Monday, April 2, 2012

Hard Proof

The Gospel accounts of events in the Garden of Gethsemane underscore the fact that what took place on the cross was a substitutionary sacrifice which was payment in full of the penalty for our sins. Those who attempt to argue that the cross was something different are refuted throughout the pages of Scripture, and in a particularly dramatic way by the narrative which describes the agony in the garden just prior to the arrest of Jesus. What happens there shatters any erroneous notion that would aim to deny substitutionary atonement.

If Jesus was only a martyr or an example in His crucifixion and nothing more, then the Garden of Gethsemane makes no sense. No amount of physical pain and torture that humanity could dole out to Him would cause Him to pray that "this cup pass from Me." Even though His human body would feel the pain as any human would feel it, this is not what caused Him to be "deeply grieved, to the point of death." This is not what made His sweat become like drops of blood. That dismay and distress has only one satisfactory explanation. And it is that on the cross, Jesus Christ suffered the Father's full and just wrath for the sins of those He came to save. He paid our sin-debt in full.

Jesus was fully aware of what the cross meant. The Garden of Gethsemane proves it.

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