Back to the Garden
“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered.”—John 18:1 Human history began in a garden, a place rich, full of life, and all that God intended for us.
Then Adam and Eve committed the first sin. The first Adam disobeyed God and was banished from the garden, bringing the curse of death upon humanity. The “last Adam,” Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:45), obeyed by entering a garden and surrendering to God’s will, restoring life to humanity. The garden referred to is on the east side of the Mt. of Olives, where Jesus often went to pray, rest, and meditate (Luke 22:39).
Our souls long to return to the Garden where God created us. He gave us a love for His creation, and a desire to be restored by its beauty.
The song complains, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot,1 and we respond with a token of greenery. Anything growing and alive that helps meet a deep need to live among the plants, vines, flowers, and seeds that push their way through the earth in the cycle of rebirth.
We need the whisper of wind in the trees, the softness of grass underfoot. Even in the most arid locations, we water and work to plant gardens in all sizes and forms, from parks in the heart of a city to window boxes perched on skyscrapers, to postage stamp gardens, vegetable patches, indoor plants, and suburban lawns.
We toil to regain paradise. Even if we don’t plant, tendrils of green will force their way through the cement cracks, determined to remind us.
The actual meaning of paradise is “enclosed garden,” and we desperately want to somehow, someway to return to the Garden.
Jesus gave His life so that we can once again walk in the cool of the evening with our Creator, as Adam and Eve once did. So we can return to the garden, at peace, and be restored to fellowship with our Creator, who loves us.
- Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell