Apr 1, 2018

Devotion - Easter 2018 - In the Garden

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin for today.  Part of the devotion comes from a sermon on biblical gardens by Pastor Ron Rush.
Gospel Reading- John 20:11-18 [ESV]
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Devotion: In the Garden
In our Gospel text today, Mary does not recognize Jesus and she thinks He is the Gardener.  In the language of the Hebrews, every place where plants and trees were cultivated with greater care than in the open field, was called a garden. Jesus’ tomb happened to be in the Garden of Golgotha. This is one of at least four important gardens mentioned in the bible. In Genesis is the Garden of Eden. God created man to have a relationship and to be able to wall and talk with him in the garden. The Second Garden is the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus was familiar with this garden by going there with his disciples and his “alone” times with the Father.  It was in this garden where Jesus had his greatest struggle but surrendered to the Father’s plan/will.  The Third Garden is beside Golgotha.  Interestingly, this was a new tomb with no other bodies from family members, as was the custom. It was needed because the Sabbath was close at hand and they needed to bury Jesus quickly.  This tomb was close and available. The Fourth Garden is in the Glory of God.  This garden is in Revelation 22.  We see again that the tree of life is mentioned and the new Heaven. These four gardens can metaphorically represent four stages in a faithful believer’s sanctification journey. Eden = Sin. Gethsemane = Suffering. Golgotha = Victory. Glory of God = Eternal life in Paradise. I hope you will spend some time in the garden with Jesus this Easter.
We pray: “Lord, I need and want to walk with you today and always…………”

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