What follows are not my words.
My Pastor gave a wonderful Easter sermon this morning, and I thought the concept in which he delivered was so original, and so amazing; that I wanted to share.

Thus, even though I am paraphrasing: again: Credit is not due me. 
(any comments of mine will be coloured text.)

The general idea was entitled The 3 Gardens:  When Death Entered The Picture. 

(you need to know that Calvary (Golgotha) and the place where the tomb was located was geographically a garden area.)


Or course we all are familiar with the first garden - The Garden of Eden.
A symbol of life, beauty, joy... Hope.   This is where Adam and Eve and all the animals made their home.   They walked with God.   Talked with God.
But, there was also forbidden fruit in the garden; from which upon temptation - they consumed.
When they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; their eyes were opened!

God:  Where are you?
Adam/Eve:  We are hiding from you.   

Shame, sin, and the consequences have entered the garden.
Banishment.  The curse of Death now comes to the place God had created Life.
Essentially:   God's Plan is Reversed.

The next garden he discussed is Gethsemane (translated: where oil is pressed)

This is where Jesus came to pray before He was arrested and crucified.
It is a place that was not easy:  this garden represents the consequences of the first garden.

Can you not wait with me for one hour?

It's where Jesus faced isolation with no human comfort: for you and me.   Jesus sweat blood while He prayed.    He asked for the cup to passed from Him - he knew he would suffer.

Your Will, Not mine Father

This is the place where Trust, Surrender and ultimately Belief grow.

 John 3:16 New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus trusted in His heavenly fathers' plan.
Jesus surrendered His will to that plan.
Jesus believed that God would redeem and restore.

The final garden is The Empty Tomb

This is where it begins to make sense. Where we see that God is in fact:  Most Intentional.
It's all in the details.

The Cross, viewed on its own, is a heart sinking moment devoid of hope.   This is where doubt enters the picture.   I am sure that is what the disciples - who had believed in this Messiah - must have felt in those moments.

My God, My God - why hast Thou forsaken me?

But that is not the full picture -- the entire story of God's unfailing love.
One must also consider the RESURRECTION with the CROSS.

Why do you look for the living, among the dead? 


He is Risen!
It changes everything, and hope springs new.

Mary Magdalene, a woman scorned for her sin but set free by Jesus, she did not hide in shame when she saw her Lord Alive!!  No - she reached out and touched Him.

Jesus could have prayed, been crucified, died and been buried ANYWHERE.
But no - it all happened in a GARDEN.

Because God needed to Reinstate His Plan.
The curse of death had to be reversed.    REDEMPTION.
Jesus has victory of Sin and Death: Hope and Joy return to the garden.

Also, if Jesus is alive; then He must not have died for some sin of his own.    He was not condemned for His sake:  but ours.
His body is restored, but ...... The Scars!!   Our Lord still bears scars!!

Well, what is a scar?

It's not an open wound.
It's a wound that has been healed.
In the sacrifice of His Son, God heals the wound of brokenness. 

God transforms and brings new life to that which was seemingly beyond repair.
We do not have to hide - the veil is torn!
Death is conquered in the garden:  and WE have new Hope in Christ.

The Blessing of Eden, turned to the Curse of Sin,  transformed to a Blessing once more through Resurrection. 
What's the detail?
God never gives up. He never gave up on His original Plan.     
Everything that happened was intentional to bring his Promise, made in a garden long ago when God spoke to the serpent, back to us:

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel (Genesis 3:15).
The promise of salvation first made to Adam and Eve is realized in the Resurrection of Christ.
It holds the promise of our own salvation.   
Our inheritance: eternal life with Him in glory.

Where oh Death, is thy sting?

About The Author
Leslie Botchar, aka "RoryBore", is a SAHM enjoying life one day - and one cup of coffee - at at time.
She has had several articles published in The Huffington Post, and hopes to one day marry her skills as Word Wrangler and Photo Ninja. Leslie spills it all on her blog Time Out For Mom, and invites you to join her for some Mom "Me" Time.
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