Posted by: pastortomvabeach | April 8, 2019

Thought For The Week April 14, 2019

In two weeks we will gather, as will churches around the world, to celebrate the event on which the entire Christian movement is established and rests – the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  There is probably no event in world history that has so much significance.  Without the resurrection, Christianity would not exist, at least not with the prominence and influence it enjoys world-wide.  I mean, all someone has to do to undermine the church and everything it teaches is to prove that Jesus is dead and never rose from the grave.  Many have attempted to do just that over the centuries but all have failed.  Jesus did rise from the dead.  It’s a fact!

But in order for Him to rise, He first had to die.  And while the resurrection is so vital to our faith, Jesus death on the cross is what makes our faith so crucial to our lives.  Jesus completed God’s plan to bring us back to the garden where Adam and Eve gave up fellowship and relationship with God for a piece of fruit.

I heard a story recently that touched me.  The garden is a metaphor God uses throughout Scripture.  Originally the Garden of Eden was a place where God and man were together.  It is evident that Adam and Eve had regular contact with and friendly conversation with God in the garden.  Everything they needed was there.

After they sinned they were driven from the garden and God began working to bring them back to that place.  The promised land of Canaan was described as a land full of milk and honey where God’s people would live in intimate relationship with Him but the Israelites continually messed that up.  The Song of Solomon is both a story about Solomon and his bride and an allegory that depicts the love relationship between God and His people.  Within it are references to vineyards, pastures, fruit trees, blossoms, and a garden where the lovers meet.

Jesus was arrested in a garden where He had spent time meeting with His Father.  As Adam was thrust out of the garden when he sinned, Jesus was taken from the garden after He accepted the cup of our sin which He would carry to the cross on our behalf.  Then on that cross He promised a dying thief to take him into paradise with Him that very day.  The word paradise can be literally translated as “park” or specifically as Eden.  Jesus took a sinner that day back into the garden of friendship and fellowship with Himself and His Father.

Finally, when He rose from the dead, the first person Jesus encountered was Mary Magdalene.  As she stood distraught at the empty tomb, weeping because she thought someone had stolen Jesus’ body, she turned and saw Jesus standing there but didn’t know who He was.  John tells us that Mary thought that Jesus was the gardener (John 20:15), and she was right! 

Jesus was and is the Master Gardener who has been working all through history to get us back to His garden, back to intimate fellowship and relationship with our Creator.  He wants to walk and talk with us every day just like He did with Adam.  As our second Adam, Jesus did everything the Father asked of Him and made the way back into the garden.  Maybe as we think about all He’s done, this year at Easter, we can take some time and walk with Him in His garden.  Wouldn’t that be refreshing?  Just a thought.

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