Friday, 30 March 2012

The Easter Story.

While children search your garden for Easter Eggs, you may like to consider…
Gardens figure prominently in the bible story, three different gardens provide the back drop for 3 of the most significant events in history.
The garden of Eden.
The story of the Bible begins in a garden, the Garden of Eden.  The earthly paradise created by God for people to live in.  A place of beauty, which provided all that, was needed for our comfort and a place where God could meet with his people.  This was a perfect garden.

It did not stay that way.  The Garden of Eden is also the place people rebelled against God.  All God had done for them was not enough!  We wanted more. People wanted to be gods themselves.  So they disobeyed God, and brought destruction on the world.  They also brought judgment on themselves.

The Garden of Eden the perfect garden became the place of the world’s most disastrous rebellion.
The Garden of Gethsemane.
This garden is on a hill. The Mount of Olives is across the Kidron Valley from the Temple in Jerusalem.  The garden of Gethsemane was where an ancient wine press had most likely stood.  Gethsemane means wine press.
It is from this Garden that people most likely found the branches to wave and lay down before Jesus as He made his entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  The palms the crowd used when hailing Jesus as Son of David, their rightful King.
Less than a week later.   Jesus celebrated the last supper with his closest, dearest and most trusted friends,  near the end of that meal he told them he would  be betrayed and handed over to die.  Then he goes with most of those friends to the Mount of Olives to pray.  To prepare himself for the ordeal that he must face with the dawn.  It was in this garden surrounded by his closest friends that one of their own betrays Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
Jesus was taken away to another place, the city garbage dump and there he was executed.  Left alone, failed by his friends, abandoned and betrayed to pay the price for the world’s redemption.  Jesus became the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world.  He, who had never sinned, became our sin.
The Garden of Gethsemane, one week the place from which people hailed their king is also the place of the world’s greatest betrayal.

The Garden of the New Tomb.
After Jesus was executed, a man went to the Roman Governor and asked if he could have Jesus’ body.  He was given the body and took it to his own tomb and laid the body there to prepare it properly for burial. 
We have the third Garden, the site of a new tomb; Jesus’ grave.  Jesus had died, and with him died the hope of the world.   

Or had hoped died? 
The story did not finish there.  Three days latter when the women went to finish preparing Jesus’ body for final burial they found something extraordinary.  Jesus had risen from the dead.  Death had been defeated.

The Garden of the New Tomb the place of the world’s greatest despair is also the place of the world’s greatest miracle; the resurrection of Jesus who is the Savior and Redeemer of the whole world.

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