I thought it would be interesting to look at sacred art to see how it reflects this ancient understanding. I may keep searching to find even older ones, but these illustrate the point.
Enjoy the gallery...
Then the LORD God said: See! The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil! Now, what if he also reaches out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life, and eats of it and lives forever? The LORD God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken. He expelled the man, stationing the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword east of the garden of Eden, to guard the way to the tree of life.Prior to this Adam and Eve were allowed access to this tree, and presumably (to my mind), ate from it.
I am the Bread of life,He who comes to Me shall not hunger,He who believes in Me shall not thirst.No one can come to MeUnless the Father draw him.And I will raise him up,And I will raise him up,And I will raise him up on the last day.
"This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own." (Ex 34:9)Lord, send us to a parish that loves you, respects you, and wants to worship and receive you. In the meantime, may every tear we cry be used for the restoration of your Church.
In the name of the Father who created youthe Son who redeems and saves youand the Holy Spirit who comforts and guides you.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be 4 through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; 5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.