Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tasting Gethsemane

Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland said that in order to gain an in depth understanding and testimony of the Savior, as he has, one must experience just a microscopic touch of what the Savior experienced.  Truly we cannot be expected to experience all of it to the same magnitude as the Savior Jesus Christ, but in order to gain a staggering testimony like the one he has, we must experience just a small taste of the anguish of Gethsemane.  Without discussing my own history, please allow me to share some thoughts on what the Savior likely experienced in the heat of His passion.

Firstly, I often hear people describe the Savior at that time as being in a weakened state because of His sufferings, and I have heard that His loving compassion is most truly made manifest in His concern in healing the soldier's ear in the midst of His own pain.  While I admit that this is true, I think we also need to remember that at this time the Savior was the strongest He had likely ever been in many ways.  He knew what was coming, He knew what He had to do and like an athlete preparing for a championship game, He was ready to hit the ground running, though He had no exact idea of how painful it would be.  He knew it would require everything from Him and He had agreed to that idea.  He also knew why He was doing it, and when the time came His focus was so intense, His spirit so on fire and determination so high that while He certainly felt extreme pain, He also was ready and willing to see it through to the end.  

We read that He sweat great drops of blood from every pore.  I don't know how you imagine that, but I believe it was, on a microscopic level, brought about by sheer pressure and pain.  Like a volcano erupting from the pressure of the magma beneath it, His pain, His anguish, and the weight of all our sins on His shoulders was enough to ravage His physical body and cause the vessels to literally explode. On a microscopic level, I cannot imagine it was a soft, gentle release of blood but a shattering, cell blowing violence of pure stress, though on the outside of the body I imagine it looked and felt similar to sweat. 

I may or may not continue my thoughts regarding the Lord's Atonement in subsequent posts, but I hope we always seek to recall and retain in remembrance His sacrifice for each and every one of us.

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