Garden Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Gardens in Scripture</span></strong></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 2:8-9</a>, God planted a garden in Eden</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Genesis 2:15-17</a>, God commands Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Genesis 3:6</a>, Eve and Adam ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Genesis 3:24</a>, God drove Adam and Eve from the garden</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Psalm 36:8-9</a>, &quot;<span class="body-copy">They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Psalm 137:1</a>, &quot;By the <span class="body-copy">rivers of Babylon &mdash; there we sat d</span>own and there we wept when we remembered Zion.&quot;</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Isaiah 58:11</a>, &quot;. . . you <span class="body-copy">shall be like a watered garden, like a spri</span>ng of water, whose waters never fail.&quot;</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Amos 4:9</a>, &quot;<span class="body-copy">I laid waste your gardens and</span> your vineyards.&quot;</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Mark 14:32-36</a>, Jesus prays in the garden of Gethsemane</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">John 19:41-42</a>, the tomb where Jesus was laid was in a garden</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">John 20:15-16</a>, Mary thought the gardener was asking her why she was weeping but it was Jesus</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Revelation 21:2</a>, &quot;I saw the holy city, the new&nbsp;<span class="body-copy">Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from Go</span>d, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.&quot;</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Revelation 22:1-2</a>, &quot;The angel showed me the river of the wa<span class="body-copy">ter of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing</span> its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.&quot;</span></li></ul><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Gardens</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Gardens in Scripture are irrigated and fertile places. Goo<span class="body-copy">d things grow in them, including fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Sometimes the Hebrew word we translate as &quot;garden&quot; might just as well be translated as &quot;orchard.&quot; So a Middle Eastern olive orchard is a gar</span>den, featuring trees with both flowers and fruit.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Gardens ge<span class="body-copy">nerate food, but they are also delightful places to dwell. They are centers of outdoor living, good for strolling, lounging, banqueting, or shading oneself from the Middle Eastern sun. They are also quiet, restful places to bury family members. Because of these benefits, flourishing gardens become symbols of the thriving of God&#39;s people (Isa. 58:11) and devastated gardens become the symbol of God&#39;s people under judgment (Amos 4:9). (R. K. Harrison, &quot;Garden,&quot; <em>The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia </em>Vol. 2, Eerdmans, 1982, p. 400.)</span> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Christ<span class="body-copy">ians commonly describe the narrative arc of Scripture as the linked sequence of its four epic movements: creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. This standard account is classic and firm. But w</span>e might just as well describe the narrative arc of Scripture as the story of four gardens. </span></p><p><strong><span class="heading-sm">Garden of Eden</span></strong></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">In the Garden of Eden, God gave his brand-new human <span class="body-copy">beings acres of delight. God had formed a man from the dust of the ground, breathing life into him, setting him in a flourishing garden. The garden is a wonder, with rhododendron blossoms the size of softballs and peonies pink and fragrant enough to break your heart. But the garden of delight turns into the garden of heartbreak when Adam and Eve step out of the embrace of God and try to find power and happiness on their own. Guilty, threadbare, and vulnerable, they start the history of human shame whose only antidote is the grace of God. In their shame, Adam and Eve must also have begun the history of weeping for lost glory as they are banished. In this history, the Israelites exiled to Babylon sat down by the rivers of Babylon and wept when they remembered Zion.</span> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Garden of Gethsemane</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">The Garden of Gethsemane, widely tho<span class="body-copy">ught to have been an olive orchard at the foot of the Mount of Olives, was the scene of Jesus&#39;s pre-crucifixion agony. He wrestles with the will of his father and with the horror of drinking the cup of suffering in front of him. Jesus knew what a Roman crucifixion looked like and sounded like. He naturally dreaded it. But he still drank the cup down to its dregs because there was no other way to save the people he</span> and his father loved. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">The Garden of the Resurrrection</span></strong> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">According to Jo</span><span class="body-copy">hn 19, Jesus&#39;s crucified body was laid in a new tomb in a garden. So this garden became the scene of the central event of the Christian religion and of human history. &quot;On the third day he rose again from the dead.&quot; This was not the resurrection of faith in the disciples, or of hope in the women at the tomb, or of tulips in spring, but the coming back to life of a horribly dead Jesus. The news of this event has str</span><span style="font-size: 16px;">aightened Christian spines for all these centuries. &quot;The Lord</span><span style="font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;is risen.&quot; If sin first showed up in a garden, how fitting that resurrection should too!</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">The narrative arc of redemptive history begins in Eden, runs through Gethsemane and the resurrection garden, and then ends in the garden of the city of God. It&#39;s a city because it contains cultural treasures of the ages, including urban architectural<span class="body-copy">treasures. But it&#39;s also a gloriously watered garden with trees whose leaves are &quot;for the healing of the nations.&quot; The story of four gardens ends with the city of God descending to us and, once more, God </span>dwelling with his people in a garden of delight.</span></p>