Four Biblical Gardens
When I was a child my grandmother had a very small backyard with a few plants in it. However the thing I remember most was the small plaque that was there which said:
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,–
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
These words are from the poem, God’s Garden, by Dorothy Frances Gurney.
It would be easy to dismiss the poem as twee, but in fact there is some truth in it. The Bible is full of references to gardens, plants and vines.
There are four particular gardens mentioned in the Bible. Interestingly each of them are places of peace, but three of them are also places of sadness. However peace and joy wins out in the stories of these gardens.
The first garden
The first Biblical garden is where the story of man starts: The Garden of Eden
Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground – trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
Genesis 2:8-9 (NLT)
This was the place where Adam & Eve named the animals and tended to the garden. A place where they met with God. The Bible tell us that the trees were beautiful and I believe that everything else was beautiful too. It was the place where God walked in the cool of the evening. How peaceful it must have seemed. But there was betrayal here. Adam and Eve were betrayed by the serpent and they fell from grace. They were turned out of the garden.
How much they must have wanted to return!
The Garden of Gethsemane
The second important garden described in the Bible is The Garden of Gethsemane. This was a bittersweet place. It became the garden of suffering and betrayal but before that, it was a place that Jesus liked to go to pray. Presumably it was a peaceful place where he could withdraw from the crowds.
Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”
Matthew 26:36-38 (MSG)
And here it was that Jesus was betrayed by Judas.
The third important Biblical garden is The Garden near Golgotha
Near the place where Jesus was crucified was a garden, and in the garden there was a new tomb where no one had yet been laid to rest. And because the Sabbath was approaching, and the tomb was nearby, that’s where they laid the body of Jesus.
John 19:41-42 (TPT)
In this garden Jesus was placed in a new, empty tomb. It would have represented such sadness to Jesus’ followers. But it’s here that the great good news of the resurrection was announced to Mary who at first thought Jesus was the gardener John 20:15
It has become a garden of victory.
The Heavenly Garden
Which leads us to our final garden: The Heavenly Garden – the garden of eternal life. Here Eden is restored and we return to the Tree of Life and its healing properties.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, flowing with water clear as crystal, continuously pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The river was flowing in the middle of the street of the city, and on either side of the river was the Tree of Life, with its twelve kinds of ripe fruit according to each month of the year. The leaves of the Tree of Life are for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:1-2 (TPT)
In the first garden, we lost our connection to God. In the second Garden, God is found in the midst of our suffering, whilst in the third garden hope is found in resurrection. The final garden is the place of ultimate victory and overcoming. Fully restored! Every garden represents a different stage of our lives and God is in every garden.
There is HOPE in every Garden!
The Garden – Kari Jobe
Story of the song: