“SIGNIFICANT GARDENS OF SCRIPTURE”
PLEASE READ IN THE BIBLE (GENESIS 2:8, 15-17; 3:8, 23, 24)(JOHN 18:1; )(SONG/SOLOMON -15; 5:1)(LUKE )
The various gardens mentioned in scripture are significant and can be considered in a manner that is illustrative of the gospel and “God’s Way of Salvation”. The Bible, the Word of God begins and ends with events that are recorded in a garden. In this message we want to consider five “Significant Gardens of Scripture” which include the following:
1. THE GARDEN OF REBELLION (EDEN) – (Genesis 2:8, 15-17; 3:23, 24)
2. THE GARDEN OF REJECTION (GETHSEMANE) – (John 18:1) (Matthew 26:36-42)
3. THE GARDEN OF REDEMPTION (CALVARY) – (John 19:41)
4. THE GARDEN OF RECEPTION – (Song of Solomon 4:12-15; 5:1)
5. THE GARDEN OF REJOICING (PARADISE/HEAVEN) – (Luke 23:43)
1. THE GARDEN OF REBELLION (EDEN)
We read in, (Genesis 2:8) “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed”. Then, we read in, (verses 15 -17) “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”. We see from these words that man’s history began in a garden. God’s power was manifested in His creation. God planted this garden. God’s prohibition was in this garden. Man was not to eat of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” under the penalty of death. (Genesis, chapter 3) records the sad outcome. Notice what happened;
· SATAN came into this garden. In his conversation with Eve, he cast doubt on God’s goodness to them by concealing the God given privileges and putting emphasis on the one God given restriction. Then he directly contradicted the word of God when he said to Eve “ye shall not surely die”. With his subtlety and temptation, Eve fell into sin and involved Adam in the transgression as well.
· SIN came into this garden. In (Genesis 3:6) we have the “three stages” of the woman’s sin. She saw, she coveted, and she took. We have also, the “three-fold substance” of sin. There was the lust of the flesh (that which appealed to the physical nature), the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (that which appeals to the intellectual nature). We find this truth also, in the New Testament in, (1 John 2:16) “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world”. When Adam sinned he not only acted for himself, but for the whole human race, of which he was the head. When sin came into this garden, sin came into this world. We read in, (Romans 5:12) “Wherefore as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”. Through sin death came, “and so to all men death traveled (penetrated, pervaded) inasmuch as all sinned”. The Bible teaches that all men are sinners, both by nature and by practice. Everyone born of human parents inherits Adam’s sin, and also sins by his own deliberate choice. God says in His Word, (Romans 3:23) “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. It is evident that each one of us, in the sight of a holy God, is a guilty, lost, hell deserving sinner, utterly unable to deliver himself from the condition in which he finds himself. Consequently, each person needs God’s deliverance (salvation) from this state, for if you die in your sins your destiny will be hell and eternal separation from God. Dear reader, have YOU ever faced the fact of your own individual sins committed against God? Have YOU ever repented of your sins, i.e., changed your mind about the sinfulness of your sins and the holiness of God?
· SORROW came into this garden.
Because of the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, God pronounced judgment upon them, (Genesis 3:16) “Unto the woman he (God) said, I will greatly multiply the sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children”. (Genesis 3:17) “Unto Adam He said, cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life”. Sooner or later, sorrow will always follow sin. None of us pass through this life without experiencing some degree of sorrow. The ultimate sorrow however, is an eternal sorrow. When a person dies in their sins their destiny is eternal separation from God in the place called hell and the lake of fire, where it says in, (Matthew 8:12; 24:51) “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
· The SOVEREIGN came into this garden.
We read that after Adam fell into sin, (Genesis 3:8, 9) “They heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the tree’s of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou”? This writer has always believed that God’s purpose for coming into the garden was to have fellowship with man whom He created. Sin severed that fellowship. God was calling but Adam was hiding.
· SEPARATION (death) came into this garden.
God previously said that man’s sin and disobedience would result in death. God said to Adam, regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (Genesis 2:17) “Thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”. Later, because of his sin we read in, (Genesis 3:23, 24) “The Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden”. “So He drove out the man”. Access to the “tree of life was prevented by God. ”It says in, (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”. It says also in, (Hebrews 9:27) “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”. “Death” in the Bible is not just physical and spiritual in this present time, but it is also eternal in time to come. Dear reader, sooner or later death will come. Are YOU prepared to meet God?
2. THE GARDEN OF REJECTION (GETHSEMANE)
We read in, (John 18:1) “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”. From other scriptures, such as, (Matthew 26:36) we know that this garden was called “Gethsemane”. Notice that it says, “Jesus went forth”. He went forth knowing full well that before Him was suffering and death. Into this “Garden of Rejection” Jesus went forth;
· Jesus went forth – to Anticipation. For the Savior, this garden was the place of His anticipation of Calvary and the cross. We can never fully understand what it would mean for Him, the holy One of God, to bear our sins in His own body on the tree.
· Jesus went forth – to Agony. It says in, (Luke 22:44) “And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground”. We read in, (Matthew 26:37) “He began to be sorrowful and very heavy” (It speaks of His distress of mind and of His deep depression as He contemplated taking our heavy burden of sin upon Himself.).
O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head
Our load was laid on thee;
Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead,
Bearest all my ill for me.
A victim led, Thy blood was shed;
Now there’, no load for me.
(Matthew 26:37) “(Jesus) began to be sorrowful and very heavy”. It speaks of His deep grief. The grief associated with the contradiction of sinners against Him, the cruelty He would endure, and the curse He would bear.
· Jesus went forth – to Arrest. It says concerning the Lord Jesus, (Isaiah 53:3) “He is despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”. It says also, in, (John 1:11) “he came unto His own, and His own received Him not”. When the Lord Jesus was betrayed with a kiss from Judas, it says in, (Matthew 26:47, 50) “Judas came and with him a great multitude with swords and staves. They … laid hands on Jesus and took Him”. Here, in this garden, is the climax of the Saviors rejection that He experienced throughout His three years of public ministry. Dear reader, is it true that YOU still have not received Him? Are YOU still rejecting Him?
· Jesus went forth – to Abandonment. It says in, (Matthew 26:56) “Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled”. Jesus was left alone to accomplish the work of redemption on the cross. It was a work that only He could do. “There is none other good enough to pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gates of Heaven and let us in”. No animal sacrifice, no one among mankind, no angel of God could redeem sinful man back to God. Only the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ could do this great work.
3. THE GARDEN OF REDEMPTION – (CALVARY)
We read in, (John 19:41) “Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new sepulcher”. Dear reader, may this be impressed upon your soul, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, went into this garden to save YOU from YOUR SINS. “Seeing the utterly helpless and hopeless condition of mankind through sin, the Son of God, in marvelous love, clothed Himself with humanity and became Man. From the infinite mystery of the eternal light of heaven, He came to the simplicity and humility of a human body in order to bring man back to God” (adopted). There on the cross;
All our sins were laid upon Him
Jesus bore them on the tree
God who knew them, laid them on Him
And believing, I am free
It says in, (1 Peter 3:18) “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”. The divine commandment of God was, “without the shedding of blood is no remission (no forgiveness)”. There on the cross, the Savior shed His precious blood to pay the price of our redemption. He assumed the liability of our sins, and went willingly to the cross in order that, on it, He might, (1 Peter 2:24) “bear our sins in His own body on the tree”. As the holy, spotless Son of God hung upon the cross, God put all our sins upon Him, and then poured out upon the Sin-Bearer all the judgment and wrath that was our rightful due. The Savior endured all the penalty of our guilt and, by the sacrifice of Himself, accomplished all that was necessary for the salvation of every sinner that will trust in Him, and will rest on His finished work alone for salvation. Dear reader, have YOU done this? Have YOU believed on Him and received Him as your own personal Savior? “The Garden of Redemption” became “The Garden of Resurrection” because on the third day Christ rose from the dead according to the scriptures. God signified His approval with the work of His beloved Son by raising Him from the dead, (Hebrews 7:25) “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them”. Will YOU come unto God by Him?
We read in, (Song of Solomon 4:12-15) “A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits, camphire, with spikenard, etc. A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon”. It is the voice of the Bridegroom – a type of the Lord Jesus Christ that is speaking to His Bride which is a type of the Church or the individual believer. The Church or the individual believer is viewed as a garden, i.e., a life that is lovely and fruitful and pleasing to Him self. At the end of verse 16 we hear the voice of the Bride speaking to the Bridegroom and she says, “Let my Beloved come into His garden, and eat His pleasant fruits”. She is eager for His Company. She invites Him to come. She wants Him to come that she might have fellowship with Himself. The contrast could not be greater. In the first garden we considered (The Garden of Rebellion – Eden) we saw that man, because of sin, dreaded the approach of his Creator. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose sins have been forgiven, will always desire fellowship with their Lord. We have the Bridegroom’s response to the invitation He received. It says in, (Song of Solomon 5:1) “I am come into my garden”. The garden belongs to the Bridegroom, just as the Church and the individual believer belong to Christ. Dear reader, will YOU invite the Savior in and make YOUR LIFE a “GARDEN of RECEPTION” for the Savior? He will take a way the “thorns and thistles” of sin and make your life a garden where He will delight to dwell. It says in, (Romans 10:13) “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved”. Will YOU call upon the Name of the Lord that YOU might be saved?
5. THE GARDEN OF REJOICING – (PARADISE/HEAVEN)
We read concerning the thief on the cross in, (Luke 23:42, 43) “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in paradise”. The word “paradise” means a park or a garden. It is a word that expresses the sum total of blessedness. It means heaven, the dwelling place of God. It says in, (Psalm 16:11) “In thy (God’s) presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forever more”. This will be the portion for all who are saved, who are “born again”. There will be no more sorrow, no more heartache, no more disappointments, no farewells, no more pain, and no more death. There will be one eternal day of peace and joy in the presence of their Savior at home in Heaven. O the joy and rejoicing, even now, with the prospect of Heaven as ones eternal dwelling place. Which will it be for You dear reader, Heaven or Hell? Will it be “the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25), or will it be the blessedness of heaven and its eternal pleasures?
Dear reader, if you remain unsaved, it will not be because God does not love you or be because God’s Son did not die for you, but it will be because you have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Which will it be for you, reception or rejection of the Savior? You are traveling the “HIGHWAY OF LIFE”, passing through time into eternity. Now that you have read this message, you have come to “THE CROSSROADS”. Which way will you go? Will you continue to reject the Savior and God’s free gift of salvation? Or, will you believe in Him and receive Him as your Lord and Savior? It is your decision and your responsibility.
Please give this matter your most serious attention. Will you be a believer or a non-believer? What will your eternal destiny be?
Will it be the eternal bliss of Heaven or the eternal torment of Hell and the “lake of fire”? YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY DEPENDS ON YOUR DECISION.