NEW TESTAMENT - LESSON 25
Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46
- The Savior takes upon himself our sins and infirmities.
- We need the atonement of Jesus Christ
A study of this lesson should strengthen our testimonies that we can
receive forgiveness, peace, and eternal life because of the Atonement of
Jesus Christ. .
The Garden Of Gethsemane
- James E. Talmage: "Jesus and the eleven apostles went forth
from the house in which they had eaten, passed through the city gate, which
was usually left open at night during a public festival, crossed the ravine
of the Cedron, or more accurately Kidron, brook, and entered an olive orchard
known as Gethsemane, on the slope of Mount Olivet." (Jesus The
- Matthew 26:36-39: "Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place
called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go
and pray yonder.
"And he took with him Peter and
the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
"Then saith he unto them, My
soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch
"And he went a little further,
and fell on his face, and prayed..."
Bruce R. McConkie: "We cannot recount with surety the order
in which each thing happened, nor reconstruct with certainty the sequence
of Jesus' spoken words, this night in this garden in this 'other Eden,
in which the Second Adam, the Lord from heaven, bore the penalty of the
first, and in obeying gained life.' (Edersheim 2:534.) What has been preserved
for us is only a sliver from a great tree, only a few sentences of what
was said, only a brief glimpse of what transpired. It would appear that
Jesus and the disciples spent some hours there in Gethsemane; that one
(or many!) angels were present; and that Jesus poured out his soul in agony
as he interceded for the faithful and felt the weight of the world's sins
upon his own sinless soul. There is no mystery to compare with the mystery
of redemption, not even the mystery of creation. Finite minds can no more
comprehend how and in what manner Jesus performed his redeeming labors
than they can comprehend how matter came into being, or how Gods began
to be. Perhaps the very reason Peter, James, and John slept was to enable
a divine providence to withhold from their ears, and seal up from their
eyes, those things which only Gods can comprehend." (Mortal Messiah,
Even as the Lord approached Gethsemane, Mark records that he "began
to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy" (Mark 14:33).
- Luke says: "And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's
cast, and kneeled down, and prayed" (Luke 22:41).
- Mark recorded: "And he went forward a little, and fell on the
ground, and prayed..." (Mark 14:35).
After a time the Lord returned and found that even his three faithful
brethren were asleep. He said to Peter: "What, could ye not watch
with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the
spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matt 26:40-41).
Matthew 26:42: "He went away again the second time, and prayed,
saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink
it, thy will be done."
Mark 14:41: "And when he returned, he found them asleep again,
(for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him."
- Feeling the weight of that burden he prayed: "O my Father,
if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will,
but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39).
Matthew tells us (26:44) that he went away a third time and repeated
the same words.
- As one reads of Peter, James, and John sleeping, one wonders if this
was more than natural fatigue. I think the Master had to carry the burden
himself. He must of returned to them feeling the heaviness of the burden,
hoping that they might ease it in some small way, but such was not the
Luke 22:43-44: "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven,
- WHAT WAS THE CUP THE LORD DID NOT WISH TO DRINK FROM?
- The sins of the world.
- We see in this sacred moment the mortality of the Lord. Like all of
us, he shrank from the burden of pain. But his love for the Father and
for each of us was so great, that he willingly took on that burden.
"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."
Consider the words of these modern Apostles:
- In this verse we begin to catch a glimpse of the heaviness of the burden.
- READ D&C 19:16-18. Christ suffered for us.
- It is a sobering thing as we ponder the sacrifice of the Savior. This
burden, this suffering, this agony, came upon the Jesus because of the
sins that we have committed.
- He made this sacrifice because of his love for each of us. Do these
thoughts create within you a greater desire to repent and more fully follow
PLAY MUSIC: As you listen to this music, consider the burden which
the Savior took upon him in your behalf.
- John Taylor: "Jesus had to take away sin by the sacrifice of
himself.... And as he in his own person bore the sins of all, and atoned
for them by the sacrifice of himself, so there came upon him the weight
and agony of ages and generations, the indescribable agony consequent upon
this great sacrificial atonement wherein he bore the sins of the world,
and suffered in his own person the consequences of an eternal law of God
broken by man. Hence his profound grief, his indescribable anguish, his
overpowering torture, all experienced in the submission to the eternal
fiat of Jehovah and the requirements of an inexorable law.
"The suffering of the Son of
God was not simply the suffering of personal death; for in assuming the
position that he did in making an atonement for the sins of the world he
bore the weight, the responsibility, and the burden of the sins of all
men, which, to us, is incomprehensible.
"Groaning beneath this concentrated
load, this intense, incomprehensible pressure, this terrible exaction of
Divine Justice, from which feeble humanity shrank, and through the agony
thus experienced sweating great drops of blood, He was led to exclaim,
'Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.' He had wrestled
with the superincumbent load in the wilderness, He had struggled against
the powers of darkness that had been let loose upon him there; placed below
all things, His mind surcharged with agony and pain, lonely and apparently
helpless and forsaken, in his agony the blood oozed from His pores."
(The Mediation and Atonement, pp149-150)
- Bruce R. McConkie: "There is no language known to mortals that
can tell what agony and suffering was his while in the Garden. Of it Farrar
says: 'A grief beyond utterance, a struggle beyond endurance, a horror
of great darkness, a giddiness and stupefaction of soul overmastered Him,
as with the sinking swoon of an anticipated death. . . . How dreadful was
that paroxysm of prayer and suffering through which He used.' (Farrar,
"And as to the prayer in the
Garden--repeating, as it did, his divine promise made in the councils of
eternity when he was chosen for the labors and sufferings of this very
hour; the divine prayer in which he said, 'Father, thy will be done, and
the glory be thine forever' (Moses 4:2)--as to the prayer in the Garden,
"That prayer in all its infinite Reverence and awe was heard; that
strong crying and those tears were not rejected. We may not intrude too
closely into this scene. It is shrouded in a halo and a mystery into which
no footstep may penetrate. We, as we contemplate it, are like those disciples--our
senses are confused, our perceptions are not clear. We can but enter into
their amazement and sore distress. Half waking, half oppressed with an
irresistible weight of troubled slumber, they only felt that they were
dim witnesses of an unutterable agony, far deeper than anything which they
could fathom, as it far transcended all that, even in our purest moments,
we can pretend to understand. The place seems haunted by presences of good
and evil, struggling in mighty but silent contest for the eternal victory.
They see Him, before whom the demons had fled in howling terror, lying
on His face upon the ground. They hear that voice wailing in murmurs of
broken agony, which had commanded the wind and the sea, and they obeyed
Him. The great drops of anguish which fall from Him in the deathful struggle,
look to them like heavy gouts of blood.' (Farrar, p. 624.) And so they
were." (Mortal Messiah, 4:126-127)
- James E. Talmage: "Christ's agony in the garden is unfathomable
by the finite mind, both as to intensity and cause. The thought that He
suffered through fear of death is untenable. Death to Him was preliminary
to resurrection and triumphal return to the Father from whom He had come,
and to a state of glory even beyond what He had before possessed; and,
moreover, it was within His power to lay down His life voluntarily. He
struggled and groaned under a burden such as no other being who has lived
on earth might even conceive as possible. It was not physical pain, nor
mental anguish alone, that caused Him to suffer such torture as to produce
an extrusion of blood from every pore; but a spiritual agony of soul such
as only God was capable of experiencing. No other man, however great his
powers of physical or mental endurance, could have suffered so; for his
human organism would have succumbed, and syncope would have produced unconsciousness
and welcome oblivion. In that hour of anguish Christ met and overcame all
the horrors that Satan, 'the prince of this world' could inflict. The frightful
struggle incident to the temptations immediately following the Lord's baptism
was surpassed and overshadowed by this supreme contest with the powers
"In some manner, actual and terribly
real though to man incomprehensible, the Savior took upon Himself the burden
of the sins of mankind from Adam to the end of the world." (Jesus
The Christ, pp568-569)
- HOW DOES PONDERING JESUS' SUFFERING AFFECT YOU?
- It is humbling and sobering to consider the thought that all our dumb
and piddly sins were carried by the Savior in the agony of the Garden.
Within me it creates a renewed desire to live more righteously to show
some measure of gratitude.
- How true are the words: "I tremble to know that for me he was
crucified, That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.... I marvel
that he would descend from his throne divine, To rescue a soul so rebellious
and proud as mine" (I Stand All Amazed, Hymn #193).
We Need The Atonement Of Jesus Christ
- WHY DO WE NEED THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST?
WHAT BLESSINGS ARE AVAILABLE TO US BECAUSE OF THE SAVIOR'S ATONING
- Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, we are subject to physical death,
which is the separation of the body and the spirit.
- "Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death;
and we are made partakers of misery and woe" (Moses 6:48).
- When we sin, we bring spiritual death upon ourselves because we separate
ourselves from God. Our sins make us unclean and unable to dwell with God.
- "Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of
your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God;
and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off
forever" (1 Nephi 10:21).
- Because we cannot overcome physical or spiritual death by ourselves,
Heavenly Father sent his Only Begotten Son to offer the Atonement.
- "And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from
evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified;
or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut
off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good,
and become miserable forever.
"Wherefore, redemption cometh
in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
"Behold, he offereth himself
a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who
have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends
of the law be answered.
"Wherefore, how great the importance
to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they
may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God,
save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah,
who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by
the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of
the dead, being the first that should rise.
"Wherefore, he is the firstfruits
unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of
men; and they that believe in him shall be saved." (2 Nephi 2:5-9)
HOW CAN WE SHOW OUR GRATITUDE FOR HIS SUFFERING?
- Because the Savior submitted to death and was resurrected, we will
all be resurrected, overcoming physical death.
- "And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken
the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death
should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
"But there is a resurrection,
therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed
up in Christ." (Mosiah 16:7-8)
- Because he took upon himself our sins, we can repent of our sins and
be forgiven, making us clean and worthy to dwell with God.
- "Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of
God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins
of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to
the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which
is in me.
"Now I say unto you that ye must
repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again
ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized
unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have
faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is
mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness." (Alma
- Because he took upon himself our infirmities, he understands our difficulties
and knows how to help us.
- "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)
- We receive peace in him as we humbly follow him.
- "Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness
of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me." (D&C 19:23)
- Marion G. Romney: "It took the atonement of Jesus Christ to
reunite the bodies and spirits of men in the resurrection. And so all the
world, believers and non-believers, are indebted to the Redeemer for their
certain resurrection, because the resurrection will be as wide as was the
fall, which brought death to every man.
"There is another phase of the
atonement which makes me love the Savior even more, and fills my soul with
gratitude beyond expression. It is that in addition to atoning for Adam's
transgression, thereby bringing about the resurrection, the Savior by his
suffering paid the debt for my personal sins. He paid the debt for your
personal sins and for the personal sins of every living soul that ever
dwelt upon the earth or that ever will dwell in mortality upon the earth.
But this he did conditionally. The benefits of this suffering for our individual
transgressions will not come to us unconditionally in the same sense that
the resurrection will come regardless of what we do. If we partake of the
blessings of the atonement as far as our individual transgressions are
concerned, we must obey the law.
"...When we commit sin, we are
estranged from God and rendered unfit to enter into his presence. No unclean
thing can enter into his presence. We cannot of ourselves, no matter how
we may try, rid ourselves of the stain which is upon us as a result of
our own transgressions. That stain must be washed away by the blood of
the Redeemer, and he has set up the way by which that stain may be removed.
That way is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel requires us to believe
in the Redeemer, accept his atonement, repent of our sins, be baptized
by immersion for the remission of our sins, receive the gift of the Holy
Ghost by the laying on of hands, and continue faithfully to observe, or
do the best we can to observe, the principles of the gospel all the days
of our lives." (CR, Oct 1953, pp35-36)
- READ D&C 18:10-16. The worth of souls is great.
- We show our love and gratitude for the Savior by repenting of our sins
and leading others to do the same.
No man can comprehend or describe the agony which the Savior passed
through on our behalf. There are no words in any language to adequately
describe this scene and convey the depth of suffering of the Savior. He
passed through a valley deeper than any known in human experience. He did
it for us. He is the Infinite and Eternal sacrifice that makes immortality
and eternal life possible for us. Does he ask us to pass through the same
suffering? No. He simply asks that we repent of our sins and follow him.
Let us show our gratitude for him by repenting, living a good life, and
sharing the message of the gospel.
Lesson 26: Matthew 26:47-27:66; Mark 14:43-15:39; Luke 22:47-23:56;
Additional Reading: Isaiah 53; Mark 15:39-47; John 3:16; 15:13;
1 Nephi 11:32-33; 19:7-9; 2 Nephi 9:21-22; Bible Dictionary, "Crucifixion,"
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