but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."Genesis 2:17(NASB)
God formed man of the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life and Adam became a living being - created in the image and likeness of almighty God Himself.
Adam was commissioned to rule over the beautiful earth as God's vice-regent but responsibility accompanies privilege, and obedience to God's commands was all that was required of this greatly-honoured man.
Adam was given free reign to eat of every single shrub and tree in that beautiful garden, including the fruit of the glorious tree of life.. but there was one exception: of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'
Yes, the penalty for disobedience was instant spiritual death and a slow, gradual physical death. The price to gain experiential knowledge of good and evil brought with it a high price - the never-ending pain and distress of eternal separation from his gracious Creator God.
Man was the only part of God's creation that was made in His image and likeness, for he was endued with a mind to think, emotions to enjoy and a freewill, with which to make choices.
But God, Who knows the end from the beginning, knew that His finest piece of workmanship would rebel against His sovereign authority, and inflict upon himself eternal separation from his Creator. And so before the foundation of the world in His grace and mercy, God purposed in His heart to send His only begotten Son to become the perfect Sacrifice, for the sin of mankind - so that whosever believes on Him would not remain condemned and perish forever, but be redeemed by the blood of the spotless Lamb of God and receive the free gift life - eternal life, and life more abundantly.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You purposed in Your heart to send the Lord Jesus Christ to be the perfect sin-sacrifice for mankind - to die on the cross as payment for the accumulated sin of humanity. Thank You that in Him I have life, eternal life - abundant life and joy without end, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.