Wednesday, May 30, 2012

God's Gardens

"I have come into my garden..." (Song of Songs 5:1); "Thinking he was the gardener..." (John 20:15).

Many gardens are mentioned in Scripture, but four are extraordinary: the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8); the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36); the Garden of Joseph (John 19:41); and the Garden of Paradise (Revelation 2:7).

Eden tells us of the creation of man in the image of God, a pure and holy genesis of what might have been unbroken fellowship. It also speaks to us of a fall and God's precious promise of lifting up. It was a dark, dark evening for God and man when Adam and Eve were expelled from this beautiful Garden.

Gethsemane became necessary because of this expulsion. Otherwise, we would all be lost. This is where the agony, the atonement, began. In Eden humans fell. In Gethsemane the divine Savior bent to the ground in the ultimate sorrow. It was to restore the lost ground of Eden that the Deliverer endured the terminal spiritual illness of man. Will we ever understand what He endured and accomplished?

The Garden of Joseph tells us of victory. From the cross He went forth to death and seeming defeat; from Joseph's garden He came forth to everlasting life and fulfillment. "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive" 1 Corinthians 15:22.

Paradise tells us of Eden renewed. Sin abounded in and after Eden so grace much more abounds in Paradise (Romans 5:20). It is here that our beloved Jesus will wipe away every tear. "There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4) in our new Eden, our lovely Paradise.

Thank You, Father, for being our Gardener!

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