It’s Tuesday night in the holy city of Jerusalem. It’s our last night in Israel. Tomorrow we fly back to America to be home for Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to being back home. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving. And I’m really looking forward to Friday night church at Word of Life. I’ll be preaching on Revelations From Mount Sinai — what the Spirit of the Lord ministered to me when I was on top of Sinai at dawn on November 9.

But there is also a certain sadness in leaving Jerusalem. I always feel this way when I leave Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the spiritual home of every believer.

We concluded our tour of Israel today at The Garden Tomb — the site of the crucifixion and the resurrection! It was a very powerful time! We end our pilgrimage tours at the Garden Tomb because it is the place of the most important event in time and eternity. We conduct a worship and communion service at the Garden Tomb and I always take some time to minister the word. Last night as I prepared for the Garden Tomb service, the Holy Spirit gave me this message: Supposing Him To Be The Gardener.

“Now in the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid the body of Jesus” ~John 19:41

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were the two members of the Sanhedrin who did not consent to the death of Jesus. After Jesus’ death on the cross, Joseph obtained permission to take the body of Jesus that he might give Him a decent burial. Joseph had a garden nearby in which was a new tomb. After obtaining permission from Pilate, Nicodemus assisted Joseph in the sad task of taking the body of Jesus from the cross.

And so Jesus was buried in a garden.

The Bible tells a story and gardens figure prominently in the Great Story. In fact the Story begins in a garden…and goes wrong in a garden.

“And the Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden and there He placed the man whom He had formed.” ~Genesis 2:8

“The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden toward evening, in the cool of the day.” ~Genesis 3:8

God created man for fellowship in a garden paradise.

But the catastrophe called the Fall caused man to lose Eden.

“So the Lord God banished Adam and his wife from the Garden of Eden…And after He drove them out He stationed mighty angelic beings to the east of Eden. And a flaming sword flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” ~Genesis 3:23-24

Paradise Lost.

Thus man began his long exile from the garden. An exile into a wasteland of barren souls and wasted lives — a desert of separation from the fountain of joy and the tree of eternal life.

But there were prophecies of Paradise Regained.

“For the Lord will comfort Zion
He will comfort all her waste places
He will make her wilderness like Eden
And her desert like the garden of the Lord
Joy and gladness will be found there
Thanksgiving and the sound of melodies.”
~Isaiah 51:3

And in the fullness of time, the prophecies were fulfilled.

Let us return to the garden where Jesus had been laid in the tomb:

“But Mary Magdalene stood outside the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting one at the head and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had been.” ~John 20:11-12

Do you know what Mary Magdalene is seeing as she sees two angels sitting where the body of Jesus had been?

She is seeing the new mercy seat. In the Old Covenant the mercy seat was the solid gold lid on the top of the Ark of the Covenant which received the blood of atonement and was covered by the wings of the cherubim at each end. The angels sitting at the head and feet of where the body of Jesus had lain signify that Jesus Himself is the new mercy seat of the new covenant!

The angels speak to Mary…

“Then they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him.” Now when he had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to here, ‘Women, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ She, supposing Him to be the gardener said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to Him, ‘Rabboni!'” ~John 20:13-16

Mary in the early morning shadows and with tears in her eyes made a mistake and mistook Jesus for the gardener.

Or did she make a mistake after all?

Let me tell you that Jesus is the Gardener!

Everywhere Jesus goes, He goes to work as a gardener to restore the Garden of Eden — the garden of everlasting joy, eternal life and fellowship with God. Jesus is the Gardener in the dawn of a new day!

G.K. Chesterton says it better than I can:

“On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in the semblance of a gardener, God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.” ~The Everlasting Man

Amen! Jesus is the Gardener!

And I give you this prophetic word. Have faith to receive it as a personal word from the Lord:

For the Lord Jesus will comfort you
He will restore your wasted years and your barren life
He will make your wasteland life like Eden
And your barren soul like the garden of God
Joy and gladness will be found in you
Thanksgiving and the sound of melodies.

Believe it. Receive it.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I’ll see you Friday.

I’ll bring a word from Mount Sinai.