John 19: 41-42 (CSB):There was a garden in the place where he was crucified. A new tomb was in the garden; no one had yet been placed in it. They placed Jesus there because of the Jewish day of preparation and since the tomb was nearby.
Dorothy Frances Gurney is credited with writing, “One is nearer to God in a garden than anywhere else.” It is apropos that today is also Father’s Day, for Genesis 2:8 reveals that God the Father planted a garden in Eden, and He placed the humans that He had formed there to work in it and watch over it.
God ensured that the humans had everything that they needed for food in the garden. He warned them against eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, on fear of death. But they disobeyed, and sin entered the world, along with violence, finger-pointing, shame, and guilt. Humans lost the wonderful opportunity to walk in the garden with God, as He sent them away from the Garden of Eden.
But praise be to God the Father, for in the fullness of time, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world, that humans might through Jesus have our sins forgiven and be once again reconciled to God. Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV) states, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
In the place where Jesus was crucified and announced, “It is finished” (John 19:30), there was a garden. That the empty tomb that still symbolizes the hope and salvation for all humans was in a garden seems so appropriate to me.
It is in a garden that we come to appreciate that through the wisdom and power of God, seeds become the beauty and the bounty that brings joy to our hearts and sustenance to our bodies. We praise God the Father for His unfailing love and faithfulness towards His children.
Sin entered the world in a garden, so it is only right that the work to break the grip of sin occurred in a place with a garden. Yes, it is true that in a garden, we feel the presence of God more deeply than anywhere else.
Happy Father’s Day! In Jesus’s Name. Amen.