Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Story: Passion of the Christ

Jesus and the eleven apostles journeyed to a hill outside of Jerusalem.  Here at this point called Gethsemane, the Savior's ultimate triumph would begin.

As they approached the gate, eight of the apostles were left at the entrance as Peter, James, and John followed the Savior deeper into the garden.  After a time, the Master turned to his followers and told them to "tarry..and watch with me (Matt. 26:38)."  Jesus Christ proceed a little further and began to pray.  In agony He pled with the Father saying "all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me" but as obedient as always added "nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt (Mark 14:36)."

"No Greater Love" by Greg Olsen
In this moment, our dear Savior took upon himself the sins of the world.  He also took upon himself all of our physical, emotional, social, and mental pains.  Any suffering we go through was magnified in that moment for our Lord;  He who is greater than all descended below all things.  So great was the suffering that blood flowed from every pore and the Savior suffered both in the body and in spirit (see D&C 19:18).

After the suffering was over, Jesus was greeted by the traitor, Judas Iscariot, and his followers.  Judas betrayed Christ with the sign of a kiss.  Even in his suffering, the Savior's presence shook the soldiers who came for him.  Christ willingly gave himself up to save not only his apostles, but that the will of the Father might be done so that all man-kind could be saved.  Thus commenced the Savior's last night in mortality, being arrested for crimes he did not commit and betrayed by one of his closest friends. 

The Savior's love is overwhelming to me.  How grateful I am for His willingness to take upon himself not only my sins and my pains, but the sins and pains of the entire family of God.  I cringe to think how many drops of blood were shed on my behalf, especially the ones I caused through my own stupidity and pride.  I know that we can feel His love continually and find peace as we give the Savior our burdens which he has already carried. 

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