The Gardener

Part 1

The Gardener - Sun Jan 31am

Mary Magdalene… She’s known as the woman who was delivered from seven devils. No details are given in scripture about how the demons tormented her, but you can be sure Mary’s life before Jesus was a living hell.

I’m sure Mary Magdalene longed for peace and relief from the mental anguish and physical torment the demons inflicted on her. In desperation, she may have even sought comfort from drugs or relationships only to subject herself to even more pain and more abuse. Overwhelmed with feelings of worthlessness and despair, Mary may have even attempted suicide to escape the living nightmare she was in.

But one day, Jesus in mercy and love reached down and delivered Mary Magdalene from hell itself. She would never be the same. The demons that once possessed her would never haunt her ever again. The chains of fear, condemnation, and torment were loosed and Mary was set free to fulfill God’s purpose for her life.

 

An Empty Tomb in a Garden

Outside the grave, it had been three days since they crucified the Lord. Now all that was left was grave clothes inside an empty tomb. After Peter and the other disciples saw the empty tomb, John 20:10-11 tells us they went back to their homes. Mary, on the other hand, stood by weeping. Without Jesus she had no home! She had nothing to go back to, except the scars of her past.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

John 20:15

Mary assumed the man she saw in the garden was the gardener. Why would the Holy Spirit include what seems to be such a trivial statement “…[Mary] supposing him to be the gardener…”? First of all, you need to understand the Bible isn’t like other books that use filler to amuse the reader. Every word in the Bible was recorded with intention and purpose, but not for entertainment. On the surface it looks like Mary simply mistook Jesus to be the gardener, when in fact, she couldn’t have been more correct. Mary supposed Him to be the gardener because Christ is the Gardener!

You have to admire Mary’s faith and determination. She loved Jesus and was so committed that she wasn’t leaving the tomb without her Lord. Mary longed for the presence of her Jesus, dead or alive! By faith she declared she would relieve the gardener from the burden of the body of Jesus without even considering how she would carry Him. How committed are you to Christ today? Are you willing to go to such great lengths to honor His presence?

Mary didn’t recognize Jesus until “Jesus saith unto her, Mary…” (John 20:16). What would it take for you to acknowledge Jesus? Would you even recognize His voice if He called you by name?

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

John 10:27

Lord, draw us close to You. Like Mary Magdalene, may we hunger for your presence, no matter what the cost. Would you surrender all that you have to honor Jesus today and for the rest of your life? Christ is either your everything, or He is nothing at all.

 

The first Adam was the first gardener, but failed.

Christ is the Gardener, but Adam was the first gardener.

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.                                                

Genesis 2:8

God designed the garden of Eden and gave Adam everything he needed to tend to it. Can you just imagine walking through this beautiful garden enjoying perfect unhindered fellowship with the God of all creation?

What was Adam’s role in the garden?

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.                                               

Genesis 2:15

You can’t fully understand Adam’s purpose in this garden without studying the context of the command God gave him in Genesis 2:15. God commanded Adam to dress and keep the garden. The word dress in this passage means to serve another. Adam was not placed in the garden to fulfill his own will, but to serve God by following God’s plan for the garden.

The word keep means to watch and guard against. Not only was Adam to carry out God’s will, but he was to also protect and guard against anything that would harm the garden.

Yes, Eve was deceived by the subtlety of the serpent, and she is partly responsible for the fall of man. However, perhaps the greater tragedy in the fall is that Adam failed to obey God’s command. Adam, not Eve, failed to dress and keep the garden.

 

Jesus, the last Adam, is the Gardener who triumphed.

Mary supposed Jesus to be the gardener because He is the Gardener. If you have been washed in the blood of Jesus, then you are planted and growing in this garden.

In Song of Solomon, Christ, my beloved, goes into His garden to fellowship with His bride.

My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

Song of Solomon 6:2-3

 

Jesus often times communed with his disciples in a garden, the same garden where he was arrested.

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples… Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

John 18:1-2

Jesus is the gardener because where He was crucified was a garden. When the precious blood of the sinless Son of God was spilt, it saturated the seed of the word of God which sprouted forth a church. Every blood bought child of God makes up this garden.

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

John 19:41

Adam was the first gardener, but forfeited that role by choice. Man started in the garden, but because of disobedience was banished out of God’s presence into a wilderness.

Jesus came into a wilderness, but through His obedience, moved into a garden which made a way for man to fellowship with God once again. Where the first Adam failed, the last Adam triumphed. Christ made a way for you and me to return to the garden, and come back into fellowship with God the Father.

If you’ve never experienced the redeeming love of God, through Jesus Christ, the Gardener wants to establish you in His garden. Like Mary Magdalene, are you desperate to be free from the bondage of sin? All it takes is a simple prayer. Jesus, I need you! Just like You saved Mary Magdalene who was possessed with seven devils, please save me! I confess I am a wretched sinner in need of a savior. Wash me in Your precious blood and plant me in Your garden today.

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