13th April 2017

Gardens And Deserts

“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.”
John 19:41 (NKJV)

Many of the defining moments of Biblical history took place in settings that seem to reflect the nature of the event. The world’s first one took place in a beautiful garden where God placed Adam and Eve. Of course the Garden of Eden was a garden with a difference – it was God’s garden on earth, where he could be found walking in the cool of the evening. Then the serpent came on the scene, bent on getting Adam and Eve to turn away from their Creator. And as we know, because they listened and rejected God’s command, they were expelled from the garden and from the presence of God, into a hostile world of thorns and thistles.

The second act took place in a wilderness, where Jesus, the second Adam, faced the devil’s temptations. The setting for this confrontation is thought to be the wild Judean desert, which was a dangerous and inhospitable place. Barclay’s Bible Commentary says ‘Between Jerusalem, on the central plateau which is the backbone of Palestine, and the Dead Sea there stretches the wilderness…It is an area of yellow sand, of crumbling limestone, and of scattered shingle. It is an area of contorted strata, where the ridges run in all directions as if they were warped and twisted. The hills are like dust heaps; the limestone is blistered and peeling; rocks are bare and jagged…It glows and shimmers with heat like some vast furnace. It runs right out to the Dead Sea, and then there comes a drop of twelve hundred feet, a drop of limestone, flint, and marl, through crags and corries and precipices down to the Dead Sea.’ What a fitting backdrop picturing our fallen world where, alone and without sustenance, the Son of Adam rejected all Satan’s ploys to turn him away from God and remained faithful.

And for the most momentous event of all, the scene changes to a stone tomb hewn out of hard rock, where Jesus’ body was laid after his death. In dying he had conquered sin, death and the devil’s power. And he rose from the dead – into a garden again. Mary Magdalene actually mistook him for the gardener, till he called her name. But now he was God, walking again in the cool of the morning, ready and able to bring his brothers and sisters back to the tree of life. Well, hallelujah!

Prayer
Saviour, by your loving sacrifice you have rescued us from out of the wilderness of our world, to walk with you now, every day and forever. May we respond in joyful gratitude.
Amen

Study by Hilary Buck

____________________________________________________

About the Author:
Hilary Buck pastors Grace Communion in Lewes. Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
Mountfield Road
LEWES BN7 2XN

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: hilaryjbuck@gmail.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print This Article

Comments

Got something to say?