I heard something new today, so I can’t take credit for any of what follows. It all involves four gardens.
The first garden was the Garden of Eden where it all went horribly wrong for all of us. Adam and Eve both ate of that dratted fruit. It doesn’t matter what kind of fruit it was or who ate first. The simple fact that out of every tree in that garden (and there must have been plenty), they chose the one tree God asked them not to eat from.
We’ve been like that ever since. Ever see a “Don’t step on the grass” sign? What’s the first impulse you have when you see that? I rest my case.
The second garden was the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus chose the cross. I know it was His destiny from the beginning and He knew all along that Calvary was His destination, but here is where the temptation to bail was strongest and here is where Jesus prevailed against such a temptation.
The third garden was the Garden of the Tomb. When Mary first saw Jesus, she thought He was the gardener. So it follows there was a garden. Here is where everything wrong was made right. Here is where Jesus’ victory was confirmed and forever validated.
The final garden is in Revelation 22. There you find a very familiar tree, the tree of life, planted by a river and located in the City of God. Here instead of a forbidding commandment is an invitation to come and partake.
Oh, and there’s the whole fruit of the Spirit thing, too.
I love how God doesn’t miss any details. Everything that was lost in the first garden gets found in the last one. Nothing that is good and pure and true is ever truly lost, but God finds a way to redeem it back.