Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?

I really wasn't planning on writing everyday of this study, but Yesterday I had another thought in addition to the thoughts I shared on here that I didn't really feel comfortable sharing on the interenet. It was one of those "Huh, well that was a cool thought" that would never draw any hard conclusions, but that was certainly interesting. Anyway, I forgot what it was and it both disappointed me and reminded me that things that are written down, or typed down or thought through in a little more thoughtful way than just a fleeting moment are remembered better. So I might very well type up something everyday. I may not. I may write it in a journal or something.
At any rate, Today was a James E. Faust talk. The paragraph that I feel brought up the most thoughts and emotions for me was this:

"He was led to Golgotha, where nails were driven into His hands and feet. He hung in agony for hours on a wooden cross bearing the title written by Pilate: “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 17 Darkness came, and “about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 18 No one could help Him; He was treading the winepress alone. 19Then “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” 20 And “one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” 21 “The earth did quake” and “when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.” 22 In the words of the hymn, “Let me not forget, O Savior, / Thou didst bleed and die for me.” 23 I wonder how many drops were shed for me."

And a lot of different parts brought me to different things. "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" reminded me of Elder Holland's talk on the atonement from April 2009. "And none were with Him" (text). "My God, My God, Why has Thou forsaken me?". It reminded me of how alone He really was in those terrible moments. It brought to memory the feeling I had as I sat in the audience next to Sister Parker and Elder beard as our MTC district watched and learned and thought on Elder Hollands words. How even though we may feel alone, we are not. I think it is expedient that we do feel alone, not to punish us, or make things hard but purely because He was alone. He felt it because we would feel it. If we never felt alone, neither would He have had to do the same.
"Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are.""
It takes Faith to accept that statement. That we are never alone even though we may feel like it. Faith and Humility. To accept that that sacrifice that was made, what feels like so long ago, was good enough that we would never be alone. That we need not heed to loneliness. That we instead must heed the call to turn to Him for aid. I do believe that we can and do make ourselves feel alone. For the sake of being alone. I'm unsure what masochistic part of the natural man feels so strongly to make bad things be as bad as they can be just for the sake of making them as bad as they can be rather than immediately turning to and letting in at least the company, if not the peace that that company brings. Change right from wrong? Remove trials completely? No, that often is not an option, but the lessening of that weight, burden, and loneliness? yes. to what ever degree the Lord sees fit at that time He will do it. He loves us and wants us to be happy.
"It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.
But Jesus held on. He pressed on. The goodness in Him allowed faith to triumph even in a state of complete anguish. The trust He lived by told Him in spite of His feelings that divine compassion is never absent, that God is always faithful, that He never flees nor fails us...
because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path".
The more I re-read Elder Holland's talk the more I want to just copy and paste the whole thing on here.

The other thing that really struck me was what struck the centurions who participated in this awful scene under order, albeit willingly. I think at least some ignorance to their part in this event is shown in their realization of "Truly this was the Son of God". At first I sat and tried to imagine how it might have felt to have that epiphany. And then at second glance i didn't have to try so hard, "they feared greatly". That may have been an understatement. I hope that the realization also came that not all was lost. That it was just that He was the Son of God, but that He is The Son of God. And that as part of the last words He spake in His mortal ministry He plead with the Father "Forgive them, for they know not what they do". Which also gave me pause. I think we've all been hurt before. Big hurts. Little hurts. And I am sure that some of those hurts were done out of malicious intent, however my guess is that most of them weren't most of them, and I think especially the big hurts, were done out of complete ignorance on the part of the other individual. Wether that ignorance came from a lack of understanding, completely selfishness or just a terrible lack of social awareness, the perpetrator really had no idea the effect of his or her actions on you. Or me. It is one of the reasons forgiveness is so important. We cannot wait for an apology, because it may never come. They may have no idea an apology is in order. Christ set the perfect example: after being beaten, mocked and spit upon, there was no effort to bring to light those wrong done to The Son of God. Instead a simple, quiet and and nearly private, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do". I do believe that anger can be a good shield, that forgiveness can actually be the long way around something. With holding blame, not holding accountable someone we feel needs to be met with justice and working through the mess that they are so blissfully unaware of, it can be the longer and harder road. but it's the better one. It leads to better things: love, salvation, redemption, peace, and ultimate happiness. A lightness one will never be able to bear if we insist on carrying on with or holding on to a heavy hurt. I think it interesting the the Light load of happiness cannot be borne while holding onto a heavy burden, how ever, that heavy burden can easily be borne while tenaciously holding onto the lighter load of Happiness. Both must be carried for a time. Hold onto only one. Side note - for anyone wondering Happiness, is the better of the two to hold onto.

Also reminds me of President Monson's talk on "Hidden Wedges" from April 2002.

Elder Holland's talk, because it's awesome. I figure with easy access more would be inclined to watch.

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