Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter

Easter is a wonderful time of year for all who believe in Christ, but for the members of the Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ it holds a special place in our hearts. As members of the church we have been commanded not to partake in the worldly rituals that so often surround us when Easter burst forth upon us, rather we have bee reminded by the Lord in revelation that we are to remember him and the sacrifice that was given so that we might live. This sacrifice has often been seen the crucifixion and that is all and nothing is given to the work done in the Garden of Gethsemane. As members of the church we believe that all of the work of atonement was undertaken in the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ's agony in the garden so unfathomable to 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 of evil.

In some manner, actual and terribly real though to man incomprehensible, the Saviour took upon Himself the burden of the sins of mankind from Adam to the end of the world. Modern revelation assists us to a partial understanding of the awful experience. In March 1830, the glorified Lord, Jesus Christ, thus spake: "For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent, but if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I, 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-- nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men."

From the terrible conflict in Gethsemane, Christ emerged a victor. Though in the dark tribulation of that fearful hour He had pleaded that the bitter cup be removed from His lips, the request, however oft repeated, was always conditional; the accomplishment of the Father's
will was never lost sight of as the object of the Son's supreme desire. The further tragedy of the night, and the cruel inflictions that awaited Him on the morrow, to culminate in the frightful tortures of the cross, could not exceed the bitter anguish through which He had successfully passed.

To this end was he born to take upon himself the sins of the whole world form the beginning of time to the end, to call upon the courts of justice to answer the call for all mankind so that they might have the gift of salvation. This is the real gift of Easter, not the eggs or bunnies or chicks but rather the gift of salvation and deliverance from sin. So at this wonderful time we give thanks to the Lord for his willingness to suffer for our sake. Happy Easter.

Gethsemane.--The name means "oil-press" and probably has reference to a mill maintained at the place for the extraction of oil from the olives there cultivated. John refers to the spot as a garden, from which designation we may regard it as an enclosed space of private ownership. That it was a place frequented by Jesus when He sought retirement for prayer, or opportunity for confidential converse with the disciples, is indicated by the same writer. The Cup as a Symbol.--Our Lord's frequent mention of His foreseen sufferings as the cup of which the Father would have Him drink (Matt.26:39, 42; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 18:11; compare Matt. 20:22; Mark 10:38; 1 Cor. 10:21) is in line with Old Testament usage of the term
"Cup" as a symbolic expression for a bitter or poisonous potion typifying experiences of suffering. See Psa. 11:6; 75:8; Isa. 51:17, 22; Jer. 25:15, 17; 49:12. In contrast, the opposite meaning is attached to the use of the term in some passages, e.g. Psa. 16:5; 23:5; 116:13; Jer.

Ref: Jesus The Christ (Talmage)

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