Oh, the insufferable task of eating.
Every forlorn condiment, crusted pot, frantic meal time, lingering indigestion, allergic reaction, bulimic binge, scorched crop and distended tummy seem to testify with unnerving accuracy to the curse given this world’s first family: “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Gen 3:17-19) A far cry from “the trees, pleasing to the eye and good for food” that God intended for man. (Gen 2:4-9)
Sadly, the curse extends beyond just the seed of the ground to the seed of man: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your [seed] and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gen 3:15)
Yet, despite these tragedies, the seed of Life remains: “And the Lord God said, ‘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.’ 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.” (Gen 3:22-24)
Oh, how I long to taste it.
“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God….We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Rom 8:20-23)
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:3-4)
Dormant life waits for a breath from heaven to melt the world’s hard frost.
“When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body…So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable…it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body…If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body…And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven…When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ” (1 Cor 15:35-54)
“Bring your [firstfruits]…There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.” (Duet 12:6-7)
And one day,
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15-16)
Could it be? An ancient, holy tabernacle table* the anticipated site of an eternal communion, a celebration of firstfruits, ours in Jesus, his in us, our natural seed raised into its reclaimed life?
Oh, how I long to taste it.
*Pastor Rob Ketterling, of River Valley Church, on Sept 7, 2014 shared that the required dimensions of the table within the Israelites’ tabernacle are the same dimensions as today’s dinner table. See it here: https://www.rivervalley.org/media/sermons/?sid=81&mid=159