In this post, let us compare the two gardens, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Garden of Eden. Let’s take a look at their similarities and differences to derive powerful lessons we can apply today.
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An Introduction to the two Garden
As a way of introduction, I want us to read a passage here in John 20:14-15:
14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener… said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
Now, there’s a subtle message here that I want us to learn. If you have limited writing space, why would John include this seemingly insignificant detail? Why would John include the detail that Mary Magdalene mistakenly thought that Jesus Christ or properly known as Yahshua was the gardener?
Think about it for a second:
Christ was just resurrected. He just conquered the grave. He was restored to immortality and yet, in spite of all these glorious things happening, He was mistaken to be a gardener!
If you go back a few chapters, you will know that Yahshua was betrayed and arrested in the Garden. The other writers named the garden the Garden of Gethsemane.
What’s more astonishing is this: our Messiah was crucified and entombed in a vicinity of a garden. Notice John 19:41:
41 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.
It’s quite interesting that the theme of a garden is used in the last few hours of Yahshua.
If you look into the Bible, this is actually reminding us of another garden mentioned in Genesis — the Garden of Eden.
I believe this is not a coincidence. After all, Yahshua was called the second Adam, and what Yahshua did in the garden was something that the first Adam should have done.
That’s why I want to compare the two Gardens, the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane, the events that surround these two gardens and draw important lessons from them for us to learn on this day.
To organize this blog, let me share with you three lessons we can learn from the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane.
Lesson no. 1: Pride and humility
In the first garden, there was pride. In the second garden, there was humility.
How did Satan tempt Adam and Eve? It was by appealing to their pride. We read in Genesis 3:4-5:
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
God is all-powerful. He can do whatever He wants. He rules the entire universe.
In our pride, who doesn’t want to be like God? That’s where Satan attacked Adam and Eve, to appeal to their pride.
Because Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, they gave in to temptation, and that led to their downfall.
Compare that to the attitude of Yahshua. We read in Philippians 2:5-7:
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
As we can see, in overcoming temptation, we need to empty ourselves of pride. We need to get rid of it. Do you know why? Because pride is so destructive. It destroys our thinking, our relationship with others, and God.
Pride can prevent us from saying sorry when we are wrong and forgiving others when others have hurt us. Pride can easily make us angry. Pride can make us forget God and like Adam and Eve, pride can separate us from our Father.
However, brethren, when we become humble, meaning, we recognize that we are nothing without God, we become more loving, caring, and submissive to God’s authority.
Pride and humility don’t mix. The prouder you become, the less humble you will be. However, the humbler you become, the less proud you will be.
Lesson no. 2: Rebellion and obedience
In the first garden, there was a rebellion. In the second garden, there was obedience.
Let’s go back to Philippians 2:8:
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Adam and Eve disobeyed Yahweh by eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and Good and Evil. On the other hand, Yahshua obeyed the Father by dying on a tree.
Satan entered the snake to tempt Adam and Eve. Satan used Judas to betray Christ.
Adam ate the forbidden fruit and sin entered the world. Christ teaches us to eat the Bread of Life.
Did you see how God designed all of these parallelisms to teach us lessons from the two gardens?
If you think about it, Adam and Eve live in a paradise. They have everything that they want. They even have a direct line of communication with God. They can talk to Him. So, Adam has the ability to choose to obey God rather than the devil. Yet, he chose to disobey God.
On the other hand, Yahshua could have disobeyed His Father anytime. With His unmatched wisdom and charisma as a leader, He could have simply talked to Caesar. He could have started His own kingdom on Earth. He could have simply called a legion of angels to protect Him. He could have simply run away when He saw the Roman soldiers coming to the garden from afar.
Yet, we read in Matthew 26:39:
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Again, we have two choices: we can either disobey or obey God. We can either choose God’s will or our will.
God will not allow any temptation that is beyond our ability to overcome. So, we don’t have any excuse and we don’t have any good reason to disobey.
Lesson no. 3: Talking to Satan and Talking to God
In the Garden of Eden, there was no recorded prayer. In the Garden of Gethsemane, there were a lot of prayers uttered by Yahshua.
When Satan tempted Adam and Eve, Adam could have taken his leadership role and started to pray. After all, Satan is so cunning and deceiving. They can never overcome his evil devices by themselves. They needed God’s help and they could get that through prayer.
Yet, what happened? Adam didn’t say, “Oh, wait, we must pray first.” No, instead, he relied upon his ability to make decisions and sadly, he made the wrong choice.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, we can see the importance of prayer in Yahshua’s life.
Let’s go to Matthew 26:40-41, 44:
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
How is your prayer life, brethren? How much time do you spend in prayer? Is it an integral part of your life in the same way as in the life of Yahshua? The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. It means that we should have a prayerful attitude.
If there’s a temptation, trial, or difficulty in life, what is our first reaction? Do we pray and ask for God’s help? Or, do we try to solve the problem by ourselves? If we are joyful, blessed, and in good health, do we find the time to praise God and thank Him?
In life, we have two options, we can be like Eve who talked to the snake or are we going to be like the second Adam who talked to God?
The powerful lessons from the two gardens
Brethren, these are the lessons we can learn from the two gardens. These lessons are part of the lessons we should learn on the Feast of Unleavened Bread because these lessons would help remove sin in our lives.
Again, in life, we are given two options, are we going to choose the decisions made in the Garden of Eden or in the Garden of Gethsemane?
Are we going to choose pride or humility, rebellion or obedience, talking to Satan, or talking to God?
Most importantly, are we going to follow in the footsteps of the first Adam or the second Adam?
The choice is yours to make but it is my sincerest hope that you and I would make the right choice.