So, this is why I begin my theology class every year with a field trip to Longwood Gardens. I want students to experience the redemption of their senses in an environment akin to our original garden paradise that is restored in Christ.
One of my favorite meditations from Scripture is the fact that Jesus was buried with myrrh, aloes. and fragrant spices. The implication here is that when the disciples encountered the resurrected Jesus, he smelled like a garden. Remember, Mary Magdalene, when she encountered the resurrected Christ for the first time, thought he was a gardener.
And this is why we in the classical Christian tradition focus so much on Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. We focus on these cosmic values because we are a people of paradise. Paradise is our first and our everlasting home. And we are brought back to paradise through paradise. Have you ever noticed in the Christmas narratives in Luke all the paradise imagery associated with Christ’s birth? We have a stable, animals, Adam and Eve figures (Mary and Joseph), surrounded by angelic hosts, with a child placed in a manger to be food for the world. And so when Christ is on the cross, which is the Tree of Life restored, what does he say to the thief that comes to him in faith? ‘You will be with me in Paradise.’ Why can Jesus say that? Because Jesus Christ is Paradise.
Therefore if we are in Christ we are a new creation, born anew, sons and daughters of Adam restored.
To learn more about the redemption of the senses, see my new book, Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, available here.