John’s account of the resurrection fulfills the promise of his prologue (John 20). Here is the Word made flesh, dead and buried, now risen as new Adam, the “gardener,” with Mary Magdalene, a type of the new Eve.
The Word who spoke the worlds into being speaks also after death, saying “Woman! Mary!” And later, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
It seems a fitting end, but it’s not quite an end. It’s more a beginning.
Yahweh created Adam, placed Him in a garden, and built Eve as a helper. The garden was never intended to be Adam’s final home. He was to climb from the garden to the higher ground of the land of Eden. He was supposed to follow the four rivers from Eden to the ends of the earth, for there was gold in Havilah that could not be found in Eden.
Gardens, Adams, Eves: This is the scene of beginning, not a scene of climax.
To get to the climax, you can’t stop with the gospel of John. You have to read the companion book, the Apocalypse. There was fine a fully glorified Adam (chapter 1), a bride descending from heaven (chapter 21), an order that is not arboreal but civic.
Easter is so decisive, so astonishing a reversal that we want to rest there, in the garden, with Mary and the freshly risen Bridegroom. But Jesus says noli me tangere. There’s a big world outside the garden, and that’s where the Bridegroom sends us, and He won’t be done until the garden grows up into a city, and the Bride becomes a glorious Bride, spotless and without blemish.