In the previous essay I made mention of a group of men walking along, talking over the events of the day. This conversation had a deep impact on 2 of the participants. The third member of this conversation was Jesus, who had just that morning returned to life after being killed. I want to talk about how similar this is to an earlier conversation between God and man. Adam and God the Creator used to walk and talk in the garden God had created and given to Adam and Eve. The Bible says God was walking in the garden in the cool of the day looking for Adam to have conversation. This verse also ends with a statement of Adam’s attitude of fear and hiding, since he knew he had just disobeyed his Creator. But that’s another point. I think this verse is a clue to the quality of their relationship before the disobedience. They met regularly and walked and talked together. They talked about the events of the day. Adam must have shared some exciting new observations he made about tigers or oranges or whatever else caught his imagination. Maybe he asked about how to manage a certain plant to its best productivity. God must have enjoyed seeing his created image-bearer learning about the world around him – the way I’m excited as I watch my grandchildren learning about their world. Maybe God also tutored Adam in many things –plants and animals, stars and the universe, relationships - until all this was interrupted by Adam’s choice to disobey, which led to his fall from grace.
So that close fellowship was interrupted by sin. But since then, God has been in the business of restoring quality back into the fellowship between God and man. You have been invited into an intimate relationship with your Creator-Redeemer-Father where He knows your every pain and sorrow. Where He’ll always wipe away your tears. And every cause of every tear. No more of the stuff that causes those tears. Think of all the tears you have shed since your child died. God Himself wants to take you in His arms, close to His heart and to touch your face, wiping away all those tears. He wants to comfort you.
The new earth and heaven where our God dwells and redeemed believing humans will dwell with Him is a garden where fellowship is fully restored and there are no more tears. We travel to this restored garden through a 3rd garden - The Garden of Gethsemane. This interim garden is where Jesus prayed that the “cup” might be taken away from Him. And it’s where Jesus answered “yes, I will do Your will” to His Father. The death of Jesus fulfills the Creator-Redeemer-Father’s purpose to bring you close so that He can comfort you.
Can you imagine the close fellowship between Creator and creature in the first garden? That’s what our hearts long for because we were made for this. Do you want to be comforted in your grief by One who loves you immeasurably? That’s what awaits you in the restored garden. You can come to Him for that comfort because Jesus went through the interim garden, saying “yes” to His Father’s plan for restoration. You can know at least some of that comfort right now because of the restored fellowship we can have with Him in this life now, even before we get all the way to the restored garden. He wants to comfort you.
“We do not want you …to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again… And we will be with the Lord forever.” I Thessalonians 4:13-14,17. See also these references that influenced my thoughts: Genesis 3:8, Luke 22:39-46, Revelation 21:1-5.