I am a writer. I write books and articles such as this one. Day in and day out, I put words on paper or allow them to form in my head. I create storylines and characters.

 

I am also a teacher. I teach writing. I teach people who put words on paper or allow them to form in their head to create storylines and characters.

 

One of the things that I teach is this: all stories have a beginning, middle, and an end. They must. It’s a rule.

 

The Easter Story

 

Did you know that the Easter story, as we call it, has a beginning, middle, and an end as well? And, no, it doesn’t beginning with Jesus coming through the gates of Jerusalem riding on a donkey while the crowds shout, “Hosanna!” It doesn’t end with His resurrection and ascension, either. This is, in fact, part of the middle of the story.

 

It begins back in Genesis. It begins in a garden where animals roam freely and vegetation springs forth in all its glory. A place where God comes down in the cool of the day to speak to and be with His creation.

 

It begins with two trees. One forbidden and one for giving life.

 

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil and The Tree of Life

 

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ~~Genesis 2: 8,9

 

From the beginning of time, God placed before man the choice to love and obey Him. He did it by planting two trees.

 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”            ~~Genesis 2:15-17

 

This scripture tells us that man was free to eat from the Tree of Life as well as the other trees, but he must choose not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The next line of scripture then tells us that God saw that man was alone and determined this was not good.

 

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” ~~Genesis 2:18

 

God put man into a deep sleep, the Bible tells us, and out of his rib, God made woman. Together they inhabited the earth.

 

A Tree & A Snake in the Grass

 

The plot thickens. One day, as the woman is apparently standing too close to the tree forbidden by God, Satan enters in the form of a serpent. The Bible tells us that he is “crafty,” crafty enough to twist the words of God and to convince the woman to pluck the fruit from the tree and eat it.