This story begins at the foot of the cross, where for the nearsighted, all hope seemed lost....
They knew not there was more than the moment of suffering and that the victory of Jesus did not end at the hill Calvary.
After dying the death of man, my Lord was carried to a grave, where even for a moment I was dismayed. Although I believed, I almost lost heart because the tragedy, my surroundings, everything I could naturally see said, “the grip of death has won this part!”
As I walked one day back to the grave, I remembered the state to which I had been a slave— demon possessed with no hope at all until I heard the voice of Jesus ever so gently call— I had tasted freedom with Him here on earth but now He was dead amidst rocks and dirt;
As I approached the grave, I began to weep for my Savior was gone and wondered if His work in my life was void and incomplete.
As I sobbed in confusion, trying to understand, I was approached unexpectedly by an unknown man.
I supposed he was a gardener until called he called me by name—I knew His voice and at its resurrection power, my heart was no longer lame.
“Mary!” He said, I want you to go and tell the others so that they will know— there’s more than the death you saw on the cross where I carried the weight of your sins, where I was crushed for your transgressions and my physical heart burst within.
Man’s death could not hold me; I’ve risen to new life, bringing back all that’s been lost and giving peace instead of strife! Yes, I am Rabboni, Teacher and both the Person and Banner of peace- your Jehovah Shalom and Jehovah Nissi.
But as you supposed I was a gardener, you were right I must say, I spoke Eden into existence and created you also in a day. I planted the earth and gave it its rain and I’ve cultivated my love for mankind even since the exchange; when seed was consumed that was death and sin, I knew as a Gardener I would plant myself to bring forth life in a single day all over again.
Although I’m the Gardener, I’m also Seed; and through all of this I have had great intention and purpose indeed! I went into the ground below the earth so new life could sprout and I’m here with you now Mary, so have no more doubt.
It looks like death reigns if you never shift from the cross, but I rose from the grave to remove the dross, of sin from the hearts of my children,
who like you I have called by name,
and you all must know the resurrection power inside of you is the same;
So, Mary, when you see and taste moments that feel like death know that I have defeated its threat and have given you rest.
I’m leaving My armor with you as you continue here— here’s My helmet of salvation to protect your mind, my dear.
While the enemy still prowls and makes accusation, here’s the sword of the Spirit to debilitate him. It’s the Word of what I have done that sends him in fleet, He knows you are with Me and My work in you is, in fact, complete.
And finally, do not fear;
My Spirit lives inside you and it is power, comfort, and truth, my dear;
as you draw near to Me, I am already near to you.
My love is enough and behold it makes all things new; it is the inspiration of my resurrection power displayed because of my deep and abiding love for you your heart is remade.
Not only am I the Gardener and the Seed but I’ve also become the Vine—
abide in Me because you are Mine.
As you remain in Me, I will water you with my Word.
I will prune you with an immersion of the Holy Spirit’s Living Water, that to the world looks absurd.
But as you rest and abide in that secret place, you’ll bear My fruit and live constantly in My grace.
There are many others whom I will call by name and I will be their Gardener, their Seed, their Cultivator and Vine just the same.
Weep no more, Mary. New life is here!
I’ve defeated death and I’ve forever brought you near.