I’m in my study this morning, putting away my Bible and my notes, about to drive to the church to worship with God’s people and then to preach the gospel. There will be, as we all know, lots of people there who don’t want to be there. They’re there because grandma wants them to come with her before eating ham at her house. Or they’re there because they want their kids to know this is what one does on Easter. Or they’re there because they don’t want to feel like a pagan on the holiest day of the Christian year.

But they’ll be there.

That’s why I plan to read two texts this morning, two stories in two gardens. The first is Genesis 3:1-24, the story of corruption, alienation, condemnation, and deception. The second is John 19:18-41, the story of how all that was reversed by a Man with nothing to hide from his Father, his Bride, his brothers.

I pray for you this morning as you listen or speak or pray or gather. Please pray for me that the word of Christ would be plain, and that it would be terrifying to every spirit that exalts its name over the name of Jesus.

There’ll be a thousand stories in that room this morning, on an earth full of billions of stories. But, really, there are only two. One walks from a garden to a grave, and the other from a grave to a garden.

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.