Lent Reflection: Gardens of Eden and Gethsemane

By David Morson

In this difficult time I have been thinking that those of us who are fortunate to have gardens have a little refuge from the outside world and its potential dangers. But this made me reflect on two Gardens in the Bible which had the opposite effect.

The Garden of Eden was a paradise of beauty and harmony whose security was broken by a pride and selfishness which introduced suffering and death and endowed it to all humankind as a consequence. The Garden of Gethsemane was the venue for a brutal and violent betrayal of the Innocent but which lead to the restoration of God’s life for all humankind.

St Paul refers to Jesus as the 2nd Adam in this context . Whereas, the first Adam was given everything by God, except the gift of knowledge which would destroy the vision of the world as God wanted it to be, Jesus as the 2nd Adam was to restore that very vision of God’s Kingdom on earth “as it is in heaven”. Just as the first Adam brought death by his disobedience in the first Garden,Jesus brought life by His obedience accepting death in the second Garden. Just as Adam severed his life giving relationship with God through his pride with consequences for us all ,so Jesus restored that life through His humble acceptance of those consequences even though He was not guilty of them.

Adam was the first head of the human race, who like us all, fell short of accepting God’s loving care. Jesus through His loving sacrifice reunites us once again with His Father Creator and offers all humankind a renewed sharing in that life in a new creation.