On the Saturday before Easter, I got the opportunity to share an Easter message with a group of my neighbors. A few members of the neighborhood planned an Easter Sunrise Service and they asked me to pray and to deliver a message. Bad weather was in the forecast for Easter Sunday, so they moved it to Saturday morning. I watched The Passion of Christ on Friday night and got the idea to speak on this topic, "Communion with God in the Garden." The message was based on Jesus' time in the Garden of Gethsemane and Adam's time in the Garden of Eden. Imagine me standing in street with about 20 of my neighbors gathering around, practicing social distancing and listening to me sharing a short Easter message. It was amazing and I hope you can put yourself in their shoes that morning as you read my post based off my message.
Communion is defined as the exchange of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level. The biblical story of the Garden of Eden is an Old Testament one with a lot of similarities to a New Testament story, the Garden of Gethsemane. In the Garden of Eden, Adam had a choice to obey God the Father and continue to commune with Him in the Garden forever. Or Adam could have sinned and be separated from God. As we all know, Adam disobeyed God and his disobedience brought sin into the world and he was kicked out the Garden of Eden.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had a choice to obey God, thereby giving us the opportunity to commune with Him. If Jesus could have or would have sinned, we would have remained separated from God. We know that Jesus obeyed God and died on the Cross for our sins, which allows us as believers to commune with Him.
The Garden of Eden
In Genesis 3:6 it states, “when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Adam was given a command by God not to eat of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This disobedience of God’s command is a sin. Base off the verse, Adam’s disobedience was the very first sin, causing sin to enter this world. Since we all are children of Adam we inherited his sin. So, we all are sinners. How are we cleaned or forgiven of our sins?
The Garden of Gethsemane
The choice that Jesus made in the Garden of Gethsemane gives us access to a sinless (or forgiven) life. How? While Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He chose to obey God’s will. It was God’s will for Jesus to die on the cross for our sin. When Jesus shed His blood on the cross, He fixed what Adam had broken. Have you ever heard the term, “I am ‘covered by the blood’ of Jesus?” This is where that term comes from, because if you believe that Jesus died for your sin, his blood covers you and your sins are washed away. So, when God looks down from Heaven, He does not see your sins anymore, but He sees Jesus’ blood that covers you. And because Jesus was sinless, God sees you as sinless.
In Mark 14:35-36, after Jesus asked His disciplines to pray for Him, Jesus went a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for You. Take this cup from me. Yet not My will, but let Your will be done.”
The difference in Jesus approach compared to Adam approach was faith. The definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1, says “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Jesus’ confidence was in God’s word and His hope was in the belief that anything was possible for God. Yes, Jesus didn’t want to suffer but His assurance was in God’s will and not His will. Even if Jesus couldn’t see God’s will at the time, He had faith in it.
Adam’s approach was one of fear. The definition of fear is unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Another way to define it is “False Evidence Appearing Real." Adam may have been fearful of not pleasing his wife or not gaining wisdom from the fruit of the tree. Whatever his fear was, it was evident he did not have faith in God’s word.
We can have confidence, hope and assurance in God’s word, even if we can’t see it. Or we can believe in a false evidence that appears to be real. Faith and fear are the complete opposite, but they both are based on the unseen. You can’t see, touch, feel, hear, taste or smell either one. But you are either controlled by one or the other at all times. Fear makes you focus on the problem and Faith makes you focus on the Problem Solver.
God’s word says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. “Every day we have a choice to eat from Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, or from the Tree of Life. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is fear or lies from the devil. The Tree of Life is faith or promises from God.
The coronavirus has a lot of us in Fear. We are fearful of our health, fearful of our finances and fearful of our future. But we can choose to be in fear or operate in faith that God is the ultimate healer and provider. We can have faith that God is God and He knows the plans He has for us and has plans not to harm us but to give us a hope and a future.
So let’s be in prayer that God would remove our fears and replace them with His promises.
I Find Wisdom when I get a chance to prepare for a Message.