The message of the Bible can be understood from four encounters with God in a garden. As we celebrate Easter we focus on each of these encounters and why they are important to each one of us!
A Garden for God
Dave Spooner – Mosaic Rockford – April 5th, 2015
- Today we celebrate Easter – the biggest Christian holiday because of the monumental significance and implications of Jesus Christ resurrecting from the dead.
- This morning I want our understanding of this event to be increased and expanded so we can better comprehend its significance and implications for our lives and for all of humanity
- To do this, we are going to take a walk through the story of the Bible from the perspective of four gardens.
The Garden of Eden
- Everything was blessed
- Need for connection and community
- Right relationship with God – right relationship with each other – this was God’s intention
- Humans were given a choice – and we gave into temptation
- We doubted God’s goodness and declared “my will be done”
- Our choices against God’s will brought:
- hiding from each other . . .
- hiding from him . . .
- Damage, death, danger, decay and destruction . . .
- Implications of this garden continue to ripple through time . . .
- God’s presence being vailed – sacrifice – redemption, forgiveness and judgment . . .
- Biblical history . . . . Noah, babble, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, Moses, Joshua, Ester, Ruth, Saul, David, Solomon, Samuel, Isaiah, Jerimiah, . . .
- Until another voice cried out “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, Make straight paths for him.'” (Matt. 3:3 NIV)
These things then lead us to the next garden, which is called the garden of Gethsemane
The Garden of Gethsemane
- In this garden we see another man facing the choice the first man Adam faced, either my will or the Fathers God will be done.
- In scripture one of the names for Jesus is the “second Adam”
- This Adam was also born without sin and remained without committing sin
- This man Jesus – had always perfectly obeyed the will of the father
- This is the man – who spoke with authority . . . .
- This is the man – who commanded creation . . . .
- This is the man – who ministered with power . . .
- This is the man – with the basin and the towel . . . who in agony sweat had turned to blood who cried “if there is any other way, let this cup be taken from me, by not my will, but yours be done”.
- This is the man – who picked a tree not to take freely for himself, but to give freely of himself
- This choice lead to this tree – for the redemption of human kind
- These things bring us to the next garden, the Garden of Victory.
- When I say the garden of victory – this is the garden in which lies a tomb
The Garden of Victory
At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Between the two gardens was a place of darkness that the world had never know
- Hope had been lost . . .
- The disciples went into hiding . . . .
- A guard also had been placed . . . .
- Into this Garden women who had been weeping came to an unimaginable reality when the angel who was there proclaimed to them “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” He has risen just as he said!
- Where victory had been swallowed up by death, death had by swallowed up by victory!
- The implications of this are staggering
- Jesus is who he said he was . . .
- There is new life for all who believe . . . .
- We have invited into the family of the messiah . . .
- We have been commissioned to tell this message to the ends of the earth . . .
- And we now live in-between this garden and the garden that is yet to come . . . the garden of paradise.
- The implications of this are staggering
The Garden of Paradise
- And in this garden there is no tomb but a tree, the original tree that was in the original garden . . . the tree of life.
Rev 2:7 NIV
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Rev 22:1-5 NIV
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
Rev 21:3-4 NIV
Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
- To this place we are going – in this place we will have life and life eternal – this is the place where we belong – this is the place that we are to call “home”
- We are living in the time between these two gardens – where evil is to be overcome with Good – where darkness it to be overcome with light – where judgment is to be overcome with mercy
- So now you have heard the story of the Bible through the lens of a Garden
- With this knowledge now go
- Go to Jesus the author and protector of our faith
- Go with joy . . . . knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain
- God for others . . . . who have not seen this message and have not received this message