Christian Living

View daily reading plan: John 19.41; John 18.1-11

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden

There are numerous references to gardens in the Old Testament, but apart from a fleeting allusion in a parable, there are really only two gardens in the New Testament, the garden where He was arrested (Jn 18.1) and the garden that was the location of His tomb.

The synoptic Gospels call the first of these gardens “a place called Gethsemane” (Mt 26.36), located on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives (Lk 22.39). We tend to combine John’s description with Matthew’s and speak of the Garden of Gethsemane, Gethsemane meaning “the olive presses”. It is a fitting description for the place where the Lord Jesus experienced intense pressure as he “began to be sorrowful and very heavy” (Mt 26.37).

The second garden was the scene of His crucifixion and burial (Jn 19.41). The sombre events in both of these gardens was a consequence of what took place in the very first garden, the garden which the Lord God planted “eastward in Eden” (Gen 2.8). The incursion of the serpent into that garden led to the deception of Eve and the disobedience of Adam, and it introduced sin into the human family; hence the need for the Redeemer, and His “sore amaze” in the Garden of Gethsemane and His death, burial, and resurrection in the second garden.

As a result of His visits to the two gardens, the Christian overcomer anticipates eating of “the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Rev 2.7).

Friday, May 27, 2022