A Tale of Two Gardens (b208)

Some say that Jesus comes along and turns your world upside-down. I say that Jesus comes to turn your world right-side up.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam & Eve were in a properly ordered relationship with God and creation. All was shalom… peace. Then the world was turned upside-down.

Satan succeeded in tempting mankind to step outside of the boundaries God had set for them. They decided to try life according to their own rules. The problem was that they didn’t know what they didn’t know. They didn’t know evil. But evil once known can’t be unknown. Once seen, it cannot be unseen. Once tried, it cannot be untried.

God had told them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God was protecting them from the knowledge of evil.

Adam and Eve knew good. They just didn’t have evil to compare it to. God wanted to spare them the knowledge of evil. But Satan succeeded in planting doubt in their minds about God’s good intent for them. So, they took a bite of the knowledge of evil. They tasted the knowledge of evil. One bite brought shame, fear, regret, and suffering. And the taste cannot be untasted.

In one instant, in a garden, the world was turned upside-down.

It’s been upside-down ever since. Every horrible thing you see one human do to another is a result of our disordered spirits.

Same goes for you. Every regrettable thing you do is a result of your disordered relationship with God and the world. Every word that should have been left unsaid. Every thought you wish you weren’t thinking. It’s all part of creation being turned upside-down. It’s not the life God intended for us. It misses the mark. It’s “sin.”

Jesus came to turn your world right-side up again.

Jesus said that anyone who follows his instruction is like a person building a house on a rock foundation, a house that weathered the storm and came out standing strong. But anyone can say that. This is where the second garden comes in.

The Apostle John tells us that the tomb in which Jesus was laid following his crucifixion was in a garden: “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.” (John 19:41 (ESV)) Upon hearing a voice in the garden on Easter morning,

Hearing a voice in the garden, Mary Magdalene assumed that Jesus was the gardener: “Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned and said to him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).” (John 20:15–16 (ESV))

Long ago, death gained the upper hand in a garden. When Jesus rose from the dead, he broke the chains of death in a garden.

This is why you should trust Jesus. This is why those who follow Jesus’ teachings are building the house of their lives on a foundation of stone. There are many wise observers and teachers of life. But there is only one who died and rose again: Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus does not turn our world upside-down. The world is already upside-down. Jesus turns it right-side up again.

Easter is a great time to re-examine how you are living your life, the criteria by which you make decisions, the priorities you set for your time and your resources. Are you living the upside-down way of the world, like a person building a house on sand? Or are you living the right-side up way of Jesus, like a person building your house on a rock?