For today’s scripture study assignment, I thought that it would be nice to do something a little different. Instead of studying only the scriptures recounting Christ’s experience at Gethsemane, I thought it would also be cool to read a few other scriptures of the prophecies and testimonies of Christ’s time in Gethsemane. It really helps us to understand the magnitude and mercy of this event.
The Garden of Gethsemane (from lds.org)
Find the Easter Scripture Study Series here
Scripture One – Mark 14:32-39
“And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.
And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.” – Mark 14:32-39
Here, the Lord begins His work at Gethsemane. He takes Peter, James, and John. It seems like everyone is feeling a little bit heavy and depressed. Some of the apostles are doubting Christ’s Messiahship. I can understand why…they probably thought he was going to save them physically – not in the way that He did. Even though we have the advantage of seeing the Atonement from hindsight – with all of the teachings of the prophets – it is still really hard to comprehend.
Jesus is burdened by the pains of our sins, sicknesses, weaknesses, and infirmities. He was downtrodden by the mortal experience while in the Garden. I can’t imagine it. While Christ suffers, He asks that His cup be taken away from Him – that He wouldn’t have to continue on suffering and going through with the atonement.
Two things: 1. The difficulty of this event was so horrible that even Christ, the Literal Son of God didn’t want to do it.
2. It is okay to ask to be relieved from our trials. Christ asked. Of course, he added the caveat: nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt. So – He had faith to go through with what the Father’s will was. I like this because it is important to know that it is okay for me to pray to be relieved from difficulty and trial. Even the Savior did.
Scripture Two – Luke 22:41-46
“And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” – Luke 22:41-46
Again, a record of the Lord’s suffering in Gethsemane. In this account, we also learned that Christ was suffering so much that His sweat was like drops of blood…horrible. Yet, as we know, He sought help. The Savior, the Son of God, the One who could control the elements, The Creator of This earth prayed. When completing the atonement, Christ didn’t walk on water or turn water into wine. He simply prayed. His prayer enabled Him to finish this work. Oh, How praying rests the weary!I usually underestimate the power of prayer.
Scripture Three – Mosiah 3:7
And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.” – Mosiah 3:7
The Lord is acquainted with our temptations, pain, hunger, thirst, and fatigue. In some ways, this is the most comforting knowledge that I have about the Savior. What kind of Savior would He be if He didn’t understand what it was like to be tempted, hurt, or hungry? I can’t imagine trusting a Lord that didn’t know what it was like to be tired.
As sad as it is to see the Savior suffer in this way, I’m so grateful that He did.
Scripture Four – Doctrine and Covenants 19:18
“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—” – Doctrine and Covenants 19:18
This is just such a good scripture. It is Christ recounting what His experience was like. This scripture is one of the reasons I always feel inspired to repent – even when repentance is hard, I know that it is nothing in compared to suffering for a committed sin.
Scripture Five – Isaiah 53:4-5
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:4-5
Instead of writing something, I encourage you to listen to this:
Scripture Six – Alma 7:11-12
“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” – Alma 7:11-12
This is one of my favorite scriptures about the Savior, His suffering in Gethsemane, and the way we benefit from It.
We see what he went through, and then Alma teaches us why: “…that He may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”
Succor = to run to support.
I have experienced this support from my Savior. Even if I haven’t been relieved of some of the pains that I have had to experience, I have been comforted by Christ. And He is able to succor us perfectly because he understands us perfectly. I know that Jesus Christ loves each of us. It is difficult for me to imagine the atonement. It hurts my brain. For me, thinking about the power of the atonement is not unlike thinking about space…I’m overwhelmed by how amazing it is and how small I am. Yet I know that Jesus Christ truly suffered for me and all of us. I don’t understand how, but I know that He did it. I know that He loves me. I know that Heavenly Father loves me. If you do not know that God loves you and the the Savior loves you, I encourage you to seek Him and open your eyes to His love.