This is my favorite painting of the Atonement in Gethsemane. Created by Carl Bloch, it reminds us that our Savior's experience was so excruciating that an angel was sent to strengthen Him. He had suffered more than any mortal being could comprehend or survive. "It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone. (Jeffery R. Holland, None Were With Him, Conference April 2009 )
To me what makes this incredible gift even more beautiful is that He chose to do so voluntarily so He could succor us and comfort us. When we are experiencing sorrow, affliction, pain, suffering, and anguish we can know that He understands and knows perfectly what to do. President Henry B. Eyring said, “It will comfort us when we must wait in distress for the Savior’s promised relief that He knows, from experience, how to heal and help us. … And faith in that power will give us patience as we pray and work and wait for help. He could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience.” ("Adversity”, April 2009)
I truly stand amazed at the love Jesus offers us. I love the hymn, "I Stand All Amazed" and remember an experience while serving as a missionary in Paraguay singing this hymn in Spanish while helping a poor woman who had ended up in the hospital due to some unfortunate choices. We sat on the side of her bed with tears slipping down our cheeks singing this hymn. It was then that I caught a glimpse of the love our Savior has for her and each of us no matter what how imperfect we are. He invites us to come unto Him and find peace. When we do, we find true happiness and joy in our life.
| || |