Mormon Dilemma 84

20 October

The Cross of Jesus

Marion Romney, Ensign, pg. 6 May 1982; Having thus taken upon himself mortality, having suffered in Gethsemane for the sins of all men, and having given his life on the cross, there remained for him but to break the bonds of death—the fourth and last requirement—to complete his earthly mission as Redeemer.

Colossians 2:13-14; And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

Okay the whole idea that Jesus seemed to have a list of requirements to fulfill His mission is rather disturbing, but with that aside Jesus did NOT pay for man’s sins in the Garden of Eden!  If He paid for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, why did He have to die?

If He paid for sins in the Garden of Gethsemane then what’s up with John 18:11 which says;

“Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

If He paid for sins in the Garden then why did Jesus say what He did in John 15:13;

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”?

If Jesus paid for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane then why did Jesus tell Nicodemus that He must be lifted up just as Moses was? 

John 3:14-15; “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

If Jesus paid for sins in the Garden of Gethsemane then what does Leviticus 17:11 mean to us today?

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

As you can imagine this list will just keep going and going.  One other passage that comes to mind is found in Hebrews 9:12-15.  Jesus made ONE sacrifice, not two, not three…ONE.

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

Please, come alongside us and pray for the Mormon people today!

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10 Responses to “Mormon Dilemma 84”

  1. shematwater October 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Funny isn’t it.

    Q: “If He paid for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, why did He have to die?”

    A: He had to die so that he could conquer death. He had to descend below all things, and by so doing was exalted above them all. Whether he paid for sins on the cross or in the Garden, physical death was required or the final enemy (death) could not be defeated.

    Q: “If He paid for sins in the Garden of Gethsemane then what’s up with John 18:11 which says; “Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

    A: See the previous question.

    Q: If He paid for sins in the Garden then why did Jesus say what He did in John 15:13; “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”?

    A. See the first question. Full and complete love was shown not only in redeeming us from sin, but in redeeming us from death as well.

    Q: If Jesus paid for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane then why did Jesus tell Nicodemus that He must be lifted up just as Moses was? John 3:14-15; “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

    A: See first and third questions.

    Q: If Jesus paid for sins in the Garden of Gethsemane then what does Leviticus 17:11 mean to us today? “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

    A: Luke 22: 44 “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.”
    the requirement of blood was met in the Garden

    Q: Hebrews 9:12-15. Jesus made ONE sacrifice, not two, not three…ONE.

    A: The sacrifice was made on the cross; but just as the sacrifices of animals had to be prepared and washed, so too was Christ prepared in the Garden by making atonement for sin.

    • discoveringgrace October 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

      Shem I have to answer your Luke 22::44 response. Notice is says “as it were great drops of blood”, “as it were” Shem not “he sweat great drops of blood. ”

      In the OT times when they sacrificed animals as God’s requirement for a temporary covering of their sins did they make the animal do laps around the yard and say ok they’re sweating as if it were great drops of blood so that’s good enough? It’s a silly example I know but my point is the animal had to be put to death, their blood had to be shed. Only then would God’s command be complete.

      Jesus’ blood wasn’t shed in the garden, it was shed on the cross, he was sacrificed and put to death on the cross making an atonement for our sins. And then God’s will and the price of sin paid. It was finished!

      1 Pet 2:24 – “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed,”

      All throughout scripture it’s the cross, the cross, the cross, only in Mormonism is the garden preached. – Melissa Grimes

  2. shematwater October 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Melissa

    All throughout the New Testament it is the cross, that is true. However, these people were all used to physical symbols of their religious devotion. It was more natural to use the cross for this purpose than the garden, as it is an easier symbol, and crucifixion is something that people can more easily relate to than what happened in the Garden. The apostles wanted people to remember Christ and what he did, and because of the current cultures such was more easily achieved through referencing the cross.

    As to it being “as it were,” I would have to ask you exactly what he did sweat that had the appearance of blood, but wasn’t blood? Explain to me what you think is meant by this passage.
    In all truth this has no problem for me. First of all it is Luke writing it, who was not an eye witness to the events. Also, Luke was a physician, so the idea of actually sweating blood may have seemed a little out there for him, as it has for many medical people throughout the centuries (though it has recently been documented as medically possible).
    So, Luke hears the story of how blood came from the pores of Christ, just as sweat does. In writing to his friend Theopholis he puts this into his own words, which makes more sense of it to him.

    Of course, this is supposed to be a dilemma for the LDS, and if approached from that angle I could show both in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants (both accepted as scripture by the LDS) where it confirms that it was actually blood that came from his pores.

    Simply put, because we accept that he did shed his blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, there is no dilemma for us the requirement of blood in the atonement.

  3. CamdenC October 27, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    Hey Shem… I’m back on-line!

    Think about this; Jesus was about to be seperated from His Father for the first time in all of eternity. He even prayed asking if there was any way “this cup” could be passed from Him, though He kenw that the Father’s will shall be done. Right after He asked that the cup be taken from Him, an angel came to comfort Him and then knowing what was about to come, He was in anguish and He prayed more earnestly, then the line where Luke says, “and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground”. He was stressed to the point of sweating blood not because he atoned for the sin of mankind in the Garden, but because His physical body was reacting to the stress produced by his human mind knowing He was about to lose fellowship with the Father.

    It was on the cross that he bore the sins of mankind, hence Heavenly Father turned away from Him as He became sin for us. “My God, My God, why hast thou foresaken Me?” In reference to Psalm 22…

  4. CamdenC October 27, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    It’s good to be back… My company provided me with a laptop to use in my Hotel room, but the laptop came from our main office in El Paso… so I am typing away and feeling really tired but the clock on the bottom right of the screen says it’s only 9:45 pm. How could I be this tired at only 9:45? I stay up to at least 10 every night. Well, the computer is somehow on Mountain time and I am in Central time!!! It’s almost 11 pm, I am getting too old to be staying up this late. 8)

  5. CamdenC October 27, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    …and to further make the point;

    After Jesus was done praying, He woke up the disciples then the religous leaders and soldiers showed up to arrest Him. Jesus said, “Whom do you seek?” The “mob” leaders said, “Jesus of Nazareth”. To which Jesus replied, “I am He” What happened to the mob when He said, “I am He”? They drew back and fell to the ground.

    What power and authority!!! If Jesus had just taken on the sin of mankind, would He have that much power and authority to cause a detachment of soldiers and religous leaders to fall down when He spoke?

    What happened next? Peter drew his sword and cut off the servants ear. What did Jesus do? He performed a miracle! He touched the ear and it was healed. Not before saying, “Put away your sword! Don’t you know that I can call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than 12 legions of angels?”

    If He was full of the sin of mankind, could He restore the servants ear and call up 12 legions of angels to protect Himself? Sin seperates us from God, Jesus bore all of mankinds sins; past, present, and future… on the Cross.

  6. shematwater October 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    CAMDEN

    It is nice to read you again.

    Concerning his power, I don’t recall the mob falling to the ground, but that doesn’t matter.

    Why would taking the sins of the world effect his power? If he took them on the cross than how could he have had the power to take back his life, as he said he would do?

    The fact is that Christ did not actually take the sins themselves onto himself, but the effects of those sins, and thus the payment required for them. It was not that he suddenly became guilty of every sin, but that he willing paid the price.
    Just as a person who posts bail for a friend is not counted guilty of the friend’s crime, though it is he who feels the effect (of a lighter wallet).
    As such, Christ power would not have been diminished by taking on him the sins of the world, though he would have felt the effects of them.

    Concerning your interpretation of the account of the Garden, it is interesting, and one I have not heard before. However, it is still an interpretation, and it carries no greater proof of truth than what I have said.
    Consider this: It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that olives were pressed under great weight, which caused them to shed their oil.
    It was in the same Garden that Christ was pressed under the weight of the sins of world, causing him to shed his blood.
    The part of your interpretation that stands out as not fitting with the Biblical account is the idea that he knew the Father was going to withdraw from him. I do not think he did know, and that is why, while hanging on the cross, he cried out in confusion, asking “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
    If he knew it was coming why he be surprised that it happened?
    If he had already begged his Father for another way, and was refused, why is he tempting the Father by begging again?
    I was asking for a different way when he asked not to drink of the cup, but it was not concerning the withdrawal of the Father, as that part was not known to him.

  7. CamdenC October 28, 2011 at 2:42 am #

    Good to talk with again as well.

    John 18: 5 and 6 has the account of the mob falling down. Verse 6: When Jesus said, “I am He.” they drew back and fell to the ground.

    You brought up some interesting points. I believe that Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen. Before He was born, He was fully God having the attribute of Omniscience. He was not bound by time, but could see the beginning from the end.

    I also believe that Him crying out on the cross was two-fold.

    One, He was seperated from fellowship with the Father for the first time in all of eternity and it was His humanity crying out.

    Two, the line He spoke is the first verse in Psalm 22. The religous leaders and others at the crucifixon would have recognized that verse and would most likely go and look it up and read it once the whole ordeal was over. (I know that if I was there and He quoted one line from a Psalm, I would be very interested in reading the whole Psalm to try and see why He said it). Psalm 22 is a very accurate description of the crucifixion. I think He wanted His accusers and killers to know that the scene they were witnessing had been “prophesied” by David several hundred years before it took place. With the last five verses as an exclamation point.

    Psalm 22
    27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before Him.
    28 For dominion belongs to the LORD and He rules over the nations.
    29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before Him- those who cannot keep themselves alive.
    30 Posterity will serve Him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
    31 They will proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn- for He has done it.

  8. shematwater October 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    CAMDEN

    I read John 18, and I have to say I think it was more out of astonishment on their part than any power on Christ’s that caused them to fall back. I just don’t think they expected him to simply turn himself over, and so they were a little cautious, probably thinking he was one of the twelve trying to shield Jesus.

    As to knowing everything before he was born. I agree that he did. But in being born he took upon him the veil of darkness that comes with mortality, and thus had no memory of it. This is why Luke records that as a child he “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Luke 2: 52) If he already knew because of who he was before he was born than he would have had no opportunity to increase in wisdom, as he would have been omniscient.

    As to psalms, an interesting take, but still just an interpretation.

    My point in all this is that nothing that has been said in the article presents a dilemma for the LDS for the reasons I have given. Nothing that has been said has disproved what we teach.

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