Missed part 1?
The Resurrection Garden
The second garden in our Easter story is in the place where Christ was crucified.
Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb
John 19 v41
This resurrection garden had a very different feel from the Garden of Gethsemane. For a start, we come into this garden when it is almost dawn. It’s still dark, but the dawn is coming.
There is a woman present instead of men. Mary is sad, broken-hearted at the loss of the person whom she saw as her saviour.
Jesus was the man who healed her from the demons ravaging her mind (possibly understood to be schizophrenia) and now he is gone, his tomb is empty. Whilst Mary is pondering this loss she realises she is not alone.
Comfort from above
And she saw two angels in white…they said to her, “woman, why are you weeping?”
John 20 v12, 13
I can imagine Mary being quite incredulous as she explained to these angels what she had just lost. How could they not be aware of the events just a few days prior? She had come to do what she could for the body of Jesus in ritualistic preparation and that privilege had been taken from her.
Then there was someone else at the scene, who showed her care and asked what she was looking for.
Mary, in her grief, presumed this man to be the tender of the garden she was in. She asked him what he had done with her Lord’s body and why it had been taken away. With one simple word, the truth was revealed. A softly spoken word which spoke directly to a broken heart. ‘Mary’, the man said.
I am the good shepherd; and I know my sheep, and am known by my own
John 10 v14
With one simple word, Mary knew that it was the risen Lord in front of her. The tomb was empty for the most incredible reason of all – it was not able to hold a man who had lived the most perfect life.
I find it quite incredible that Christ chose to reveal himself first to a woman. Not from a political standpoint or with any ‘feminist agenda’, but maybe just because he recognised that women feel grief differently. I think that Christ knew how keenly Mary was feeling his death given that she was first to the tomb in order to prepare his body.
Mary heard her name and recognised her saviour. This garden saw the start of work still carried out by believers today, spreading the news of a saviour for the world.
He is risen, it is enough.