How did Adam and Eve know what God meant when He said, “…You will surely die” if there was no death in the Garden of Eden?
Adam and Eve may never have seen death, but they would have understood that death is a catastrophic event that they did not want to experience.
There are many things in life, since the Garden, that we hear about but don’t fully understand until it is our personal story – for example falling in love. You may have been told that it is a life changing, mood-altering, magical time. But until you have fallen in love and experienced the joy, and sometimes the pain, it remains an unknown thing.
Adam and Eve may never have seen death but they knew that it was an ugly thing. Moreover, they knew that it was the consequence of disobeying God, the fruit of loving sin more than loving God. All sin begins with not loving God enough to believe His Word. And the consequence is always death. The good news, however, is that death has been “swallowed up in victory” (I Corinthians 15:54) for those who believe (unlike Adam and Eve) will never die. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
Believing is the only certain antidote to death.