September 30, 2013
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
“Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden.”
John 19: 38-42
We are not too far into our Bible until we encounter a garden. It was a garden planted and prepared by God (Gen 2:8). In that garden, Adam was placed with responsibility and potential for God. But in that garden, all was lost. Life, fellowship, communion, glory, and dominion were all lost due to a fall and a failure.
The last mention of a garden in our Bible is here in John 19. In fact, it is only John who tells us of two gardens: the garden of Gethsemane and the garden in which He was buried. Perhaps John is trying to link the first garden and the last. All was lost in that first garden; but here in John’s account, all was secured in this last garden.
In this garden, Joseph and Nicodemus placed His body. Yet when He rose, He brought a new kind of life out of the tomb. He lives in the “power of an endless life,” the writer to the Hebrews tells us. Here is life far greater than that lost by Adam. Here is life eternal.
He secured for all His people, nearness and fellowship far greater and more intimate than Adam knew in the first garden. Adam enjoyed a creature-Creator relationship with God. You and I have been made children, brought into the family of God; we have been made sons, infused with the very life of God. Even more amazing, we shall be like our Lord Jesus Christ, the ultimate of our sonship.
Glory and dominion were lost in Eden’s garden. But we are reminded that in this garden, “He was raised by the glory of the Father (Rom 6:4). God’s glory demanded His resurrection. Every attribute of God demanded His resurrection. Christ had secured and added to, the glory of God. Now God would glorify His Son in resurrection. The prayer of John 17:1 was answered: “Glorify Thy Son.” Dominion is now His, and all authority has been committed to His hands. The Man Who bowed in a garden (John 18) and Who was buried in a garden, will in a coming day sit upon His throne, bearing the glory and wielding dominion for God.
Sin was costly and robbed humanity of tremendous potential. But Calvary was greater. What He brought in, is far more than what sin took away. If gardens are for fruitfulness and beauty, this garden outranks all others!
1. Think of some of the fruit which sprang from the gardens in John 18 and 19. Consider not only the results from what occurred, but the fruit as seen in the character of the Lord Jesus.
2. Take time to compare the accounts of the burials in the four Gospels and note the details which each writer contributes to the story. John gives us special details in keeping with His theme.