Saturday, May 29, 2010

In the Garden Again by Dudley Hall

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.John 18:1 (ESV)

As Jesus finishes the last discourse with his followers, he proceeds to do what is necessary to prepare the place in the Father that he had promised (John 14:1-4). As the final Adam, he goes to a garden. It was in a garden that the first Adam made the choice that thrust all his descendants into alienation from God the Father. Now the last Adam and perfect Son of God will win the battle for all who will come to the Father through him.

The first garden is the picture of God's intention. He provides the perfect environment for sons and the Father to partner in making creation productive. Adam, however, released curses by his sin. Now the Son of God would take the curses upon himself so that blessings would be released upon undeserving rebels. The garden also supplies joyful work. It presented the potential of progressive management. If Adam and Eve had stayed true to God's word they would have seen their garden grow until they and their descendants covered the earth. Now a Son was entering the garden to redeem what Adam had destroyed and he would create a people who would again be given the mission of going into the whole earth with the good news that reconciliation was available.

In his apocalyptic treatise, John shows a final garden as the last scene in redemptive history. He paints a picture of a garden growing with fruit for every month. There is a river in the midst with trees laden with leaves that bring healing for the nations. And there is the tree of life (Revelation 22:1-5). What is John saying? He is telling us that what was lost in the first garden is found in the last garden. But before that eternal garden arrives, there had to be the garden in the Kidron Valley. There had to be a great transaction completed by the Son of Man. This time there was no failure when the tempter threw his best shot at Jesus. On the same field where the first son lost the confrontation, the last Son won it.

As we watch through the eyes of John we can see the glory of Jesus. He is fearless. Instead of hiding like Adam, he speaks up and confronts those looking for him. Instead of cowering in shame, he confronts them, and they fall to the ground without him even touching them. This was going to be a great battle and with all the forces of evil arrayed against him, Jesus the last Adam won...but not without pain.

Later Jesus sent his followers forth into the earth. He still sends his followers out. They are to begin with the garden they are standing in and then continue to the ends of the earth with the gospel that restores creation and reconciles man to God. You and I have a garden to till. We can get the job done because Jesus has won the battle for us. It won't be painless, but it will be victorious.  


  1. Brother Hall, very good comparison of Adam to Jesus. It helps me to see the "big Picture" of the plans God has for each of us.
    Ralph from Texas

  2. As I read this my heart was flooded with rivers of living water and a deep breath of heaven. Thanks Dudley, thank you so much for sharing this insight of the Father's revelation to you.

    Pennee Rowland Palm Harbor, FL (knew you back in the 1985 during the Bible Conferences...I have been blessed by a man named John Sheasby since 2001 and found it interesting that you guys enjoyed each others friendship back then and to this guys bless me so much and the Lord has so beautifully set me free by all ya'll.)


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