Someone said “Life began in a garden.” It is a familiar quote with an anonymous author. I would like to change it to say also that “Love began in a garden.” God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a garden. He loved them so much that He wanted them to experience a perfect life in an unimaginably beautiful setting. How wonderful it must have been to experience nature untouched before the mar of sin came into the picture. Their access to this peaceful and wondrous creation was destroyed when they were tempted by Satan and fell into sin. The tempter, in the form of a serpent, offered them the knowledge of good and evil, reserved only for God, through the fruit of the tree. They gave into the lie and their innocence before God was destroyed. Because of their disobedience, they were banished from the perfect garden that God created. Gardeners know how much of a struggle it is to achieve success in growing and nurturing plants. I think of this often when my back aches after bending over to weed or planting a new flowering shrub. If only Eve hadn’t been so greedy to reach for that shiny red apple.
Each Easter season, I experience the uplifting joy of hope in my salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection. During Holy week the earth seems to put on a show in perfect sync to celebrate displaying beauty, through blooming flowers. Plants previously dormant or thought dead come alive as in a miracle chorus which echoes its passion for life when it revives. To me this perfectly depicts Jesus’ victory over sin through His death on the cross.
It was in a garden that Jesus experienced great emotional suffering as He braced himself and prepared for the road to the cross. It was a poignant setting again that within the beauty of a garden, our Lord shared the pain of man. As in Eden, He felt the separation was coming between himself and God. Yet, victory was coming also. With His death, He was able to win back the ground that was stolen by the devil. Through faith in Jesus, our relationship with God was secured again forever and nothing could ever take it away.
In a garden on Easter morning, Mary came to the tomb and was overjoyed to find it empty. He was not there but was risen from the dead and was alive again! Death was swallowed up in victory. The garden was brought back to what it was intended… to be a place of hope and life instead of doom, and defeat.
In heaven, a glorious garden awaits. Even more than we can imagine. It is lined with paths of gold. There is a crystal sea. Surely, there will be other wonders there as well to behold!
There are several legends surrounding trees that bloom during the season of Easter. The redbud tree is sometimes known as the “Judas” tree. It was given that name because of its deep purplish red color symbolizing blood. Judas betrayed Jesus with blood money or 30 pieces of silver. After the Roman soldiers arrested and crucified Jesus, Judas hung himself out of remorse for what he had done from a tree supposedly resembling this tree with heart shaped leaves and crimson purple flowers.
The dogwood flower has four leaves with unusual dark markings on each outer petal resembling nails which pierced through Jesus’ hands and feet on the cross. The center of the flower has a crown like appearance depicting the crown of thorns Jesus was made to wear on His head.
There is a real crown of thorns plant that could have been used to create this device of torture.
Come to the garden! He is waiting there for you today! You can smell the sweet scent of the lilies and roses. You can touch the hem of His garment and be healed. You can hear His whispers of love and peace.