A Tale of Two Gardens

March 20, 2010

(On the run up to Easter, I’ve been preaching through the Passion narrative of Mark’s gospel. A few weeks ago we considered Gethsemane. Here are the notes for my sermon conclusion. I first read about the contrast between Eden and Gethsemane in one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons).

What a contrast between the ‘two great gardens of temptation’!

In the Garden of Eden –  under the most meagre pressure – Adam succumbed to temptation and sinned. Adam disobeyed God’s will and by that one act of disobedience, he dragged the whole human race down into darkness.

But in the Garden of Gethsemane – under infinite pressure –  Jesus resisted the immense temptation to disobey His Father’s will.  Scaling that final summit of obedience,  Jesus, the last Adam, succeeded where His predecessor failed. As our sinless substitute, He therefore completed His life of righteousness for us. He then died on a cross,  enduring God’s just punishment for our sins.

What then does Gethsemane teach us, as we observe from the thickets of the trees? Simply this. That we can only be saved by Jesus’ obedience. We are as much the sleepy-sinners as the disciples were. We are ill-prepared to resist sin’s temptations and easily succumb. Thus, if we are seeking to obey our way into God’s favour, we will fail.

But if you are trusting in an obedience not your own

  • in a righteous-life lived for you
  • in a punishment endured for you
  • in a cup drunk  for you

you will avoid condemnation. Christ will bear it in your stead. And you will be credited with His righteousness!




  1. Outstanding post, and one I plan to link to this week. As an English teacher, however, I have one request: please correct the grammar in the last bullet item to “a cup drunk for you.”

  2. Thanks, Colin.

  3. Praise God!

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