Easter Sunrise

Click here to read John 20:1-18 (NIV)

Easter starts in darkness

Three things were taking place at sunrise
1. Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb to tend to His corpse
2. She had to wait to do so until the end of the Sabbath
3. This day was special, because it was the daybreak ending the Passover Sabbath

Jewish planting ritual known as, “The Blessing of the Trees”
– A ceremonial handful of seed would be scattered at dawn on the day after the Passover Sabbath
– Matthew 28:2 tells us another earthquake occurred as the stone was rolled away from Jesus’ tomb
– Imagine the convergence of those events, where Mary is starting toward Jesus’ tomb, the seed was scattered, and the earth quaked.

John 20:15 shows us that Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener. Could it be that Jesus was actually gardening?
– Was Jesus repairing the damage done by Adam and Eve in the Garden?
– Did this align with the Blessing of the Trees to show that God was undoing the curse of sin?

Galatians 3:13 (MSG) | Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse.

Legend of Dogwood Tree

  • The legend holds that the tree was once very large, like a Great Oak tree, and because its wood was strong and sturdy, it provided building material for a variety of purposes. According to the story, it was the dogwood tree that provided the wood used to build the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
  • Because of its role in the crucifixion, it is said that God both cursed and blessed the tree. It was cursed to forever be small, so that it would never grow large enough again for its wood to be used as a cross for a crucifixion. It’s branches would be narrow and crooked – not good for building at all.
  • At the same time, however, the tree was blessed so that it would produce beautiful flowers each spring, just in time for Easter. To remember God’s promise to the tree it is said he gave it a few traits so that whoever looks upon it will never forget.
    • The petals of the dogwood actually form the shape of a cross. Upon close examination, it can be seen that the blooms of the tree always have four petals.
    • The middle of the Dogwood flower has a tight grouping resembling a “crown of thorns.”
    • And the tips of each of the petals are indented, as if they bear a nail dent.
    • There are even colors in the petals that bring to mind the drops of blood that spilled during the crucifixion.

This Easter

  • Look to the Light of the World if it begins in darkness for you
  • Know that Jesus ended the curse of sin and wants to bless your new life
  • He looks to plant seeds of faith, hope, and love so you might bloom for Him!
  • Trust Him, our Easter Gardener, to repair the damage of sin and help you live for Him.

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