March 31, 2024

Holy Week: Hope That Springs Eternal

A devotional for Easter Sunday

by Mally McLoughlin


John 20:14–15

Hope That Springs Eternal

After Jesus’ death and Resurrection, before He revealed Himself to His followers, He was mistaken for a gardener. Really, it was anything but a mistake. Scripture is interwoven with stories about land.

For example, God gave Adam the calling to be a gardener (see Gen. 2). The first and last chapters of the Bible talk about significant trees (see Gen. 1 and Rev. 22). Moses had an encounter with a burning bush (see Exod. 3). The first Psalm focuses on the “leaf that does not wither” (see Psalm 1). Jesus said, “I am the true vine” (see John 15). The Bible’s wisdom is often referred to as the “tree of life,” and on Good Friday, Jesus was buried beneath earth and stone. There are many biblical ties to the earth, cultivation, and gardening. 

In the early hours of that first Easter morning, a stunned Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb. Her heart was heavy with grief and her eyes blurred with tears as she scrambled to make sense of the empty chamber. But then, with a single word, everything changed. The Gardener of the Resurrection spoke her name, transforming her doubt into faith and her grief into joy. Jesus cultivated new life in her. 

Adam failed in his task of taking care of the garden, but Jesus will not fail us. He is not afraid to roll up His sleeves and till the soil of our spirit. He tends to the seeds of our souls and prunes that which is unfruitful. 

Maybe you’re in the weeds right now. The good news is that the Resurrected Gardener is here to shear a way through. Maybe you’re in a season of new beginnings. The Resurrected Gardener will plant the seeds with you. Maybe you’re in a dying garden. The Resurrected Gardener will fertilize and help you flourish. Easter Sunday reminds us of our roots, of new beginnings, and hope that springs eternal.

Prayer Prompt

Take a moment to sit with Jesus and reflect on the incredible nature of our Lord’s Resurrection. What areas of your life do you need to continue surrendering to Him? If you feel like you’re in the weeds, ask the Lord of the Harvest to walk beside you and glean for you and with you.

Lord Jesus, walk beside me in this season. Father, lead me exactly where You want me to go and show me what it is that You’re longing for me to understand. Create in me a heart that desires more of You. Help me cultivate what is good and from You. Amen. 

Related Stories