Summary: God started human history in a garden, and Jesus began a new history of salvation in the Easter garden which gave to man new life, new joy, and new hope.
A son kept asking his father questions until he was bugged. He decided and try to quench
the lad's curiosity with the old cliche, "Remember, curiosity killed the cat." The son replied,
"What was the cat curious about dad?" The plan backfired, for the boy was even curious
about curiosity. The curious mind can be a nuisance, but its constant probing can make
valuable discoveries, even in the most unlikely places. Sometimes the trivial stimulates the
mind to curiosity more than the tremendous. Tell people that there are 281,796,349,000 stars
in the sky, and they will believe you without question, but put a wet paint sign on a chair, and
they will have to touch it and see for themselves. There is an attraction to the trivial.
This is true for me when it comes to John's record of the events of the first Easter. I am
curious about a very minor detail that seems almost incidental and inconsequential. I am
curious about why Mary thought Jesus was a gardener in verse 15. Why is such a trivial
thing as that recorded in the Word of God? The world cannot contain all the books that
could be written about Jesus is what John has said at the close of his Gospel. Why then would
he use up even one precious line of his Gospel to tell us that Mary Magdalene mistakenly
thought Jesus was a gardener. It was only a mistake that momentarily flashed through her
mind, and yet this error is recorded for all time, and for all to see that she failed to identify
her Lord at first sight on that first Easter.
Some may feel it is best to just leave such minor incidents in the limbo of neglect, but
curiosity demands an investigation. The Holy Spirit had some reason for having it recorded,
and a little searching could open up some valuable insights into the mind and plan of God. If
you feel it is a waste of time, you will have to take up your quarrel with God, for He inspired
this challenge to curiosity, and I for one love to bite on the bait and get hooked on God's
Word, even if it comes by way of a weeping woman making a mistake.
The first thing this mistake in identification tells us, by implication, is that the garden in
which Jesus was buried was a beautiful and large garden with many flowers and shrubs. In
other words, it was a sizable garden and well kept. The reference back in John 19:41 just says
the place where He was crucified had a garden, and there was a new tomb in it where no one
had ever been laid. If it was not for Mary's mistake we could never have guessed how nice a
garden it was. Her mistake, however, tells us that it was large enough so that it took a hired
man to maintain its order and beauty. She never could have supposed Jesus was the gardener
unless she was in a garden that obviously needed the care of a gardener to maintain it.
The hymn writer was not merely dreaming, but had a good basis when he wrote, "I come
to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses..." In this early hour the dew would be
on the roses, and all of the flowers. It is fitting that He who is called the Rose Of Sharon and
The Lily Of The Valley should come out of the tomb of the earth and first be seen in a garden.
Like all flowers, He had to burst forth from the blackness and darkness of the earth into the
light of life. Everything about this Easter garden is appropriate and fitting to the plan of God
as it is revealed in Scripture. As we examine the Bible we discover that gardens play a major
role. Pascal said, "Man was lost and saved in a garden." The Bible supports this.
God started human history in a garden, and it was no accident, but a deliberate plan. Gen.
2:8 says, "And the Lord planted a garden Eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom
He had formed." God was the first gardener, and He made the first man a gardener. Adam's
job was to keep the garden beautiful. It is no mistake that the second Adam was mistaken for
a gardener, for He came to restore the paradise the first Adam failed to maintain because of
his sin. How beautiful that the resurrection should take place in a gorgeous garden, for by His
resurrection Jesus did in reality restore what Adam lost. If man fell in a garden, it is fitting
that he should rise again in a garden, and that is just the way God planned it. God loves