How many times have I read the book of Genesis, chapter 3...and therefore how many times have I missed this previously!!
Doh! (note to self...take more notice!)
My reading for the day was The Fall of Man...
...and I had a lightbulb moment (that's Nora speak for 'the Holy Spirit revealed this to me').
I started studying around this subject...boy, some of it was like wading uphill, through treacle in flip-flops! But I think I got there and will now try to explain it in simple terms .... mostly for myself because I know I will read it again in the future and question it. In fact I have written out 2 post-it notes and stuck them to the relevant chapters in my Bible.
So first we know that God created Adam & Eve. They are created in God's image meaning that they have good characteristics and abilities with access to the Tree of Life. If they love God and do as He asks, they will live forever (but this isn't a dictatorship so they do have freewill).
So .... the snake tempts Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil, which she does, she then gives it to Adam and they become wise. They understand that they are naked and their desire to cover up comes to the notice of God. He then knows what they have done and has a problem.
What God created has now become 'equal' in terms of knowing good and evil and knows that this won't work, in fact now that they are 'spoiled' it could be dangerous for the future if they are allowed to live forever.
He has to punish them (this is the first judgement of sin) and he also has to prevent the chaos their wrongdoing will cause by preventing them from living forever (making them mortal) and so sends them out of the Garden of Eden which prevents them access to the Tree of Life.
This is the lightbulb moment when I realised that Adam & Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge and then God sent them out of the Garden of Eden so that they couldn't eat from the Tree of Life.... yes, 2 trees.
One that leads to eternal life with all the goodness of God and the other which reveals all the opposites or the absence of all the good things (because where you create love, the absence of love is hate, where you create good, the absence of good is evil, where you create humility the absence of humility is pride...and so on!)
I thought this picture showed it well.....
So now Adam & Eve cannot eat from the Tree of Life (and nor can the rest of humanity), this makes death inevitable and, wonderfully, resurrection possible, so by doing this God creates a means to save mankind.
A great example of God bringing Good from evil.
So that is what the whole Bible is about really. God wanting us in the Garden of Eden with him, us messing it up and God finding a way to ...well.... get round the problem!