Three Gardens & Three Trees
What is the Bible all about? What's its major theme? Roy Deaver once answered that question as follows: "It is the glory of God, and the salvation of man, through Christ Jesus our Lord."

That is an excellent answer, in my estimation. But, what if we were to be even more concise? No doubt there are other words that can be used to express the overall theme of God's word, but here is brilliant way that only requires five words: Three gardens and three trees. Allow me to elaborate upon that for you.

The first garden and first tree are found in the very beginning: The Garden of Eden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is, of course, where sin entered the world and mankind fell spiritually (cf. Gen. 3). God created everything--including the possibility of choice for mankind. Although they were commanded not to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were led astray by the devil and their lust. Death consequently entered the world because of their disobedience and there was now a need for a savior (cf. Rom. 5:12).

The second garden and second tree are found in the culminating acts of Jesus' sacrifice for all the world: The Garden of Gethsemane and the cross of Christ. Jesus prayed and wept in the garden that the Father's will would be done, and that will was done when the Lord voluntarily offered Himself up for the sins of the world on that wooden cross that had been fashioned from a tree (cf. Matt. 26:36ff; Gal. 3:13).

The third garden and third tree are found at the very end of that which is temporal and passing away: The garden of God (Heaven) and the tree of life. At the great and final Day of Judgment, everything physical will be destroyed (cf. II Pet. 3:10,11). All will stand before God and either be blessed with a heavenly home or suffer His eternal wrath and vengeance in flaming fire (cf. II Cor. 5:10; II Thess. 1:8,9). May it always be our aim to be faithful and true to Almighty God that we may one day eat of the tree of life in the heavenly abode (cf. Rev. 22:2)!

Dear friends, this succinct summary hits the beginning, middle, and end of human history, and it addresses three of its most pivotal moments. Three gardens and three trees--that's one way of telling the story of the Bible, in a nutshell.