since the Garden of Eden, and while at first it was displayed only in sinful ways, it has since become of some value to humanity. The arts have provoked all kinds of useful insights and discussions.

A movie I recently watched featured a protagonist who, for the sake of the plot, was unable to age. The story was a tragedy, of forced isolation as the ageless heroine was unable to form deep relationships lest her secret be exposed. She resorted to a shadow family by caring for a string of dogs of the same breed, each new pup acquired to replace the old dog after its death.

Flower - DeadIt struck me how terrible eternal life would be, were we to live it alone. This isn’t a real possibility, of course - Jesus is more competent than that! Yet the idea highlights the beauty of the fact that we don’t hope for eternal isolation, but eternal fellowship as members of God’s family.

The other verse that came to mind was Genesis 3:22, where God says, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” Here God saves Adam from living forever as a sinner, but another horror occurred to me. What if Adam had been the only one to eat from the tree of life, as the verse says? Then he would have known the despair of seeing each and every descendant stumble into sin and death - Adam’s legacy - for generation upon generation.

Thank God he makes us new, so that the life we live is that of people who have been eternally restored to fellowship with him.

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