“For God so loved the world…”
The Garden of the Cross is a powerful and very real image of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us on the Cross.
It is a garden that shows His unparalleled love; His conscious obedience; His perfect purity; His heart-wrenching suffering and sorrow; His dedication to truth; His total forgiveness; and His amazing grace. A garden dedicated to God, and His son Jesus with thankful hearts.
The Crucifixion story is taken from Matthew 27: verses 32-55. “As they were going out they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon and they forced him to carry the cross.
They came to a place called Golgotha (which means the Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.
When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down they kept watch over him there.
Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying. “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”
In the same way, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him, “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” In the same way, the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? — which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs.
The story of The Crucifixion is also written in:
- The Gospel of Mark, Chapter 15:21-41
- The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 23;26-49
- The Gospel of John, Chapter 19:17-37
We recommend reading all of these scriptures.
THE MEANING BEHIND THE TREES AND FLOWERS PLANTED IN THE GARDEN OF THE CROSS
When this very unique garden was created, the particular plants and flowers that were selected tell the story of God’s love for us; His invitation to believe in his one and only son Jesus; the willingness of Jesus to be obedient to His Father, even to death on a cross; the absolute purity of Christ; the shedding of His blood for the forgiveness of all of our sins; and His amazing grace.
The three trees located on the sides and back of the center cross in this garden represent the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our foundation as believers in God. The stone path leading to the center cross connects us to the scripture in John 3, verse 16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” and John 14, verse 6 when Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
We are invited to come as we are. Along each side of the stone path, there are five plants that will have small white flowers blooming in the spring and summer as well as five fire and ice hydrangeas that represent the purity of Christ. The red roses throughout the garden, as well as the hibiscus in front of the center cross, are a reminder of the blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of all of our sins.
Along both sides of the center cross, you will find a number of green velvet boxwoods that flow around the sides of the garden and weave a vine to connect to the scripture in John 15, verse 5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” The two jagged holly bushes are a presentation to reflect the crown of thorns. A large plant located in front of each of the two smaller crosses in this garden is called “Grace” and will remind us that grace is extended to each of us daily.
As you enjoy this spiritual garden our hope is that you will experience the love of God; His forgiveness of all of our sins; His daily grace and mercy; realize the enormous sacrifice Jesus made for all of us on the cross; enjoy His presence; and be thankful for the blessing of eternal life when we accept him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior.
About Alto-Reste Park
Our mission is to honor and celebrate life by providing clarity and guidance during times of sadness and pain by offering a place of peace amidst scenes of cultured beauty. Regardless of whether someone chooses our park as their final resting place, we want everyone we counsel to be comfortable and satisfied with their final arrangements. We offer choice, compassion, and comfort before, during, and after each service. We do this to ensure every lost loved one is memorialized in a meaningful way.