“Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.” – Genesis 3:23-24
Man now must do what was done for him. The means of life for nurturing and growth is as God had intended. But man must learn the techniques of agriculture and animal husbandry to produce the sustenance to maintain his life. He must toil in tilling where the sinless man did not.
Christ tells us that he who puts his hand to the plow and looks back will not have eternal life. Meaning that the sins committed and forgiven must not be returned to. As a farmer who looks back when plowing will not make a straight furrow, so, too, will the sinner not make straight his way.
Man is a farmer for needs of the soul as well as the body. When plowing, he keeps his eye on the target ahead. If not he will stray off-line and must start over again. What is that target for sinners? Christians believe it is Christ. Seculars, however, target a utopian ideal as the end result of evolution. With Christ we have an affirmed beginning to which we strive to return. Evolutionists, who can only affirm a theoretical start which leads to evolutionary theory, believe we are randomly growing toward some goal of perfection and are constantly adapting to needs compelling change, physically, mentally and philosophically toward that goal. With evolutionists this is a one-dimensional process moving forward to one day achieve the utopian ideal.
The process of Christianity comes full circle. To return to an already set perfect ideal. To return to the home that was perfect until the order was disrupted by a broken relationship. The unbelieving plowman cannot plow a straight furrow because he knows not his true beginning nor his intended end. The believing plowman does. The former cannot be certain as to how far they have come toward achieving this goal. The latter can. Christ is the only certain target. The evolutionist is chasing an ever elusive, ever-changing, phantom on which no aim can be taken. The Christian validates the inherent value in each individual. The evolutionist does not. For, the evolutionist, sees man as but a means to some end. A mere step along the evolutionary path. To the Christian, the state of a man’s soul is the end.
Christ by taking to the cross reached up and pulled down upon himself the sins of all mankind, past present and to come. In this divine sacrifice where the creator allows himself to be killed by his beloved creatures, death loses its sting. The debt of sin has been paid by the New Adam. The sour note struck by the first Adam would have reverberated endlessly causing disharmony throughout humanity. But, by the Cross, has since been replaced by a new note, in Christ, from which a new harmonious symphony is written for all mankind.
What Christ had to endure was not easy but hard. The plowman knows this as well. What he does, too, is hard, abdicating and demanding. For such is necessary to enjoy the fruits of labor. Christ’s death on the cross did not validate the wage of sin for He was sinless. And by His resurrection is confirmed that all those who, at their moment, die sinless, too, will do what He has done. Death, due to the cross, is but the lifting of the veil between this world and the next. And how we live our lives determines how we live eternally. Either in the New Eden or far from it. The disciplined plowman who toils in the worldly field unfettered by its distractions and tills its soil virtuously will be rewarded with a harvest that this world knows not. The straight furrow then leads to eternal bliss.
Keen is the eye and steady the hand that is governed by a prudent mind.