When I was growing up the Easter weekend seemed to focus on the gardening! Dad had an allotment and on Good Friday the potato patch would be dug and early potatoes would be sown. On the Bank Holiday Monday we’d probably be back again for more digging and preparation work. Harvest would be a long way off but we knew it would come.
The rhythm which we see in creation is of course the same rhythm we see in God’s new creation. I say “of course” because it is the same God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – who is both Creator and Redeemer. The gardener needs to bury the seed for it to have any effect. Without it being buried, nothing will happen. Yet when it is buried, given the right amount of warmth and moisture, then soon germination will be followed by green shoots jumping out of the ground before fruit will finally be gathered at harvest time.
Jesus picks up on this rhythm of creation in inferring to himself when he said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” [John 12:23, 24].
Without Jesus' death and burial there would be no harvest. Yet precisely because He died on the cross carrying our sin, paying our penalty, so that is the guarantee of new life in all its abundance. First comes the resurrection of Jesus Himself. Then comes new life to all those who have put their trust in Him.
So, as we gather at our various Services over Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we do so remembering the rhythm that God our Creator has shown us in the garden. Life comes through death. Salvation comes through a crucified Messiah. For us to discover that new life for ourselves we will need to draw near to Christ so that in His death and resurrection we might discover “life in all its fullness” [John 10:10].