|-by Jared Barnes|
Here is a painting by Jared Barnes showing Christ holding a cup. Will He drink from the cup? Will He ask His Father if He might not drink from the cup? He does ask, but then He drinks it anyway, and it is awful; only He knows how awful. Why did He drink it? Because it behooved Him to do it.
2 Nephi 9: 5
5. Yea, I know that ye know that in the body He shall show Himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the Great Creator that He suffereth Himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto Him.The word behoove means 'necessary to' or 'proper for'. Jesus Christ drank that bitter cup because it was necessary.
Remember, Christ didn't ask the Father: Do you mind if I don't do this?
Rather He asked: Is there any other way to do this?
Matthew 26: 39, 42
39. And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.Oh, how I love my Savior. You know the song: I tremble to know that for me He was crucified, that for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died.
42. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.
It has been called the cup of trembling. The cup was filled with justice. The only way to bring about His Father's plan of mercy was for Christ to drink from this cup and satisfy the demands of justice.
The Merciful Plan of the Great Creator
2 Nephi 9: 6
6. For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfill the merciful plan of the Great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of The Lord.We as a people, the posterity of Adam and Eve, were cut off from the presence of The Lord when Adam and Eve transgressed in the Garden of Eden. This is what is called spiritual death, a separation from the Spirit of The Lord. It also brought physical death into the world. Death is a part of birth and life, as resurrection is a part of re-birth and Eternal Life.
2 Nephi 9: 10
10. O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.The Atonement of Jesus Christ will raise all of us up from our graves to live again. The Atonement also has the power to bring us mercy in place of justice for any bad choices we may have made, or may yet make, in life.
Why did Christ have to be the One to do this for us? That's where the word "Infinite" comes in. If there was a person on earth (other than The Savior) who was without sin, which there ain't, but if there was, that person could not have atoned for the sins of the world. Even if he or she could have withstood the demands upon their body and spirit long enough to see it through until it was finished, this Plan required the sacrifice of One who was not subject to death. Jesus Christ was the Son of Mary, a mortal woman, and the Son of God The Father, an Eternal Being, giving Jesus Christ the unique circumstance of being both able to die and to not die, according to His will.
Christ was an Infinite Being who allowed Himself to become subject unto man, or to become Finite. His life was not taken from Him, but freely given. This sacrifice makes it so all men may become subject unto him, or Infinite.
Let me say that again:
An Infinite Being became Finite so that we finite beings might become Infinite.
2 Nephi 9: 7
7. Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement -save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.The first judgment was the edict to Adam and Eve and their posterity: Get Out!
Because of the Merciful Plan of the Great Creator, and the coming of Jesus Christ, that edict became:
Come unto Me and partake of Eternal Life.
Tune in next time when we discuss how to have perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel.
Peace be with you...