Creation-PyramidThis week’s sermon is called “Restoring the Garden.”
I am working from Genesis 1:26,27; Genesis 2:7 & 15; John 20:11-18.

The basic point of the sermon is this. When Jesus rose from the grave Jesus restored Humanity’s opportunity to be near the top of God’s creation pyramid. I got the idea of the Creation Pyramid from Dr. Sandra Richter’s Epic of Eden. I just made the illustration. I also think when Humanity chose to say, “Not God’s will, but mine,” everything below us on the pyramid fell with us, because Humanity was taken from the dust, and we were charged to look after the earth. Adam messed up, and we all carry Adam’s willfulness with us. How many times have we thought, “I want to do it my way.”? These words are the definition of the brokenness of the Fall. Jesus, whom the Apostle Paul refers to as the second Adam (1Corinthians 15:45) makes the choice Adam did not. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane said, “Not my will, but thine” (Luke 22:42). Through Jesus’ commitment to this statement, and Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross Jesus bore the wrath of God for Humanity’s brokenness. And so it is Jesus at the resurrection who is mistaken as the gardener. But was it really a mistake? Jesus as the second Adam is the chief care taker and the new representative of humanity before God. And Jesus first thing sends Mary Magdalene with a mission. Go tell the disciples what you have seen and heard. I think the message is Humanity has been given the choice again as to whom we will serve. Will we choose to be chained to the selfish things of this world, or will we choose God, and by choosing to walk with God will we be restored to something that looks like the image of God? The image of God is not about what we look like. The image of God is about who we are. Imagine sharing God’s goodness and grace with others by just being yourself. That sounds pretty good to me. But to get there we have to spend the time walking with God first. The longer we walk with God the more God rubs off on us, and the more easily we share God’s goodness with others. The more like Christ we become the better able we are to fulfill the great commission of making disciples of all nations.

Happy Easter!
Richard

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