There were two spiritually significant trees mentioned in Genesis 2 standing in the middle of the Garden of Eden – the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Tree of Life was not off limits to Adam and Eve, yet they did not eat the fruit of that Tree, but rather grasped the forbidden fruit. Thus they rejected life and the Giver of Life – they rejected what was rightfully theirs, grasping instead after something not given to them. By following their own self wills, they rejected what God willed for them. The tree of life reemerges, at least in Orthodox Holy Week Hymns, in the Tree of the Cross upon which Christ is crucified. The Tree of the Cross seemingly brings about death, but turns out to be life-giving.
“If animals have no consciousness of death, they experience life. In this light, the tree of life in the Garden of Eden is the universal experience of life. The tree of life, after being introduced at Genesis 2:9, almost vanishes from the Paradise account, and the tree of knowledge occupies center stage. God refers again to the tree of life at the end of the Paradise account, implying that the fruit of the tree of life grants eternal life (Gen. 3:22). For this reason, some Fathers, such as Ephrem the Syrian, attach considerable importance to the tree of life, since it imparts the acquisition of an essential divine quality, immortality, for which Adam and Eve were unprepared.” (Paul Ladouceur in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, Vol. 57: Number 2, p 165)
The Tree of Life – the Tree of the Cross – is the giver of immortality.
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