Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Tag: garden

Path: Easter

It was a path on which a donkey trod. Palm branches and coats were strewn along it, the Jewish equivalent of a red carpet for a king.

Last SupperLess than a week later, the path led from an upper room where a special meal had been celebrated among friends, though not all were true, there was an enemy in the camp.

In a garden there were tears, sweat and blood, and then the betrayal of a close friend.

Good FridaySix trials – a mockery of justice – and the bloody trail to an execution hill. Nails, a hammer, and a crown of thorns. Rejection of a Father for the sake of many sons and daughters who would benefit from the One Son’s obedience.

A violent death, a borrowed grave, a hushed holy Saturday.

But Sunday is coming.

Saturday

Rejected

I’ve been thinking about a father and son, and a garden, and rejection.

You couldn’t get a closer relationship anywhere than Jesus and His Dad. Always together, always united, never a disagreement. They loved each other, enjoyed one another’s company, were completely fulfilled in their relationship.

Their perfect love overflowed. Jesus’ Dad wanted more sons and daughters just like Jesus. Jesus wanted brothers and sisters to love just like His Dad loved Him. Not because they were emotionally needy; the desire came from an overflow of purest love.

The result was us. But the snag was also us. Because there was a snag. We were created perfect, in God’s own image. But we wanted to be God and rule our own lives without bothering about allegiance to our creator. We deserved death but that’s not what Father and Son wanted for us.

They weren’t daft. They knew we would rebel and stick two fingers up at them and turn our backs. But because of their overflowing, crazy love they wanted what was best for us: relationship with them. So knowing precisely how horrible we would be, they went ahead with creating us, having Plan A in mind.

Plan A was Jesus dying the death we deserved by rights. Plan A was Jesus becoming the Way to the Father.

Olive GroveThe night before Jesus died, He went into a garden of olive trees to pray. He knew the agony that awaited Him – physical torture, an agonising death, taking the darkness and sin of the whole world, separation from His Dad. It cost Jesus everything. I can’t imagine such perfect love as blazed in the Father’s heart for Jesus being torn apart when He was forced to reject His Son at the moment Jesus became our sin on the cross.

Father and Son looked together at the cross and saw all the sons and daughters who could only come to the Father through Jesus dying, and agreed with their whole hearts that we were worth the cost.

Because Jesus was rejected by His Dad, I am accepted by His Dad.

Because Jesus was rejected by His Dad, you can be accepted by His Dad. You only need to ask and follow Him with your whole heart.

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