We are made in the image of God.
As image bearers, our first commission & vocation is to rule & subdue the earth (Gen 1:26-28).
Not by manipulating it for the sake of our own power, but by cultivating the ground as gardeners.
Fill the earth, build families and cultures, further the creation with the Creator.
God creates the world and is partnering with humans to rule it.
That's what the tree is all about: will we trust the Creator's wisdom about what is good and what isn't? Or will we seize autonomy and decide for ourselves?
We all know the rest of that story. (Gen. 3)
The first casualty is human relationships. We can't trust one another anymore. What Adam thinks is good might not be the same as Eve.
The images of God are like broken mirrors.
The next is the divine relationship. God's presence and holiness sends us hiding behind the fruit trees.
The third is creation itself. Thorns and thistles grow easier than tomatoes. Creation itself groans for rescue, for restored ground. (Rom. 8:22)
God's good creation corrupted is begging to be made new.
History weeps and is soaked with spilled blood, all of humanity choosing for themselves what is right and what is not.
There was a people group God was working through, the Israelites, who longed to see what they called Messiah, the one who puts right the world.
And then God himself becomes the created in Jesus. He is the visible image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (Col. 1:15).
He represents God's very nature; if you want to know what God is like, look to Jesus (Heb. 1:3).
In his death and resurrection he brought salvation. And with him, he brought new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
Jesus is the first fruits of new creation, of the world being made right.
The story of the Bible begins with heaven and earth in full union, ripped apart by human rebellion, and being brought together by the fidelity of God.
All of creation is being made right by the God-man Jesus, who lived the image bearing life we could not, died the death we could not, and was raised to life and ascended as King of the world.