The last refrain of Joni Mitchell’s song reverberates to desire for transformation out of “the devil’s bargain”:
We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden
I grew up singing along with the sentiments expressed in this iconic song — getting back to Eden and somehow righting all the wrongs of the devil’s bargain. Alas, living simply, advocating harmony and peace did not get me, or anyone I knew back to undo the wrong.
What I didn’t realize was that I needed to get to another garden: the one that held an empty tomb — the resurrection garden.
God came into the original garden when we sinned along with our father Adam (Sin came into the world because of what one man did, and with sin came death. This is why everyone must die—because everyone sinned. [Romans 5.12 NCV]). God immediately set to remedy this situation by promising One from the seed of the woman who would crush the one who turned humans away from their Creator. Yes, He would have His heel bruised at the cross paying the penalty that humanity deserved but He had the power both to lay down His life and take it up again; this authority came from the Father (Jn. 10.18).
Those who trusted in God prior to Jesus covenanted with God by offering a sacrifice which pictured the greater or ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. Today, Christians display Christ’s sacrifice in both baptism (immersion which shows death, burial, and resurrection) and The Lord’s Supper with the elements of broken bread as Christ’s body, the wine His blood. Christians, by believing in the resurrection, have gone to the garden where Adam’s sin was declared forgiven by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.