The BackDoor Bible Series
The Journey - Lesson 10
(The Tree of Life)
This very day, in a place far, far away, there lives a special tree named Raphael Now Raphael is very special for a number of reasons but one is that Raphael is that he is the oldest tree that ever lived. You see once upon a time long, long ago there were two trees who lived side by side in the middle of a wonderful garden. One tree was named Webster and as you may remember, the first story in our journey was about him. He was the tree Adam and Eve were not supposed to eat from. He was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The other tree was Raphael and he was the Tree of Life because if you ate his fruit you would live forever.
You see, whenever Adam and Eve would pass by Webster, it was actually Raphael that they were going to see. For Adam and Eve would regularly come by and eat his fruit. It was those days that were Raphael's favorite, for he loved people and especially enjoyed having people eat his fruit. So as you can imagine, Raphael was very disappointed when God sent Adam and Eve away from the garden and no longer let them eat from Raphael. Yes, when Adam and Eve sinned and God cast them out, Raphael's life changed and the garden was just not the same.
The garden had began to die and Raphael began to get sick. Within a few weeks he was no longer the strong healthy tree he used to be. Day by day he got weaker and weaker. His leaves started to fall off, he branches began to get brittle and soon he was not able to bloom and bear fruit anymore. Now all this sickness was painful for Raphael, but his biggest hurt was the hurt of loneliness he felt in his heart, for there were no longer any people there to keep him company. As he grew sicker and sicker, Raphael used to hope that someday God would return and restore the garden to the way it had been. He hoped that God would let the people come back and He hoped that he would not die too.
Well as it happened, God knew of Raphael's sickness and his hopes, for one day just before Raphael died, God did return to the garden. But he did not restore it to its beauty and he did not let people come back in. No, instead he took Raphael away from the garden and he carried him to great city called Paradise. There He planted Raphael next to a beautiful river flowing full of water as clear as glass.
As soon as Raphael's roots touched the clear water, Raphael's sickness was healed. Immediately his leaves began to grow. His branches grew strong once again and he even started to bloom. It seemed like the water was full of life itself. So wonderful was the water that Raphael looked up the river to see where it came from. And this is what he saw.
The river was running right down the middle of a large road. The road was was not like any road he had ever seen for it was made of something that looked like golden glass. The road and the river ran together right through the middle of a huge city. All the buildings on either side of the road and river were very beautiful. They were also made of something that looked like golden glass but had many precious stones like emeralds and rubies stuck on them as well. Near the middle if the city, the road and river began to climb up a hill and near the top the road ended. The river continued a little further until it stopped in just in front of the place all the water was coming from. As Raphael's eyes left the river and focused on it's source Raphael gasped in awe. For the river was coming out of a great throne, around the throne was a huge green rainbow and on the throne was God Himself. Angels that are too hard to describe surrounded him and His face shone so brightly that He lit up the whole city. When Raphael saw how brightly God was shining, he turned and looked around for the sun. After a few seconds of searching he realized that there was none. All of the light in the city was coming from God.
Wow !,. exclaimed Raphael, "This place is the best!", but as he did, something inside him felt funny. The place was great and God was even greater, but there was something missing. He thought deeply about it for a minute and then it dawned on him. There were no people there. None at all. Raphael began to wonder why but he didn't have much of a chance for suddenly from the other direction, there was a loud noise. Raphael turned and looked down the river in the other direction. There, where the river ran out of the city, was a huge gate made from a single giant pearl and above it an Angel was sounding a trumpet. In less than a minute, through the gate, came a man. As Raphael looked at him he realized that it was no ordinary man.
The man’s eyes were all ablaze yet his pupils could be clearly seen, His face was as bright as the sun yet all of his features could be clearly seen. His clothes were glowing like hot metal, yet he gave off no heat, and his feet gleamed like polished metal yet he wore no shoes….. As he walked through the gate into the city, His arms were open wide and following him was a huge crowd of men, women and children. They were all wearing beautiful white robes and singing at the top of their lungs -
"To Him who sits on the throne and unto the Lamb may there be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever".
No, it was not just a man, it was Jesus, the Son of God, and he was leading his children up the road of golden glass into the Holy City of God. As they approached, Raphael was so exited he didn't even realize that his blooms has just burst into fruit. When Jesus stopped right in front of him and began picking his fruit and giving it to the people, Raphael began to cry for joy had filled his heart. For a minute as he cried his tears of joy everyone was silent. Then, Jesus reached up, wiped away his tears and everyone cheered.
* by David C Klem - Copyright 1998 *
Kids, heaven is the most wonderful place you could imagine. There, God and people will live together. Does anyone what the name Raphael means? It means "God has healed". You see ever since Adam and Eve sinned and death entered the garden of Eden, God has wanted to restore things. He was wanted to heal us from death. In heaven there will be no more death, no more pain, no more saddness and God himself will wipe away every tear. This whole journey of stories has been to show you the way to God and heaven. Have you learned the way? Remember what Jesus said in John chapter 14.
Todays Verse: (underlined portion)
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." John 14:2-4 (NIV)
One of Jesus disciples then said "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Do you believe him? I you do and have not asked him to come into your heart and be your Saviour. You can do so right now. If you want to here is a prayer that you can say.
I realize that I need you to save me. I have learned that I deserve death for even my smallest sins and without you I would have to Hell when I die. Thank you for loving me.
I believe that you are Gods only son and that you died on the cross for me. Right now I would like to ask you to come into my heart and change me. I want to follow you from now on so that one day, I might come to heaven to be with you.