by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
Life began in a garden. We find the familiar story in Genesis. God provided a perfect place for the couple He created. This was a place where they could fellowship with Him on a daily basis…a place where Adam and Eve knew no sin or shame. Tragically it became a place where sin entered this world and with it the promise of death. This garden then held great danger, and eventually it was lost forever to our first ancestors, guarded by angels with flaming swords.
Resurrection life began in a garden, also. Death had been defeated. The garden tomb, emptied and open, revealed that our dying Savior could not be held by grave clothes. The stone rolled away and frightened soldiers fled the scene. Scripture, interestingly enough, only records a very few of Jesus followers coming to this second garden. Some women were the first to arrive that early morning, hoping to complete the embalming of Jesus’ body. Eventually, Peter and John appeared on the scene. They couldn’t believe the news that the women brought back to the disciples hiding in Jerusalem; they ran to check it out for themselves.
The Gospels tell us of only one person meeting the Lord Himself at the garden tomb – Mary Magdalene. This episode of mistaken identity and then joyous intimacy is told in John 20:11-18. Gather your family together and read the account aloud. It easily lends itself to four readers – narrator, angel, Mary, Jesus. If you’ve started a family journal, record your responses to this story. Can you understand why Mary would mistake Jesus for a gardener? Can you explain why, of all the men and women who followed Jesus and believed in Him during His earthly ministry, Jesus appeared to someone who had once been demon possessed?
Supply art materials for those who would like to draw the garden, or the garden with one of the scenes as described in the Gospels. Consider making a diorama of the resurrection garden. It would be a great rainy-day or Saturday project. Try to capture the emotions of the scene and understand why fear was so prominent. Take time to praise God for the unfolding of a drama that gives clear evidence of this great miracle. Halleluiah! Jesus has risen. He has risen, indeed!!
MARY OF MAGDALA
by Nancy Tichy
With tearful bewilderment that resurrection dawn
you supposed they had somehow managed
to spirit His body away beyond your reach
only to turn and discover Him
standing before you.
What woman would not gladly share your pain
if she could only meet His loving gaze
and hear Him call her name – feel His compelling energy?
Go and tell!
Like you, I can now see through my own self-pity
and turn from fearful prospects to recognize the Master.
My Savior-Sovereign! Risen Sender!
I have seen the Lord!