Did you know there are four, very significant gardens in the Bible?
The four gardens include the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden of Golgotha, and the Garden of God.
Each garden is distinct in of itself and yet each one describes your position with Christ.
Each garden also serves a particular role in God’s eternal plan for mankind.
The question is, in God’s eternal plan, which garden do you find yourself in?
The Christian faith is a walk.
In other words, we move forward with God step by step through this life.
As we walk with God, we learn to turn from sin.
We agonize when we stumble and others suffer. We discover victory in Christ and ultimately we will see Jesus face to face in heaven.
Let’s look at these four gardens and consider where we stand with our Lord.
Eden – The Garden of Sin
Before sin entered the world, God’s creation was good.
Genesis 3:8 tell us that the first man, Adam, walked with God “in the cool of the day.”
We don’t know how long this fellowship took place. But it must have been sweet.
There is something very special about walking with someone you love.
It’s a peaceful way to share your heart and to get perspective on the life that’s happening around you.
Imagine walking with God in His creation, naming animals and living in paradise.
Once man sinned, however, the relationship with God was broken.
What a heartbreak it must have been for the LORD when He could no longer associate with His creation in this special way.
From that point on, mankind was separated from God by our sins. But God made a way to come back to Him through His Son.
Are You in a Garden of Sin?
Are you struggling with sin? Do you feel like you can’t break out of its grip?
Ask Jesus to free you from your sin.
John 8:36 says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Gethsemane – The Garden of Suffering
For anyone who travels for business or pleasure, it can be a bittersweet time.
There’s usually the excitement of the events ahead, but we also have the hassle of getting there.
There’s also the trauma of leaving loved ones behind. This is especially true when you don’t know when you will be able to see them again.
Children experience separation anxiety when their parents drop them off at daycare.
Parents go through a very difficult time when their kids go away to college. It’s the end of a season and tough to deal with.
Father God and the Lord Jesus experienced a type of separation anxiety in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Here we find our Lord Jesus agonizing.
His tears are caused by the separation from the Father that He will soon experience at the cross.
His suffering is so intense that He is sweating great drops of blood.
While the disciples are sleeping, Jesus is praying to the Father, “…Not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt. 26:39)
Jesus chose this location, a garden, to be with the Father and His friends before He suffered.
It’s likely that this garden was a common place for Jesus to meet with His disciples.
For anyone who loves to garden, you know the peace that comes with planting, watering, and watching beautiful things grow and mature.
Jesus very well may have loved this place.
I wouldn’t say it’s a stretch to claim that Jesus walked with His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, in the cool of the day.
Jesus came to Earth, to reconcile man back to God. This was His focus and His passion.
Nothing would deter Him from going to the cross because it was prophesied in His Word that the Messiah would be crucified and would rise again on the third day.
Here’s another way to look at it. God’s agape (unconditional) love could not stand for man to be separated from Him because of sin.
God had to make a way of reconciliation.
Gethsemane means “olive press.”
Here our Lord would pray to the Father one more time before He would take on the judgment for all mankind.
Christ alone paid the price for sin. He had the weight of the world pressed down upon Him, crushing Him until He bled from every pore. (check out this video for more information)
Matt. 26:56 correctly points out, “But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Here in Gethsemane, Jesus is facing judgment, torture, and death for our sins. His focus is on the fulfillment of the Scriptures.
One great blessing of knowing Jesus is that He is true to His word “…For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matt. 5:18
Are You in a Garden of Suffering?
So are you suffering now? Whether it’s sickness, financial, marital, loneliness, bitterness or some kind of suffering, you need to give it to God.
Trust Him with all your heart to heal your pain. Come closer to Him through prayer.
Ask Him for healing. Discover His great love for you in His word. He is faithful to come through for you.
Golgotha – The Garden of Victory
John 19:41 says, “Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.”
It’s so fitting that our Lord Jesus would be laid to rest in a garden.
He is our rest.
Matthew 11:29 says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
How quiet and unassuming Jesus is at this moment.
Our victorious King has just conquered sin and Satan at the cross. He’s victorious over death by His resurrection.
Then Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb, finds the stone rolled away with two angels standing by, and she proceeds to mistake the risen Christ for the gardener.
But Jesus is alive, and death is conquered through Him!
1 Corinthians 15:55 says, “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
Are You in a Garden of Victory?
Do you know this victory in your life?
To know Jesus and His word is to know victory.
So let’s take that victory and serve others. Share the Good News of God’s salvation with the people God puts in your daily life.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
Paradise – The Garden of Eternal Life
Now we come full circle from the garden of creation and sin, to the garden of suffering, to the garden of victory, and finally to the eternal garden.
Revelation 2:7 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’
The word “paradise” also means the garden of delight.
The Paradise of God is where there are no more tears and the city streets are paved with gold, like transparent glass. (Rev. 21:4, 21)
Now the curse of the fall is forgiven, and all true believers can walk with Christ through all eternity.
Are You Walking as a Citizen of Heaven?
Do you live life knowing your destination is Heaven?
Philippians 3:20 says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The best part of heaven is that we will be with Jesus forever.
Walking in the four gardens is a picture of our walk through this life.
We go from being born into sin, to being redeemed by Christ, to walking in victory, and finally walking in heaven with Jesus.
It is comforting to know we have a garden of delight awaiting us who believe on Him. Amen.