Gethsemane?

So Utah is all over and I am back to Normal life, however the jet lag is still in play as I have been awake since 4am, but anyway on with the post, beforeI went to Utah I saw on facebook an LDS missionary making a comment about the significance of what Jesus did at Gethsemane and he did not even mention the cross, I just want to explore this a bit and get some discussion going if I can.

Lds.org says “Jesus’s atoning sacrifice took place in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary. In Gethsemane He submitted to the will of the Father and began to take upon Himself the sins of all people”

Again on Lds.org Don O. Thorpe in the Article Gethsemane the Place of Atonement he says: “Yet, in this grove of ancient trees one of the most important events in the history of mankind took place. In this little garden the Savior agonized as he suffered for the sins of all the world. He made it possible for us to return to the presence of God. That means that if we repent and live in sweet obedience to the Father’s will, we will not be required to pay the awful debt for the sins we have committed; Jesus did that in Gethsemane.”

Interestingly this article makes no mention of the Cross.

Bruce Mckonkie one of the Twelve Apostles in His time said in His talk The Purifying Power of Gethsemane these things:

We do not know, we cannot tell, no mortal mind can conceive the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane.

We know he sweat great gouts of blood from every pore as he drained the dregs of that bitter cup his Father had given him.

We know he suffered, both body and spirit, more than it is possible for man to suffer, except it be unto death.

and this

And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person.

Elsewhere Mckonkie said

“Where and under what circumstances was the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God made? Was it on the Cross of Calvary or in the Garden of Gethsemane? It is to the Cross of Christ that most Christians look when centering their attention upon the infinite and eternal atonement. And certainly the sacrifice of our Lord was completed when he was lifted up by men; also, that part of his life and suffering is more dramatic and, perhaps, more soul stirring. But in reality the pain and suffering, the triumph and grandeur, of the atonement took place primarily in Gethsemane,” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, vol. 1, p. 774, ).

From what I can tell in the very least the LDS view is that the Atonement took place at Gethsemane and on the Cross, however there are times when I wonder if the belief is that actually Gethsemane is the most significant part of it, often it seems like this is emphasised more.

So what is my point? Well its this Jesus did not in any way, shape or form atone for your sins at Gethsemane. What this means is that any trust you put in what was done there for your own eternal salvation and forgiveness for sin will lead you nowhere.

Lets start with looking at the biblical account of Jesus time in the garden.

Luke 22:39-46

39And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

 42Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,46And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Its worth remembering as we look at this that Jesus was not only 100% Fully God at this point but He was also 100% fully man, this is called the “Hypostatic Union” which is Jesus fully having these 2 natures. As such Jesus felt all of the emotions that you and I would feel, because He was a human man. With that in mind read this account again.

What we see here is a human man terrified for what was coming, He may have known all His life this day was coming however there was only a very short time to go until Jesus Christ was going to go through the most painful execution known to man. We see His two natures almost clashing in that in His humanity He says “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me”. 

However this is God the Son creator and Savior speaking and we hear this humanity saving statement “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”.

Is Jesus saying He has a different will to the Fathers? Or is He as God in the Flesh that we see in Phillipians 2 emptied Himself of His equality with God yet again perfectly showing submission to God even to the point of death on a cross?

And this is the true place of the Atonement, the Cross, Jesus here is having His last moment to humble Himself before God and submit Himself to the Atoning sacrifice He is to carry out for you and Me, however this is not the place where it occured.

A very interesting thing this passage says to help indicate this is:

44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

What does it mean to sweat drops of blood? This is actually called Hematidrosis, here is what this is:

Hematidrosis (also called hematohidrosis) is a very rare condition in which a human being sweats blood, though it has not been confirmed scientifically.[1] It may occur when a person is suffering extreme levels of stress, for example, facing his or her own death.[2] Several historical references have been described; notably by Leonardo da Vinci: describing a soldier who sweated blood before battle, men unexpectedly given a death sentence, as well as descriptions in the Bible, that Jesus experienced hematidrosis when he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). [3]

Hematidrosis is something someone goes through in extreme apprehension of their own death. Jesus being a man was subject to all of mans emotions and so went through this experience explaining this condition of sweating drops of blood. What this means regarding the atonement is that actually these drops of blood that came from the Saviour were not for you and me, they were actually for Himself as a man going through what many of us would go through if we knew we were soon to die in what has been called the most painful way to die ever known.

The biblical reality is that the Atonement, Jesus paying the price so that you and I could go free and be righteous even as sinners was done on the cross.

Isaiah 53:5 says But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (KJV)

Other versions say by His wounds or scourging we are healed, which is what stripes here means.

Ephesians 2:16: and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

Colossians 2:14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

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

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Colossians 1:22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—

The Apostle Paul even said For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)

Do you get the idea? It was the death of Jesus on the cross that paid for your sin, the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23) however as this verse goes on to say

but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This is the gift of God on offer for those that put their entirity of faith in Christ in response to what He did for you on the Cross! Through the Cross 100% if your sin past present and future can be dealt with and paid for, through the Ressurection you can know you have hope for eternal life living with God.

Imagine if you needed bailing out from Jail and I had the money to pay for this, now it costs a lot and I am dreading paying it for you, I go to the Cash Machine draw it out feeling really sorry that I am gonna lose this money but then I come and pay it and you go free. At which point have I paid the price? The money stays mine until I hand it over.

Taking this further imagine if I draw it out going through all this trauma knowing I am going to lose so much money but then I decide not to pay it, how much good will my emotional pain have done you? None its only in the paying of the cost that you can go free.

To finish here are 9 reasons I have come across that the Atonement happened on the cross. (which I have borrowed from elsewhere)

1, Jesus shed blood was for centuries, typified by the children of Israels animal sacrifice, which was always carried out by the hands of another man, never by sitting and sweating blood. Gethsemane has no biblical connection to this.

2, Its important to relize the connection of atonement for sin and the shame of sin itself. This is the reason Jesus was crucified of a well travelled spot, stripped of His clothing and publically humiliated. To suffer alone quietly in a garden is not a picture for what sin itself produces in a person, which is shame embarrasment, and being cast out from the people we love. None of those things would have been satisfied if Jesus suffered alone.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3, The line that Jesus sweat drops of blood is found only in the book of Luke, that says and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Its likely that it was drops of blood but is interesting that it says as it were drops of blood, not that it was drops of blood. The fact that this is only in the book of Luke makes this far more remote, had it been in all of the gospels it might have supported your idea more, however Luke only references it in this way.

4, In the book of John the garden events are ommited pretty much altogether, John being the one who loved and lived with Jesus would have covered this much more if it was so significant.

5, In the gospel of Matthew Jesus prays 3 times that the Father if it was possible would remove this cup from Him, meaning His taking our sin that it would pass, however He then submitted to God and His will. After this and Jesus was out of the garden facing the soliders when Peter comes to defend Him Jesus says “Put up thy sword in the sheath, the cup that My Father has given Me shall I not drink it? Jesus was saying I have overcome the temptation to follow my own will and put this aside, you are impeding this, put away your sword and let me do this.

6, While in the garden Jesus speaks of His hour, after Gethsemane was over Matthew and Mark report Jesus saying to His disciples who were sleeping, sleep on now and take your rest and behold my hour is at hand, and then He is betrayed and taken by the soldiers. This hour was not at hand until after Gethsemane.

7, In all of the bible the suffering for sin is repeatedly shown to be the cross and never the garden.

8, While Jesus was in the garden, Luke reports that God sent an angel from heaven to stregthen Him, however while Jesus was on the cross, the Father abandoned Him, leaving Him to suffer alone. Because Jesus ws paying for our sins on the cross and not in the garden, this imputed sin on Jesus seperated Him from His Father for the first time in eternity hence Jesus saying “My God why have you forsaken me”. Jesus communed openly with the Father in the garden, not on the cross.

9, If Jesus had atoned for the sins for the world in the garden its amazing that He then walked out, had the strength walk with the soldier, to converse with Pilate, and stay up all night to go through the crucifixion.

To finish I would simply say this is another example of the LDS faith distorting the gospel of Christ, taking the emphasis away from Him and what He truly did for you and turning your face toward religion.

Dont stand for it trust in Christ and what He did for you.

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33 Responses »

  1. To me there were four elements of the Atonement, the suffering, the shedding of blood, the death, and the resurrection. Two of those elements occurred in the garden and on the cross, one of them occurred on the cross, and one occurred at another place.

  2. I find it incredible that Mormons can believe the most suffering Christ had was in Gethsemane and not on the cross!! Do they know what crucifixion actually is?? Everything, I repeat, EVERYTHING Christ did for us He did on the cross. Gethsemane was just a personal battle within his human self to be obedient to go to the cross, knowing what He would go through.
    Because this is very clear throughout Scripture, I can only surmise that the quotes above are designed to make sure Mormons stay away from learning the Truth about the meaning of the cross!

  3. Jesus Christ never said pick up your garden and follow me. 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. Amen! Jesus Christ referred to the Cross many times but never to the Garden even once. What do you think?

  4. Imagine if Christ did not pray in the Garden, what effect would the Cross have? I have studied this enough to realize that many Biblical Scholars admit that the Garden of Gethsemane is very significant in the Atonement of Jesus Christ for humanity. Again, what is the Garden of Gethsemane? It is where Olive Oil is produced. How is Olive Oil Produced during the time of Christ? Pressure. Depending upon the amount of pressure that is applied, depends upon the type of Oil produced and what it is produced to be used for. Greater the pressure, the greater the concentration of oil. Gethsemane means Oil Press. So, why did Christ choose to come to the Garden to pray that night? Of all the areas that Christ had gone to pray, why the Garden of Gethsemane? It is because the Garden of Gethsemane is where Oil is produced and what is one of the uses of Olive Oil?

    “After crushing and breaking them, the olive pulp was brought for pressing in aqalim (baskets woven of coarse fabric or ropes). The aqalim were squeezed in a press and the olive oil was extracted as a result of this action. The baskets served as a filter whereby the liquid dripped out leaving the pits and pulp waste behind in the baskets.” http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/127106

    “The olive was then crushed with a stone and the crushed olive pulp
    gathered into rope bags and brought to the olive press. A stone or
    wooden weight was put directly on the bags and then a beam lowered onto the weight. This was left for 20 minutes and was the first pressing. This oil was given to the Cohanim, the priests. One hanging stone was then placed on the beam to create more weight and was left for 2 hours. This second pressing was used for food and cooking…
    nourishment. A second hanging stone was then added to the beam and was left for 4 hours. This third pressing was used for lamps to provide light to the people. A third and final hanging stone was added and left for 8 hours. This fourth pressing was used for making soap and medicinal ointments.”

    http://www.bibletimesonline.org/node/14

    The meaning of Gethsemane as Oil Press and is actually Hebrew ‘Gat Shemanim’ http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/Gethsemane

    The Garden of Gethsemane is located on the Mount of Olives, where Christ gave the Olivet Discourse to his disciples.

    The Garden of Gethsemane is where Christ prepared himself for the crucifixion:

    “The word agony is not just a pious term from the Rosary or other traditions; it’s a term from Scripture. In Greek they talk about Christ’s agonia. We know what agony means in English, but in Greek, at the time of Jesus, it was also a technical term for what athletes did warming up for the Olympic Games. During that warm-up, the Greek athletes would produce a certain sweat which would warm up their muscles and ready them for coming combat. That sweat, that lather, was called their agonia.

    Luke is telling us that Jesus does an agonia to get ready for his passion. In essence, Luke is saying, we don’t move from being self-pampering to dying on a cross without some preparation. The Agony in the Garden is the warm-up, the readying, the agonia for the Passion that follows.” From http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0208.asp

    When we read the account in Matthew 7, Albert Barnes makes this comment: “Very heavy. The word in the original is much stronger than the one translated sorrowful. It means, to be pressed down, or overwhelmed with great anguish. This was produced, doubtless, by a foresight of his great sufferings on the cross in making an atonement for the sins of men.” see http://www.ccel.org/ccel/barnes/ntnotes.iv.xxvi.xxxvii.html

    Christ was “pressed down” with the weight that he is about ready to bare. A weight that came upon him to bear all the way to the cross. What would press the Redeemer of Israel? What weight would it be that he would ultimately carry to the cross? The cross is where Sin and Death was nailed, yet, he had to take upon himself the weight and burden of sin and death. He had to take upon himself the suffering and infirmities that we all will experience.

    Thus, the Garden of Gethsemane becomes a place where Christ is pressed down with the weight and burden of taking upon himself the sin of the World, as well as suffering, death and temptation.

    Albert Barnes is not the only Bible commentary on this. Jaimeson, Faucett and Brown commentary shares this(see http://www.ccel.org/ccel/jamieson/jfb.xi.iii.xxiii.html):

    “the Garden of Gethsemane, on the west or city side of the mount. Comparing all the accounts of this mysterious scene, the facts appear to be these: (1) He bade nine of the Twelve remain “here” while He went and prayed “yonder.” (2) He “took the other three, Peter, James, and John, and began to be sore amazed [appalled], sorrowful, and very heavy [oppressed], and said, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death”—”I feel as if nature would sink under this load, as if life were ebbing out, and death coming before its time”—”tarry ye here, and watch with Me”; not, “Witness for Me,” but, “Bear Me company.” It did Him good, it seems, to have them beside Him. (3) But soon even they were too much for Him: He must be alone. “He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s-cast”—though near enough for them to be competent witnesses and kneeled down, uttering that most affecting prayer (Mr 14:36), that if possible “the cup,” of His approaching death, “might pass from Him, but if not, His Father’s will be done”: implying that in itself it was so purely revolting that only its being the Father’s will would induce Him to taste it, but that in that view of it He was perfectly prepared to drink it. It is no struggle between a reluctant and a compliant will, but between two views of one event—an abstract and a relative view of it, in the one of which it was revolting, in the other welcome. By signifying how it felt in the one view, He shows His beautiful oneness with ourselves in nature and feeling; by expressing how He regarded it in the other light, He reveals His absolute obediential subjection to His Father. (4) On this, having a momentary relief, for it came upon Him, we imagine, by surges, He returns to the three, and finding them sleeping, He addresses them affectingly, particularly Peter, as in Mr 14:37, 38. He then (5) goes back, not now to kneel, but fell on His face on the ground, saying the same words, but with this turn, “If this cup may not pass,” &c. (Mt 26:42)—that is, ‘Yes, I understand this mysterious silence (Ps 22:1-6); it may not pass; I am to drink it, and I will’—”Thy will be done!” (6) Again, for a moment relieved, He returns and finds them “sleeping for sorrow,” warns them as before, but puts a loving construction upon it, separating between the “willing spirit” and the “weak flesh.” (7) Once more, returning to His solitary spot, the surges rise higher, beat more tempestuously, and seem ready to overwhelm Him. To fortify Him for this, “there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven strengthening Him”—not to minister light or comfort (He was to have none of that, and they were not needed nor fitted to convey it), but purely to sustain and brace up sinking nature for a yet hotter and fiercer struggle. And now, He is “in an agony, and prays more earnestly”—even Christ’s prayer, it seems, admitted of and now demanded such increase—”and His sweat was as it were great drops [literally, 'clots'] of blood falling down to the ground.” What was this? Not His proper sacrificial offering, though essential to it. It was just the internal struggle, apparently hushing itself before, but now swelling up again, convulsing His whole inner man, and this so affecting His animal nature that the sweat oozed out from every pore in thick drops of blood, falling to the ground. It was just shuddering nature and indomitable will struggling together. But again the cry, If it must be, Thy will be done, issues from His lips, and all is over. “The bitterness of death is past.” He has anticipated and rehearsed His final conflict, and won the victory—now on the theater of an invincible will, as then on the arena of the Cross. “I will suffer,” is the grand result of Gethsemane: “It is finished” is the shout that bursts from the Cross. The Will without the Deed had been all in vain; but His work was consummated when He carried the now manifested Will into the palpable Deed, “by the which WILL we are sanctified THROUGH THE OFFERING OF THE BODY OF Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb 10:10). (8) At the close of the whole scene, finding them still sleeping (worn out with continued sorrow and racking anxiety), He bids them, with an irony of deep emotion, “sleep on now and take their rest, the hour is come, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners, rise, let us be going, the traitor is at hand.” And while He spoke, Judas approached with his armed band. Thus they proved “miserable comforters,” broken reeds; and thus in His whole work He was alone, and “of the people there was none with Him.”

    Shall I continue to show you the significance of how and why Christ struggled and the pressure and the suffering he faced in the Garden? Are you willing to admit that the event of the Garden of Gethsemane is an important factor in the nature and purpose of the Atonement? That it was here Christ made his final subjugation of his will, overcame the (what many scholars have stated) last temptation that he would face as a mortal man in order to complete the full will of God? Have you not realized that after he prayed the third time, Christ had finally conquered and subjected His will to that of the Father, and carried the burdens of sin, death, temptation, infirmities and all that we will experience in our lives to the place where he will make the final victory by dying and then rising up the third day with a resurrected, glorified body?

    John Calvin comments as follows: “The kind of feelings, by which Christ was tempted, is also worthy of notice. Matthew says that he was affected by grief and sorrow (or anxiety;)Luke says that he was seized with anguish; and Mark adds that he trembled. And whence came his sorrow and anguish, and fear, but because he felt that death had something in it more sad and more dreadful than the separation of the soul and body? And certainly he underwent death, not merely that he might depart from earth to heaven, but rather that, by taking upon himself the curse to which we were liable, he might deliver us from it. He had no horror at death, therefore, simply as a passage out of the world, but because he had before his eyes the dreadful tribunal of God, and the Judge himself armed with inconceivable vengeance; and because our sins, the load of which was laid upon him, pressed him down with their enormous weight. There is no reason to wonder, therefore, if the dreadful abyss of destruction tormented him grievously with fear and anguish.” (See http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom33.ii.xxx.html)

    Even Calvin mentions that the load of our sins were pressing upon Christ while in the Garden of Gethsemane. Now why would John Calvin make that statement if it is true that the sins of the world were placed on Christ while at the Cross? Why didn’t Calvin make that distinction? Instead, his statement seems quite congruent in the account of Christ praying in the Garden and how the Load he had to bare came upon him there.

    Adam Clarke makes the following commentary on the episode of the Garden of Gethsemane and the sweating Great drops of blood as being Christ suffering and taking upon himself the sins of the world and being the sacrifice necessary for the Cross:

    “Now, the grand expiatory sacrifice begins to be offered: in this garden Jesus enters fully into the sacerdotal office; and now, on the altar of his immaculate divinity, begins to offer his own body-his own life-a lamb without spot, for the sin of the world. St. Luke observes, Luke xxii. 43, 44, that there appeared unto him an angel from heaven strengthening him; and that, being in an agony, his sweat was like great drops of blood falling to the ground. How exquisite must this anguish have been, when it forced the very blood through the coats of the veins, and enlarged the pores in such a preternatural manner as to cause them to empty it out in large successive drops! In my opinion, the principal part of the redemption price was paid in this unprecedented and indescribable agony.

    Bloody sweats are mentioned by many authors; but none was ever such as this-where a person in perfect health, (having never had any predisposing sickness to induce a debility of the system,) and in the full vigour of life, about thirty- three years of age, suddenly, through mental pressure, without any fear of death, sweat great drops of blood; and these continued, during his wrestling with God to fall to the ground.

    To say that all this was occasioned by the fear he had of the ignominious death which he was about to die confutes itself- for this would not only rob him of his divinity, for which purpose it is brought, but it deprives him of all excellency, and even of manhood itself. The prospect of death could not cause him to suffer thus, when he knew that in less than three days he was to be restored to life, and be brought into an eternity of blessedness. His agony and distress can receive no consistent explication but on this ground-He SUFFERED, the JUST for the UNJUST, that he might BRING us to GOD. O glorious truth! O infinitely meritorious suffering! And O! above all, the eternal love, that caused him to undergo such sufferings for the sake of SINNERS!” (See http://www.godrules.net/library/clarke/clarkemat26.htm)

    Matthew Henry provides further evidence as to Christ being that Good Olive being pressed down for all believers: “I. The place where he underwent this mighty agony; it was in a place called Gethsemane. The name signifies, torculus olei—an olive-mill, a press for olives, like a wine-press, where they trod the olives, Mic. vi. 15. And this was the proper place for such a thing, at the foot of the mount of Olives. There our Lord Jesus began his passion; there it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and crush him, that fresh oil might flow to all believers from him, that we might partake of the root and fatness of that good Olive. There he trod the wine-press of his Father’s wrath, and trod it alone.” (See Here – http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc5.Matt.xxvii.html?scrBook=Matt&scrCh=26-26&scrV=32-46#Matt.xxvii-p1.12)

    Now, notice if you will that these are Biblical Scholars who are stating, in various ways and terms, that the suffering and agony of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane involved taken upon himself the sins of the World. The burden, the weight, the pressure, the sorrow, the agony, the preparations, the struggle, the subjugation of the will. All these Biblical scholars support the LDS Assertion that Christ took upon himself the sins of the World in the Garden so that he can carry them to the cross where he would be the sacrifice necessary to redeem fallen man.

    You have asked for me to provide evidence against your assessment here – I have complied and relied on non-LDS Sources that actually teach what you are claiming is false, heretical, and unbiblical. Are you willing to declare these Bible Scholars Unbiblical? Are you willing to call John Calvin a Heretic along with Albert Barnes, Adam Clarke and Jaimeson, Faucett and Brown? Bible Commentators mind you, scholars who understood the Gospels and the Bible.

    Yes, your article falsely condemns the Latter-day Saint teaching because you have not fully looked into the purpose and reason of the Garden of Gethsemane, and exactly what took place there.

    If I am wrong, then you would have to prove the Biblical commentators in error as well – and that is a mighty task no evangelical Christian is willing to do – because if they are wrong, then the Gospel writers are wrong because it is the Gospel writers these commentators are enlightening us to understand.

    • Now then Tim thanks for taking the time to right this, I think you make some interesting points and your quotes from the bible scholars are very useful. I am going to combine more of my thoughts on the subject with responses to your points as I go.

      Bruce Mckonkie wrote “The sectarian world falsely suppose that the climax of Jesus torture and suffering was on the cross, a view which they keep ever before them by the constant use of the cross as a religious symbol. The fact is that intense and severe as the suffering was on the cross, yet the great pains were endured in the Garden of Gethsemane.” (mormon doctrine p.555)

      Yet an another Apostle called Paul said For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

      There is a part of me that wonders if this bible verse is coming true here.

      So moving onto your quotes now correct me if I am wrong but none of them support your view that the atonement occured in Gethsemane, they underline significant points about it which admittedly I may have not done fully, but they support my view that the atonement did not occur there. Here is a great part of one of your quotes.

      ”and His sweat was as it were great drops [literally, 'clots'] of blood falling down to the ground.” What was this? Not His proper sacrificial offering, though essential to it. It was just the internal struggle, apparently hushing itself before, but now swelling up again, convulsing His whole inner man, and this so affecting His animal nature that the sweat oozed out from every pore in thick drops of blood, falling to the ground. It was just shuddering nature and indomitable will struggling together.

      I could not agree more, the proper sacrificial offering did not occur at Gethsemane but Christs internal struggle leading up to it was very evident there.

      Calvin in one of your quotes says this.

      “and because our sins, the load of which was laid upon him, pressed him down with their enormous weight. There is no reason to wonder, therefore, if the dreadful abyss of destruction tormented him grievously with fear and anguish.””

      I can accept that at Gethsemane Christ felt the load of our sin upon Him and that His anguish was for the great suffering He was soon to go through, however it goes against the bible and I would say totally against what Calvin is saying here and likely anywhere else to say that Christ paid the price for our sin at the garden, yes He was preparing for the great cost He was to pay, however He was by no means paying that cost.

      Its interesting that you do not quote the bible here, you quote bible scholars, now while it seems these scholars support my view over yours I would still say they are not the ones with the final say on the matter, the bible Gods word is where we get our answers, and nowhere does it support your view, quite the opposite as I have already shown.

      Ephesians 2:16: and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

      Colossians 2:14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

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

      Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

      Colossians 1:22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—

      I would be interested for you to explain how these are wrong, as this is what the word of God says. Now I can imagine from your manner so far that personal attacks will follow, I am lying, bringing a strawmans argument etc, and it strikes me then you are just proving the Apostle Pauls words that the message of the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing, because the message of Christ to the world is the message of the cross, thats again why Paul said I seek to know nothing among you but Christ and Him crucified.

      To finish here are 9 reasons I have come across that the Atonement happened on the cross. (which I have borrowed from elsewhere)

      1, Jesus shed blood was for centuries, typified by the children of Israels animal sacrifice, which was always carried out by the hands of another man, never by sitting and sweating blood. Gethsemane has no biblical connection to this.

      2, Its important to relize the connection of atonement for sin and the shame of sin itself. This is the reason Jesus was crucified of a well travelled spot, stripped of His clothing and publically humiliated. To suffer alone quietly in a garden is not a picture for what sin itself produces in a person, which is shame embarrasment, and being cast out from the people we love. None of those things would have been satisfied if Jesus suffered alone.

      Hebrews 12:2
      Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

      3, The line that Jesus sweat drops of blood is found only in the book of Luke, that says and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
      Its likely that it was drops of blood but is interesting that it says as it were drops of blood, not that it was drops of blood. The fact that this is only in the book of Luke makes this far more remote, had it been in all of the gospels it might have supported your idea more, however Luke only references it in this way.

      4, In the book of John the garden events are ommited pretty much altogether, John being the one who loved and lived with Jesus would have covered this much more if it was so significant.

      5, In the gospel of Matthew Jesus prays 3 times that the Father if it was possible would remove this cup from Him, meaning His taking our sin that it would pass, however He then submitted to God and His will. After this and Jesus was out of the garden facing the soliders when Peter comes to defend Him Jesus says “Put up thy sword in the sheath, the cup that My Father has given Me shall I not drink it? Jesus was saying I have overcome the temptation to follow my own will and put this aside, you are impeding this, put away your sword and let me do this.

      6, While in the garden Jesus speaks of His hour, after Gethsemane was over Matthew and Mark report Jesus saying to His disciples who were sleeping, sleep on now and take your rest and behold my hour is at hand, and then He is betrayed and taken by the soldiers. This hour was not at hand until after Gethsemane.

      7, In all of the bible the suffering for sin is repeatedly shown to be the cross and never the garden.

      8, While Jesus was in the garden, Luke reports that God sent an angel from heaven to stregthen Him, however while Jesus was on the cross, the Father abandoned Him, leaving Him to suffer alone. Because Jesus ws paying for our sins on the cross and not in the garden, this imputed sin on Jesus seperated Him from His Father for the first time in eternity hence Jesus saying “My God why have you forsaken me”. Jesus communed openly with the Father in the garden, not on the cross.

      9, If Jesus had atoned for the sins for the world in the garden its amazing that He then walked out, had the strength walk with the soldier, to converse with Pilate, and stay up all night to go through the crucifixion.

      At Gethsemane Jesus was preparing to go through the most extreme suffering imaginable, seperation from His Father and crucifixion for the worlds sin, which occured on the cross.

      • @Bobby, again, you are making the claim that Mormon’s deny the efficacy of the Cross. In order to establish this strawman argument, you cherry pick LDS quotations that would seem to support this notion, when in reality it does not support this notion.

        There is one overall question that I always ask evangelical Christians. It is this: What exactly did Christ atone for? If you say Christ atoned for our Sins and our Sins alone, you are wrong. Because that is not what the Bible teaches at all. Even Paul himself stated that by one man came death. This death is two fold. It is physical death where our spirits will be separated from our physical bodies. Then there is the spiritual death, the separation of our souls from our Heavenly Father.

        Paul is also correct when he teaches that the wages of sin is death. Here, he is speaking of both physical and spiritual death. Whether we do good or evil in this life, we will die physically. This was brought about because of the fall of Adam. We can’t escape physical death. We can’t escape the reality that one day we will take our last breath and we will have a separation of our spiritual being from our mortal being. Every person born into this world, or has been born into this world, or will ever be born into this world is literally born to die. That is a given fact. A fact and reality we can’t escape.

        We also know that John records two different types of resurrections that will occur, this is recorded in Revelation. The first resurrection will be of the Righteous. Colossians says that Christ is the first fruits of the Resurrection. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 defends the doctrine of the resurrection. The Sadduccees did not believe in the Resurrection where as the Pharisees did. Peter testified that Christ did in fact rise from the Dead. Paul the Apostle, in Romans 6, talks about the symbolism behind Baptism by immersion as being where the believer dies in the likeness of Christ’s death, is buried in the likeness of Christ’s burial, and then is brought forth from the water in the likeness of Christ’s resurrection. This is scripture.

        Revelation also records that not just the righteous are resurrected, but that those who were wicked and unjust in this life will also be resurrected. In fact, John goes to great lengths to state that Hades, the seas, and the graves gave up all their dead so that they can be risen and stand before the judgment seat and be judged according to their works. (See Revelation 20 – http://lds.org/scriptures/nt/rev/20?lang=eng&query=Resurrection)

        So, the question becomes significant. Did Christ come to redeem fallen man from Sin alone, or did Christ atone for the Transgression of Adam, paid for the debt that we could not pay for ourselves, and to provide everyone an opportunity to participate in the resurrection since he himself is the first fruits of the resurrection?

        Elder Marion G. Romney taught this:

        t took the atonement of Jesus Christ to reunite the bodies and spirits of men in the resurrection. And so all the world, believers and non-believers, are indebted to the Redeemer for their certain resurrection, because the resurrection will be as wide as was the fall, which brought death to every man.

        There is another phase of the atonement which makes me love the Savior even more, and fills my soul with gratitude beyond expression. It is that in addition to atoning for Adam’s transgression, thereby bringing about the resurrection, the Savior by his suffering paid the debt for my personal sins. He paid the debt for your personal sins and for the personal sins of every living soul that ever dwelt on the earth or that ever will dwell in mortality upon the earth. But his he did conditionally. The benefits of this suffering for our individual transgressions will not come to us unconditionally in the same sense that the resurrection will come regardless of what we do. If we partake of the blessings of the atonement as far as our individual transgressions are concerned, we must obey the law.

        …When we commit sin, we are estranged from God and rendered unfit to enter into his presence. No unclean thing can enter into his presence. We cannot of ourselves, no matter how we may try, rid ourselves of the stain which is upon us as a result of our own transgressions. That stain must be washed away by the blood of the Redeemer, and he has set up the way by which that stain may be removed. That way is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel requires us to believe in the Redeemer, accept his atonement, repent of our sins, be baptized by immersion for the remission of our sins, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and continue faithfully to observe, or do the best we can to observer, the principles of the gospel all the days of our lives” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1953, 35-36).

        The resurrection of all humanity is a universal salvific event. It is given to all those who believe or do not believe on Jesus Christ. This is scripture – Revelation 20. One, can’t argue against the reality of the Resurrection. Without the Atonement of Jesus Christ, there would be no resurrection. If we were able to live 100% perfect lives and have no sin in us, when it came to the death of our mortal bodies, we would still be separated and there would still be no hope.

        Thus, Christ did not just merely suffered for the sins of all humanity, but he also provided a way for all of humanity to participate in the resurrection. Thus, the atonement is much bigger and comprehensive than that which we could truly understand.

        This brings us to our point of discussion.

        Christ struggled under the burden of sin and death that suddenly came upon him. The weight of which caused him to sweat as it were great drops of Blood. The Garden of Gethsemane also was the beginning place of Christ’s suffering. He still had to be betrayed. He still had to be convicted of crimes that he did not convict. He still had to be flogged, and stripped almost naked. He still had to bear up his cross and carry it (which he did not end up doing, but someone else ended up doing it for him, according to the Gospels), all the while, he suffered greatly. He bleed from his wounds, bled from the thorny crown he was given, he was spat upon, ridiculed, mocked, probably had stones thrown at him, all the while bleeding, and suffering great exhaustion.

        So, the next question becomes, this, why didn’t the gospel writers say that Christ took upon himself the sins of the world on the cross? Paul may have or may not have witnessed Christ’s crucifixion. We don’t know and can’t speculate, however, we can’t pit Paul against the Gospels now can we? Because, if we do, then we call the New Testament contradictory in its teachings.

        What then is my point? My point is this, as I have stated it all along and will state it one final time.

        1) Christ took upon himself the burden of sins, infirmities, trials, temptations, and even death upon himself in the Garden of Gethsemane.
        2) The Garden of Gethsemane is a place where Olive Oil is produced and literally means Olive Press
        3) Biblical scholars, theologians, and commentator’s agree with this, that in the Garden, Christ took upon himself the sins of the world to bear up.
        4) The Garden of Gethsemane was the initial step in fulfilling the will of the Father as Christ prepared himself for the sacrifice that lay ahead.
        5) Christ then carried upon him the burden of all the sins of every living person (past, present, future) and carried that burden to the Cross.
        6) Christ died on the Cross, but before he did, he declared that it was finished. What was finished? The work that the Father had sent Christ to accomplish.
        7) Christ’s body remained in the Grave for three days. on the third day, Jesus Christ took up his mortal body and is now a resurrected being with a body of flesh and bones. By Christ taking up his body again, rising up from the grave, he made the final victory over death. Death no longer separated man’s physical body from his spiritual body because man will be resurrected – either in the first or the second.

        Therefore, the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ encompasses the Garden, the Trial, the journey to Golgotha, the Cross, the burial, and the resurrection. Mainly, the Garden, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection being the three main components that brought about the atonement. Without either one of these, one could not have the atonement in full.

        Therefore, again, the error is not in my thinking or interpretation, the error is in your interpretation and line of reasoning. Again, you have built another straw man argument that could not stand further analysis and reflection.

      • Its amazing to me Tim you have just sidestepped pretty much everything I said started a new argument and then concluded how right you are without really dealing with anything I said and called me the one with the strawman arguments, you even have the audacity in your point number 3 to say biblical scholars agree with you when I even used the quotes you used on me to show they dont

        I also think I have shown you extremely clearly what the bible says about the cross, I see you still have no response to those verses.

        When you are ready to actually look at what I say, refer to it and comment on it feel free to come back but for now you are just indulging in how right you are with nothing to back it up but your own words.

  5. I just have one problem with all of this. It was the Cross that was prophesied of in the Old Testament. We never read once that it was in the Garden that he would take upon himself the sins of the world. Why is Gethsemane not mentioned in the other 3 Gospels? If it was as important as the Cross, and the place where Christ took upon himself the sins of the world, then why isn’t it in Matthew, Mark, or John? Why would something that important be left out?

  6. @Kate, Gethsemane is mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels. It is not mentioned in the Gospel of John. Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; and Luke 22:39-46. The Gospel of Luke mentions the sweat as it were of blood. This is because Luke is a physician. Matthew mentions that Christ had Peter, James, and John go further into the Garden with him and that it was the these three disciples he came to and found asleep, Mark and Luke do not record this, but instead has Christ referring to all the disciples.

    Again, you can’t have the Cross without the Garden and the Resurrection; nor can you have the Garden without the Cross and the Resurrection. They all are part of the most significant event in history. The problem here is that many critic’s make it out to be that Mormon’s place more emphasis on the one rather than the other when the emphasis is on all three events: The Garden of Gethsemane, the Cross, and the Resurrection. We emphasize all three. However, as we have seen here, by taking a select few quotation of LDS Leaders, one easily develops a straw man argument and then attempts to destroy that straw-man argument. That is what this article is – a straw man argument, which is a logical fallacy.

    Again, if the Garden is not important to the Atonement, then why did John Calvin mention it in his commentary on the passage? Scottish Theologian, Andrew Whyte preached this:

    “What was it that so “amazed” our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane? What was there that could begin to so sore amaze Him to whom all things were naked and open? There was nothing that could so sore amaze the Son of God, but only one thing. And that one thing was sin. It was sin “laid upon Himself” till He was “made sin.” Sin is so unspeakably evil, and so unspeakably awful in its evil, that it “sore amazed,” and struck down, as to death and hell, the very Son of God Himself. He had been “amazed” enough at sin before now. He had seen sin making angels of heaven into devils of hell. And He had seen sin making men, made in the image of God, to be the prey and the spoil, and the dwelling-places, and the companions, of devils. He had seen and He had studied all His days the whole malice and wickedness of the heart of man. It had been amazement and horror enough to stand and see deceit and envy and pride, and all of that kind, as He describes it in terrible words, “coming out of the heart” of man. But it was a new thing to our Lord to have all that poured in upon Himself. To be made sin “amazed” our Lord; it absolutely overwhelmed Him,—cast Him into “an agony”: it loaded Him and sickened Him, and slew Him, down to death and hell. A terror at sin and a horror: a terror and a horror at Himself—to absolute stupefaction—took possession of our Lord’s soul when He was made sin. The only thing anywhere at all like His amazement and heaviness, and exceeding sorrow and anguish, is the amazement and the heaviness, and exceeding sorrow and utter anguish of God’s saints; when, in their life of highest holiness and most heavenly service, they, at the same time, both see and feel that they are still “made of sin,” as Andrewes has it. Their utter stupefaction of soul as they see all hell opening and pouring up its bottomless wickedness all over their soul,—that is to taste something of what is behind of the ‘amazement” of Christ. That is to drink of His cup: that is to be baptized with His baptism. It was SIN, and it was sin on and in that so amazed and agonised our Lord.” (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/whyte/pray.vi.viii.html)

    So, again, if the Garden is not significant to the Atonement, then why would a Scottish Theologian teach that it is also in the Garden Christ became the Sin offering, that the agony we read from in the Gospel account where Christ took upon himself the reality and burden of Sin, and became the offering necessary to provide the atonement humanity needed?

  7. I notices in the article Gethsemane the place of Atonment says If we repent we will not be reqired to pay the awful debt for the sins we have committed Jesus did that. So what do they beleive happens to those who don’t repent.

  8. @Carol, those who do not repent, will be held accountable for their life and the things they have done in their life. To what extent, We do not really know. That is why I am glad I am not the one sitting in judgment seat and declaring who is righteous and who is not.

    • Timothy but the Bible clearly states in John 3 v 3
      Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
      John 3 v 18
      He that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
      Revolation 20 v 15
      And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
      Carol

  9. Timothy,
    Yes I know it says he prayed in the garden in Matthew and Mark, but there is no mention of bleeding from every pore and I don’t see anything that would suggest that he took upon himself the sins of the world.
    Honestly, I don’t really care what a theologian says, I’m more interested in what God’s Word says. Where in the Old Testament was the garden of Gethsemane ever prophesied of? The Gospel of Luke says “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.” It doesn’t say his sweat WAS BLOOD, just that his sweat was as great drops of blood. There’s a footnote in the NIV which says that verse 43 and 44 were not found in many early manuscripts. I don’t see Bobby’s article as a straw man at all. I do see some twisting and spinning going on though.

  10. @Kate, and Luke and Mark do not mention that Christ took Peter, James, and John further into the Garden with him. Also, why does it have to be prophesied in the Old Testament? If you actually look at the Messianic Prophesies, you will know that Christ was prophesied to be the necessary Sacrifice. Where is it Prophesied that Christ would rise up again the third day after being put to death? You don’t see it in the Old Testament, but we do know that His Resurrection Occurred. How about this, where is the non-Biblical empirical factual evidence to the resurrection of Jesus Christ? There is none, so we have to take what the Gospel writers wrote on faith right?

    Again, Luke was a physician and so he wrote from a physicians perspective.

    What does the original Greek text say?

    “22:44 And BECOMING IN CONTEST OUT-STRETCH-more He-prayED BECAME YET THE SWEAT-GUSH OF HIM AS-IF CLOTS OF-BLOOD DOWN-STEPPING ON THE LAND” (See http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/luk22.pdf).

    The Greek for “AS-IF” is Hosei and means: ‘as it were, (had been), as though, as, like as, like

    With this, we can render the passage of Luke to say that Christ had become outstretched more as He prayed and sweat gushed of him as it were, as though it is, as, like as, like clots of blood descending to the ground.

    I am sorry, but I take the words of a Scholar any day than someone who claims to know the Word of God and can’t understand this simple passage. If you truly understood the Word of God, you would truly understand that the Atonement is not just what occurred on the Cross. Again, without the garden or the resurrection, the Cross would be insignificant. You have to have all three components for the full atonement of Jesus Christ. His agony is tied into submitting himself to the will of God. What is the bitter cup that he had to drink from? It is from realizing and knowing that he now must carry the full burden of humanity’s sins, infirmities, and temptations upon him. Take the gospels together, and you find that the different perspectives offer a more important understanding of the events that transpired in the Garden.

    In fact, you have to prove that Luke did not know what he was talking about in His Gospel (which you are asserting here).

    And yes, the article that is presented here for discussion is a classic strawman argument.

  11. @Bobby, again, you are making the claim that Mormon’s deny the efficacy of the Cross. In order to establish this strawman argument, you cherry pick LDS quotations that would seem to support this notion, when in reality it does not support this notion.

    There is one overall question that I always ask evangelical Christians. It is this: What exactly did Christ atone for? If you say Christ atoned for our Sins and our Sins alone, you are wrong. Because that is not what the Bible teaches at all. Even Paul himself stated that by one man came death. This death is two fold. It is physical death where our spirits will be separated from our physical bodies. Then there is the spiritual death, the separation of our souls from our Heavenly Father.

    Paul is also correct when he teaches that the wages of sin is death. Here, he is speaking of both physical and spiritual death. Whether we do good or evil in this life, we will die physically. This was brought about because of the fall of Adam. We can’t escape physical death. We can’t escape the reality that one day we will take our last breath and we will have a separation of our spiritual being from our mortal being. Every person born into this world, or has been born into this world, or will ever be born into this world is literally born to die. That is a given fact. A fact and reality we can’t escape.

    We also know that John records two different types of resurrections that will occur, this is recorded in Revelation. The first resurrection will be of the Righteous. Colossians says that Christ is the first fruits of the Resurrection. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 defends the doctrine of the resurrection. The Sadduccees did not believe in the Resurrection where as the Pharisees did. Peter testified that Christ did in fact rise from the Dead. Paul the Apostle, in Romans 6, talks about the symbolism behind Baptism by immersion as being where the believer dies in the likeness of Christ’s death, is buried in the likeness of Christ’s burial, and then is brought forth from the water in the likeness of Christ’s resurrection. This is scripture.

    Revelation also records that not just the righteous are resurrected, but that those who were wicked and unjust in this life will also be resurrected. In fact, John goes to great lengths to state that Hades, the seas, and the graves gave up all their dead so that they can be risen and stand before the judgment seat and be judged according to their works. (See Revelation 20 – http://lds.org/scriptures/nt/rev/20?lang=eng&query=Resurrection)

    So, the question becomes significant. Did Christ come to redeem fallen man from Sin alone, or did Christ atone for the Transgression of Adam, paid for the debt that we could not pay for ourselves, and to provide everyone an opportunity to participate in the resurrection since he himself is the first fruits of the resurrection?

    Elder Marion G. Romney taught this:

    t took the atonement of Jesus Christ to reunite the bodies and spirits of men in the resurrection. And so all the world, believers and non-believers, are indebted to the Redeemer for their certain resurrection, because the resurrection will be as wide as was the fall, which brought death to every man.

    There is another phase of the atonement which makes me love the Savior even more, and fills my soul with gratitude beyond expression. It is that in addition to atoning for Adam’s transgression, thereby bringing about the resurrection, the Savior by his suffering paid the debt for my personal sins. He paid the debt for your personal sins and for the personal sins of every living soul that ever dwelt on the earth or that ever will dwell in mortality upon the earth. But his he did conditionally. The benefits of this suffering for our individual transgressions will not come to us unconditionally in the same sense that the resurrection will come regardless of what we do. If we partake of the blessings of the atonement as far as our individual transgressions are concerned, we must obey the law.

    …When we commit sin, we are estranged from God and rendered unfit to enter into his presence. No unclean thing can enter into his presence. We cannot of ourselves, no matter how we may try, rid ourselves of the stain which is upon us as a result of our own transgressions. That stain must be washed away by the blood of the Redeemer, and he has set up the way by which that stain may be removed. That way is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel requires us to believe in the Redeemer, accept his atonement, repent of our sins, be baptized by immersion for the remission of our sins, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and continue faithfully to observe, or do the best we can to observer, the principles of the gospel all the days of our lives” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1953, 35-36).

    The resurrection of all humanity is a universal salvific event. It is given to all those who believe or do not believe on Jesus Christ. This is scripture – Revelation 20. One, can’t argue against the reality of the Resurrection. Without the Atonement of Jesus Christ, there would be no resurrection. If we were able to live 100% perfect lives and have no sin in us, when it came to the death of our mortal bodies, we would still be separated and there would still be no hope.

    Thus, Christ did not just merely suffered for the sins of all humanity, but he also provided a way for all of humanity to participate in the resurrection. Thus, the atonement is much bigger and comprehensive than that which we could truly understand.

    This brings us to our point of discussion.

    Christ struggled under the burden of sin and death that suddenly came upon him. The weight of which caused him to sweat as it were great drops of Blood. The Garden of Gethsemane also was the beginning place of Christ’s suffering. He still had to be betrayed. He still had to be convicted of crimes that he did not convict. He still had to be flogged, and stripped almost naked. He still had to bear up his cross and carry it (which he did not end up doing, but someone else ended up doing it for him, according to the Gospels), all the while, he suffered greatly. He bleed from his wounds, bled from the thorny crown he was given, he was spat upon, ridiculed, mocked, probably had stones thrown at him, all the while bleeding, and suffering great exhaustion.

    So, the next question becomes, this, why didn’t the gospel writers say that Christ took upon himself the sins of the world on the cross? Paul may have or may not have witnessed Christ’s crucifixion. We don’t know and can’t speculate, however, we can’t pit Paul against the Gospels now can we? Because, if we do, then we call the New Testament contradictory in its teachings.

    What then is my point? My point is this, as I have stated it all along and will state it one final time.

    1) Christ took upon himself the burden of sins, infirmities, trials, temptations, and even death upon himself in the Garden of Gethsemane.
    2) The Garden of Gethsemane is a place where Olive Oil is produced and literally means Olive Press
    3) Biblical scholars, theologians, and commentator’s agree with this, that in the Garden, Christ took upon himself the sins of the world to bear up.
    4) The Garden of Gethsemane was the initial step in fulfilling the will of the Father as Christ prepared himself for the sacrifice that lay ahead.
    5) Christ then carried upon him the burden of all the sins of every living person (past, present, future) and carried that burden to the Cross.
    6) Christ died on the Cross, but before he did, he declared that it was finished. What was finished? The work that the Father had sent Christ to accomplish.
    7) Christ’s body remained in the Grave for three days.
    8) on the third day, Jesus Christ took up his mortal body and is now a resurrected being with a body of flesh and bones. By Christ taking up his body again, rising up from the grave, he made the final victory over death. Death no longer separated man’s physical body from his spiritual body because man will be resurrected – either in the first or the second.

    Therefore, the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ encompasses the Garden, the Trial, the journey to Golgotha, the Cross, the burial, and the resurrection. Mainly, the Garden, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection being the three main components that brought about the atonement. Without either one of these, one could not have the atonement in full.

    Therefore, again, the error is not in my thinking or interpretation, the error is in your interpretation and line of reasoning. Again, you have built another straw man argument that could not stand further analysis and reflection.

  12. “Its amazing to me Tim you have just sidestepped pretty much everything I said started a new argument and then concluded how right you are without really dealing with anything I said and called me the one with the strawman arguments, you even have the audacity in your point number 3 to say biblical scholars agree with you when I even used the quotes you used on me to show they dont

    I also think I have shown you extremely clearly what the bible says about the cross, I see you still have no response to those verses.

    When you are ready to actually look at what I say, refer to it and comment on it feel free to come back but for now you are just indulging in how right you are with nothing to back it up but your own words.”

    Translation, I am going to hold onto my strawman argument because it is what compels me to tell the truth that I believe is the truth.

    I did not side step anything. I asked a very relevant question. What does the atonement of Jesus Christ cover? Sin, Death? Both? The answer from Scripture is clear.

    Now, you falsely accused me thrice of not reading your original article. You deleted two of my comments, the first being two links to two blog articles of my own, then a second one (albeit as per your request on a FB discussion group where you posted this link) concerning the Sunday School Lesson for last Sunday (which I prepared and taught). The second comment was the entire posting of the Sunday School Lesson.

    Here is the basis of your argument:

    Mormon’s teach that Christ suffered and atoned for the sins of humanity in the Garden and therefore negate the cross. Here are some quotes that prove it.

    Here is what the Bible says: The Cross, the Cross, the Cross. The cross. see the Mormon’s are foolishly perishing as Paul stated because the Mormon’s don’t believe in the Cross, they prefer to believe in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    That is your strawman argument and it is a logical fallacy. The fact is Bobby, you are unwilling to admit you are wrong and if you ACTUALLY READ ALL OF MY POSTS you would see that I actually agree with you on the quotes I used because the quotes I used did not say Christ atoned for the sins of humanity in the Garden THE QUOTES STATE THAT CHRIST TOOK UPON HIMSELF THE BURDEN OF ALL THE SINS, INFIRMITIES, DEATH, AND TEMPTATIONS OF ALL OF HUMANITY which caused the Savior great agony and pain in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    Furthermore, if you would have actually READ what I wrote, Christ moved from the Garden and to the Cross. From the Cross to the Grave. From the Grave to being resurrected with a body of flesh and bone.

    The Atonement could not be possible without all three components.

    Take away the Garden, there would not be the atonement.

    Take away the cross, there would not be the atonement.

    Take away the resurrection, there would not be the atonement.

    All three of these had to be in place. The savior had to experience all three of these in order to fully make the atonement available to all of humanity.

    I will leave you with this final quote:

    “Christ’s agony in the garden is unfathomable by the finite mind, both as to intensity and cause…He struggled and groaned under a burden such as no other being who has lived on earth might even conceive 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. …In that hour of anguish Christ met and overcame all the horrors of Satan, ‘the prince of this world,’ could inflict. … In some manner, actual and terribly real though to man incomprehensible, the Savior took upon Himself the burden of the sins of mankind from Adam to the end of the world” (Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. [1916], 613).”

    And here:

    In the Gethsemane and on Calvary, He worked out the infinite and eternal atonement. It was the greatest and most single act of love in recorded history. Thus He became the Redeemer – redeeming all of us from physical death, and redeeming those of us from spiritual death who will obey the laws and ordinances of the Gospel (The teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 14).

    In Gethsemane and on Calvary, Christ the Savior worked out the infinite and eternal atonement. That is what I believe, that is what Scripture teaches, that is what divine revelation has revealed.

    If you feel that this is wrong, that it is heretical, that it is dangerous doctrine, and that it is unbiblical, then that is your issue not mine. That is your problem and not mine. The fool says in his heart that he is correct when in reality he has been shown the errors of his ways.

    No sir, you are wrong, you are against the Truth, and you refuse to accept the truth. you refuse to admit you are wrong when you have been shown to be in error, rebuked, and reproved.

    Your argument is fallacious, your argument is arrogant, and your argument is deceitful.

    I have spoken the truth. Believe what you want to believe, I for one know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and that he is My redeemer. I know that He truly suffered greatly in the Garden for our sins, and not just our sins, but all things that we would ever experience in life, he took upon himself. He completed the work he was sent and died on the cross so that we might live. He rose the third day so that we too may rise up with resurrected bodies. This is truth, plain and simple truth.

    Scripture states it, prophets and apostles have testified of it, and I know of it and testify of it.

    Good day

  13. Timothy,
    Thanks so much for your “opinions.” That’s all you really have shown here. Bobby has shown you the truth from the Bible. You don’t really use the Bible in your argument. I find it so ironic that you claim Bobby “cherry picked” quotes. Mormonism cherry picks one verse or sentence out of the Bible, taking it out of context, and creates whole doctrines around it. This is what your argument about the atonement in the garden is. The Atonement happened on the Cross. You need to read the entire New Testament and put it all into context. You quote these scholars, but I don’t see them saying exactly what you are trying to say. Did you know that Biblical scholars are divided on this? By the way, I mentioned that in the NIV there is a footnote that says verses 43 and 44 of Luke aren’t found in many early manuscripts. Why is that I wonder? You must have forgotten to answer that for me. I’m not saying that Luke didn’t know what he was talking about at all. He did not say that Christ Atoned for the sins of the world in the garden. It is the Cross that is prophesied of in the Old Testament and it is the Cross by which we are Saved in the New Testament. I think it is you who has a problem with Biblical scripture, which doesn’t surprise me at all. Most Mormons do not understand the Bible because they have been told that it isn’t reliable and needs to be translated correctly, in other words by a Mormon. You know it’s corrupt because it was changed or altered by evil men right? I don’t see Mormonism in the Bible at all actually, but that doesn’t stop the LDS from “cherry picking” the one verse or sentence to try and prove something in Mormonism is true.

  14. You know, I find it quite typical that you had to resort to sharing your testimony. That is usually what happens when a Mormon can’t quite prove their Mormon doctrines

  15. There is power in the Cross (1 Cor.1:17) and there is no more subtle and deceiving way to empty the Cross of its power than to empty it into Gethsemane. But it is the Cross of Golgotha, where he suffered and atoned for the sins of the world, deserted by friends, even crying “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani”, it was on the Cross that Christ suffered for our sins. Not the Garden where friends stood a short way off, where an angel came to comfort and where he yet knew the sweet fellowship of the Father, but the Cross where he bore the weight of utter devasation, desolation and Divine rejection because of our sin

    Mormonism is a Crossless religion and that makes it a Christless religion and Mormons are too busy being affronted by every challenge to realise what a shock it is for a Christian to hear these weasel words designed to empty the Cross of its power. Mormons have all the words and none of the power and substance they bring. You may be pleased to misrepresent the thoughts of the great Christian teachers of the past, whose very fundamental tenets Mormonism describes as abominable and corrupt, but if you do not speak according to his word in the precious Bible (that Mormons treat with deep suspicion) there is no light of truth in you.

    • miketea, I do not know what all those how spoke have said, but I know that Christ suffered for our sins in the garden and continued to suffer in body and in Spirit for our sins on the Cross. He was finally abandoned in on the cross by the father so that he could bear the pain alone. The fact is, both of you guys are right the atonement is both the suffering on the cross and the suffering in the garden.

      Christ himself refers to the great drops of blood he sweat and would that he might not suffer for the sins of the world. He wanted to removed the suffering as he said to remove this cup from me if it is possible for some other way! But if not, they will be done. He not only suffered pain, but sorrow and all our injuries. Then he went to the cross and suffered more until he decided that it was finished and gave up his ghost. He paid the wages of sin by suffering for the repentant so we would not have to and then he died as a price for the sins. His death did pay for our sins because he did not deserve to die. I wrote and article about it.

      His resurrection is also a part of the atonement. He live again read my article. http://rodric29.hubpages.com/hub/Adam-Eve-and-Jesus-The-True-Story?done

  16. The garden was the place where Jesus strove to overcome His will, “if possible, take this cup from me…but not My will, but Yours.” He was the example of victory. On the Cross He was the example of sacrafice. “Present you bodies as a living sacrafice…”

  17. I ask any Mormon here to show me where it says in the Bible that Jesus suffered for our sin in Gethsemane? The Bible is the Word of God – period. It, alone, has the gospels and it is in the gospels we have the account of Christ’s atonement. It was the most important event in history and those who record it and, later, comment upon it are very clear and unequivocal in what they say – Christ atoned for our sins on the Cross. Mormon leaders, on the other hand are very confused about the events in question, some agreeing with your assertion while others giving a different explanation.

    Geoffrey has it absolutely right in his brief but powerful comment. It is what Scripture tells us and I challenge anyone to show how Scripture tells us otherwise.

  18. Christ’s suffering on the cross was the same as was endured by thousands of others. It was certainly very bad (as anyone who has read the Turin Shroud will know) but nothing remarkable. His suffering on the cross lasted only a few hours – for many the torment lasted days.
    It’s in Gethsemane that the truly spiritual part of the atonement was accomplished.

    • Hey there Magic fingers welcome to the blog, I can see you have left a comment elsewhere too, I will give that a reply later unless someone else does.

      In honesty this is a fairly easy comment to reply too, simply read above, your dismissal of the significance of Christs death on the cross is obviously testament to your LDS view on it. Please read my post and if you want to actually engage with the points made please comment again, otherwise with respect, Im not too worried about your opinion, everyone has one, some are right some are wrong etc. What I try and do on this blog is back my points up, please see above that I have done that and feel free to do the same.

      • Thanks Bobby.
        My stance is, as you say, based on my LDS views and you have kindly included many LDS leaders’ comments on the Gethsemane phase of the atonement.
        I don’t think you will find anything either to refute or affirm these views in any of the limited resources you have available – I’m afraid you haven’t swayed me :)
        We don’t, after all, even know what shape the cross was or really what happened when someone was “cruce affecere” by the Romans!
        I made my comment to express my own understanding of the atonement. I’ve obviously heard the LDS view of the significance of Gethsemane many times – in fact, I remember the first time I heard it. I buttonholed the speaker afterwards to correct him – “Christ’s suffering was at Calgary, not Gethsemane” but I subsequently came to the view I now hold.
        We obviously don’t understand the atonement, but doesn’t it seem logical that it would need more than a short, sharp crucifiction (as described for Jesus) to counterbalance every sin and hurt ever inflicted by a human being on another? Surely, it had to be something worse than anything which a normal human being might have endured. Yet most crucifictions lasted much longer than Christ’s and the victims of crucifiction frequently had bones broken to add to their suffering. Some were burned, some were mutilated by having organs removed, some were eaten alive by animals or birds as they hung helpless – any one of which would seem to be more horrific than Christ’s death.
        The Saviour’s death on the cross was indeed a part of the process. It was the final humiliation and the despair of rejection – but that part was not unique. Only His suffering in Gethsemane can be seen in that way.
        Well, that’s my belief – and it makes me none the less grateful, appreciative or accepting of Jesus as my Saviour and Redeemer. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it makes me value his atonement and sacrifice – surely not a bad thing?

      • Hey there bud, the interesting thing with you is you seem to have this idea that if an argument doesnt sway you then its an invalid argument, I am happy to say that this is far from the case.

        I have stated many clear and compelling arguments to Biblically show that the Cross, the shedding of Christs blood (remember in Gethsemane it says tears like blood) as in the Old Testament sacrificial system. People didnt show the lambs in the Old Testament a knife and then consider them sweating in fear sufficient for the sacrifice. No they tore the lambs flesh and that was how it was always done. This was a foreshadow of what was to come in Christ. Gethsemane was Christs final moment of acceptance of what was to come, the sweat that came off him at that point was for Himself as He knew the price He was about to pay.

        If you want to look for Spiritual sacrifice in the Atonement look at the seperation He experienced from His Father before the end, and this is where you will find it.

        Ill bet I am still not swaying you yet haha but thats fine. Thanks for being here and commenting.

  19. For those of you waiting for a Mormon to quote the Bible accurately and with integrity in support of their theories or share anything but their own opinion, well don’t hold your breath. Mormons have little regard for the word of God, certainly don’t understand it and don’t really understand why Christians cherish it so much. Consequently, they cannot understand what an incredible offence their cross-less religion is to a Christian. To a Mormon the Bible is not altogether trustworthy.

    If you quote Scripture its “not translated correctly,” if you quote their own leaders you are “cherry-picking,” if you disagree in any way you have not understood because you have “limited resources” – code for “you only have the Bible and an apostate, corrupt religion.” They are reminiscent of the church in Sardis, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive but you are dead.”

    Gethsemane is mentioned in the Synoptics, as Tim points out (though in Luke not by name) but the reference to blood is mentioned only in Luke’s account. It is significant that it was Dr Luke who recognised the significance of Christ suffering hematidrosis, a condition where extreme anguish or physical strain causes one’s capillary blood vessels to dilate and burst, mixing blood with sweat. This is a mark of physical trauma.

    It is also ironic that Mormons will routinely say, as Magic Fingers has written, “Christ’s suffering on the cross was the same as was endured by thousands of others. It was certainly very bad (as anyone who has read the Turin Shroud will know) but nothing remarkable.” To a Christian this is an abhorrent idea and a denial of the very work of Christ in atoning for sins. I say ironic because it was, of course, the sweating blood that is not so uncommon, sometimes being seen in men before facing possible death, sometimes in the condemned just before their sentence is executed. The sweating blood is an extreme physical reaction to extreme trauma but not unique. The atonement, the sacrifice of God on a Cross outside Jerusalem is unique, never before witnessed and never again necessary. Again, Mormons have it the wrong way around.

    Tim,

    The atonement is, according to Paul, the most fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith:

    For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor 2:2)

    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures…” NB He died for our sins, that is, on the Cross, he conquered sin on the Cross (1 Cor 15: 3)

    Here is what you say you believe so please, using only the Bible (don’t quote your “prophets” because they can’t agree among themselves) tease that argument out of Scripture. Show from the Bible that this explanation of yours is truly what God says in his word. It won’t count to show Gethsemane is mentioned, that Jesus was there, or even that he sweat blood. You must show that the argument you put can be made, indeed is made in Scripture (the Bible) Where is the wine press analogy (or similar)? Where is the reference to a Garden atonement? Where does it contradict Paul and say the Cross was only about death? It means nothing that other things elsewhere are true even though not mentioned, that is a false trail. Show from the Bible that this doctrine Paul insists is “of first importance” squares with your thoughts and interpretation.

    1) Christ took upon himself the burden of sins, infirmities, trials, temptations, and even death upon himself in the Garden of Gethsemane.
    2) The Garden of Gethsemane is a place where Olive Oil is produced and literally means Olive Press
    3) Biblical scholars, theologians, and commentator’s agree with this, that in the Garden, Christ took upon himself the sins of the world to bear up.
    4) The Garden of Gethsemane was the initial step in fulfilling the will of the Father as Christ prepared himself for the sacrifice that lay ahead.
    5) Christ then carried upon him the burden of all the sins of every living person (past, present, future) and carried that burden to the Cross.
    6) Christ died on the Cross, but before he did, he declared that it was finished. What was finished? The work that the Father had sent Christ to accomplish.
    7) Christ’s body remained in the Grave for three days.
    8) on the third day, Jesus Christ took up his mortal body and is now a resurrected being with a body of flesh and bones. By Christ taking up his body again, rising up from the grave, he made the final victory over death. Death no longer separated man’s physical body from his spiritual body because man will be resurrected – either in the first or the second.

  20. Christ’s crucifixion differed from the thousands of other crucifixions of the Roman era because He continued to shoulder the spiritual consequences of all the sins of the world and including the total withdrawal of His Father’s presence, exclaiming, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)

    But, it is spiritually dangerous to deny that Jesus began salvatory suffering many hours before the cross.

    “And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matt25:37-39)
    And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 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.(Luke 22:43-44)

    “Sorrowful” and “heavy” suggest a burden of suffering for the world (not fretting over the looming nightmare on the cross). So great was it that the Son of God needed the comfort of an angle. So stressful was it that blood came from every pore.

    As a Mormon I’m baffled as to why you self-proclaimed experts on Christianity are side-tracked with bashing other religions that profess Christ and embrace his atonement rather than working on those who deny Christ. No two Christians agree on all of the details, but surely God would prefer that His followers stand together in the love of His children and service to the physically and spiritually poor.

    • Hi there Rich, welcome to the site, I appreciate at first glance people who do these types of sites can seem like pretty hateful people. Let me assure this is at least not the intention.

      But before we get onto your last paragraph I will start with your comments on the Cross/Gethsemane Issue.

      I am not sure how far you got through my post before you couldn’t handle this “Anti-Mormon Nonsense” as it were but if you read it all I have to say you have already seen my response to you. If our understanding of the Atonement was limited to our own understanding and reasoning you would have a fair argument. However Biblically you are a long way off. As I have shown “Its by His wounds we are healed”. Paul talked about boasting in the Cross, not by any means the garden. The whole Old Testament sacrificial system that was a foreshadow of Christ was based on the lamb being slain, not the lamb sweating and going through fear before the slaying coming.

      Its like if you deserved the death penalty and somehow I took it for you. In the hours leading up to it I would be going through some severe emotional stress for sure, but that would be based on my own fear of my own suffering and would not be of any benefit to you at all. When I actually go onto that electric chair or whatever and pay the price you should have paid, that’s when you can breath a sigh of relief that the debt has been paid.

      What Christ went through in the garden was in fearful preparation of the price that was to be paid. As someone who loves Christ very much that is important to me, however if He stopped there I would still be completely dead in my sins. The price was paid on the cross. The Mormon Church saying otherwise is taking away from this great truth.

      Ephesians 2:16: and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

      Regarding us self proclaimed (where did I say that?) experts on Christianity targeting you Mormons. Firstly be assured that of the Christian population of the world its probably 0.00001% of us actually doing this, be assured the majority are very unconcerned about you. Secondly we do not accept you guys as truthful followers of Christ. Not due to any lack of sincerity or good works, but due to a false understanding of Christ and His gospel. Of course you will utterly disagree with this, but thats why I have a blog full of articles explaining this rather than just a page that says “Mormons are wrong.”

      If what I believe about you guys is what I actually believe, (whether right or wrong) is it not more loving for me to try and steer you to know for Christ for real? Or just to leave you in what we see as a false gospel? It has to be the first, even if you do massively disagree with that conclusion.

      • That’s a seemingly well reasoned response, Bobby. Thing is, as Mormons it strikes me that we do more than many other Christians. Sure, we don’t bow down before a cross or any other graven image – but we do exercise faith in Jesus Christ unto repentance. We are then baptised in His name trusting in His resurrection and atonement for the remission of our sins – and THEN we go on and try to live a life of good works, demonstrating our commitment through sacred ordinances and covenants. To us,these last three steps are important, but it’s these three steps you want us to abandon. Why? You say they are not important – we disagree. Are the five Ks important to a Sikh? Are prayers to Mecca important to a Muslim? As a Mormon, I think these things are a waste of time yet I don’t go telling them to abandon their practices and I’m sorry to say that I believe anyone who tries to tell me and other followers of the FULLNESS of the Gospel to abandon the practices of our faith is inspired and motivated purely by evil and mischief – possibly even malice.

      • Now then Magic fingers, I think you were here a while ago, good to see you back.

        I think all I would say here is I do not bow down to the Cross either. The Cross is not to be worshipped but rather something to worship God for all the more. Regarding the faith/works dialogue please check here for my thoughts on that. http://mormonisminvestigated.co.uk/2011/02/07/we-are-saved-by-grace/

        Of course its easy to say I am motivated by evil and malice, makes people who present another view easy to ignore doesn’t it? But if someone is on a path not leading to Christ I can’t think if anything more loving than to tell them. But with gentleness and respect.

      • That’s just what the Spanish Inquisition said when they went after converted Jews who changed their shirts on a Friday :)
        It’s probably my own weakness showing through in describing your interference as evil or mischievous because I can find no loving reason within myself for (for instance) telling my mate Pinder to cut his kara off.
        Testifying of my beliefs would be one thing, but criticising him for his is something entirely different and steps way beyond the bounds of “love”.
        I really don’t know what your motivation is, Bobby, I just know what you say it is. I’m prepared to believe you do it for supposedly good motives, but I do believe that you are susceptible to evil influences who would, if they could, cause my church to fall. The same is true of all these former Mormon leaders who’ve “seen the light” – we know that even the very elect will be duped and I’m sorry to say I believe that has happened to you all.
        I don’t actually visit this site but I do often find time to read the emails that pop into my inbox and I have read the attempts to belittle the teaching we received last weekend in conference. It amuses me how, at church today, everyone I spoke to was uplifted and full of joy from the conference talks – so different from the (sorry, I can think of no adjective that isn’t pejorative) criticisms that you’ve circulated.
        I was drawn back into this thread by Rich Wilkinson’s post popping up in an email. Good on you, Brother Wilkinson. None of us understand the atonement, but I feel I have been taught more about it in the Mormon church, and have a better understanding of it than I was able to develop in any other phase of my Christian and spiritual development.

      • Ok, I dont see much to respond to there, I have said what my view is and why I do this, if you want to know more feel free to ask me more. But otherwise thanks for airing your view and your welcome anytime.

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