“Not My Will, But Thine, Be Done”
Class Member Reading: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46
Additional Reading: 2 Nephi 2:5–8; Alma 7:11–14;34:8–16; 42:1–31; Doctrine and Covenants 19:15–24;Bible Dictionary, “Atonement,” 617; “Gethsemane,”680.
Scripture Chain: Luke 22:39–44; D&C 19:15–19; Mosiah 3:7, 9; 2 Nephi 9:5–8; Alma 7:11–14; Articles of Faith 1:3
Our lives follow patterns of estrangement and reconciliation as we drift away from our true selves and loved ones and then strive for reconnection. The narrative of Jesus in Gethsemane lies at the heart of this episode on disconnection and Atonement.
One Time Donations:
Julie, Phil, and Jim return to the class.
You can access the Annotated Reading here (or PDF).
You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF).
The Purifying Power of Gethsemane, Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s final Conference address
In Favor of a Substitutionary Atonement Part I, Part II, Postscript, RJH at BCC
Atonement Stew, Kevin Barney at BCC
Mormon Women Project Lesson 25
Thanks to William Newman for audio editing and to Marshall McDonald for the bumper music!
What an enriching discussion. I loved the framing and responses. I have a question. We speak about the atonement as the event or process whereby Jesus suffered for all of us, suffered every infirmity, emotion, pain, sin, etc. so that he would know how to succor us. He would be able to understand us and what we are going through and thereby help us to become one with God and with our better selves.
And yet in the midst of both the Garden of Gethsemane experience and during the crucifixion, we see two instances where he seems at a loss to understand either his fellowman or God. In all three gospels which record this event, he asks the same basic question: “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?” He seems bewildered and disappointed. He does not say anything that manifests understanding–just confusion about whether his friends are asleep and why they couldn’t stay up with him? He seems anything but at one with what they are going through. Of course this is understandable. He is in the midst of what none of us can understand, but still, his perfect understanding and compassion in a very small and of course forgivable way seems to be lacking in this micro moment, doesn’t it?
At Calvary, he asks pointedly and bespeaking utter confusion and disappointment, “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?” Again, understandable and forgivable, but does this suggest that in that moment, he knew the mind and will of his Father?
I can do gymnastics and explain the text away as the next person. He needed to understand feelings of betrayal, aloneness, disappointment and estrangement from others in order to succor us in our ubiquitous experiences with those human conditions. Maybe this suggests that if he did gain such a perfect understanding, it only came after, but whatever else these experiences did do for him, the text suggests that in the moment of Gethsemane, he was bewildered by his disciples’ behavior. Whatever else Gethsemane did for him, even after Gethsemane, he appeared bewildered by his Father’s behavior. As a fellow human being, I anguish when I read these verses, but I wonder did he really understand man or God during these seminal moments?