Saturday, April 12, 2008

I See.. A Surprised Savior

Heavenly Father and his only perfect Son, Jesus Christ, know everything, right? So, there should be nothing that surprises them, right? Correct. Except there was this one time...

There is a forgotten scripture in Mark chapter 14 that opens new doors to a more satisfying appreciation of the depth of the sacrifice the Savior wrought on our behalf. In verse 32, he describes the mournful approach to Gethsemane:” And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.” Then in the very next verse he begins to describe his feelings as an understanding of the magnitude of the atonement envelopes his soul; “And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy.

There it is- “began to be sore amazed.” The footnotes tease it out as “to be astonished or awestruck.” How could the Savior, the Creator of this earth, the only perfect, sinless Man be amazed or surprised by anything. He knows, right?

This apparent contradiction stumped the collective wisdom of several high-powered high councilors in a High Council meeting. Then a voice at the far end of the table, where the junior members sit, spoke up timidly, “I’m no expert on the doctrine of the atonement, but isn’t it possible that the Savior, who had never tasted the guilt and shame resulting from sin, was surprised, or amazed, or astonished at these new spiritual and emotional sensations and how they affect his spiritual body?

At this point, although he “knew of everything,” he really did not know, through personal experience, the mental anguish that afflicts the unrepentant sinner.
He does now. After he finished the atonement in Gethsemane and died on the cross, he had conquered sin and death; there is no need for him to be surprised anymore.

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