2019 Study Summary 23: Not as I Will, but as Thou Wilt
Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 18
“Not as I Will, but as Thou Wilt”
What key words help us understand the atonement?
The key words in this lesson are mercy, forgiveness, and the color red. There is also a significant illustration using the color red. Unfortunately, the rich Jewish tradition of mercy, forgiveness and atonement has lost the identity of the Atoner, yet in the last days, the symbolism of time, places, events, and color (red clothing) will identify the sinless One who said, “Not my will, but thine, be done.” “Mercy and forgiveness, says the Talmud, are distinguishing characteristics of Abraham and his seed, and these characteristics motivated God to choose Israel as His people.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How did the “Lamb of God” also become known as the “Scapegoat?”
One of the most important holidays in Judaism is Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, another High Day Sabbath. A special sacrifice of a goat, tied with a red ribbon, was performed in the temple in similitude of the Holy One taking our sins upon Himself. That is symbolically tied to the color red. The atonement is symbolized as a goat escaping the temple confines through the Gate Beautiful with the sins of the people and tied with a red ribbon to die on its own outside the temple. That gate or door of the Temple is called the Gate Beautiful, also known by the names The Gate of Mercy and The Gate of Forgiveness.
How does the sacrifice of the Red Calf help us understand the atonement?
Another unusual and symbolic sacrifice was that of the red calf as mentioned in the scriptures. It was to be brought outside the temple and sacrificed and its ashes kept for a separate washing for a purification of sins. “Obviously, such an animal was very rare and apparently the ceremony was performed only a very few times in all of ancient Jewish history.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) Considering studies and publications of Dr. Asher Kaufman in Israel, an important connection with the red heifer is the Jewish tradition that it was offered high on the Mount of Olives, in line with the Gate Beautiful and in line with the north end of the temple’s altar.
How does the Red Calf’s sacrifice location relate to Gethsemane?
The most significant offering in eternity began with the “red” offering of the Sinless One on the Mount of Olives in spring of that year, on the night/day preceding the Passover. Astonished at the suffering He was experiencing as He was taking all the sins upon Himself, He cried out, “Not my will, but thine, be done.” He bled from every pore in his body. His clothing must have been stained red. “Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit–and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink– Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:18-19)
What may be the unbeknownst meaning of Israel’s state flower, the “Calanit?”
The Calanit, also known as an Anemone was crowned as Israel’s national flower following the completion of an online election campaign held by the Society for the Protection of Nature. The project to elect a national flower occurred in honor of SPNI’s 60th anniversary and marked 48 years since the organization launched its campaign to preserve Israel’s wildflowers. (Sharon Udasin, Jerusalem Post, 23 November 2013) The lilies of the field that the Savior referred to are the scarlet red Calanit. They bloom in the spring, the Passover season. They cover the Mount of Olives and the entire land of Israel. Viewing them as silent droplets of blood that testify of Him, this poetry came to my mind.
Lilies of Red
The season bursts forth in radiance,
painting the landscape in shades of green.
Flowers add their rhythm in cadence,
splashing color to brighten the scene.
Most precious are the lilies of red.
They spin not, they toil not, yet in their way,
they teach of the color of Him who bled,
on Gethsemane’s most fateful day.
His glory is to lighten our load.
He heals us with joy and harmony
A landscape of love for young and old,
His radiance opened eternity.
Lilies of red, they testified of Him who bled and died,
Lilies of red, witness they give, He died so we could live.
He lives, he’s risen from the dead, praise God for Lilies of red.
How was Abraham taught about the Atonement?
The experience of Abraham being saved and subsequently Isaac being saved from sacrifice is one of the most direct symbols of the Savior’s atonement. “. . . Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father’s house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of . . .” (Abraham 1:15-16)
How did a miracle turn into a lesson?
Abraham was brought to the “Crossroads of the East,” and there was promised a posterity like the “sands of the sea,” yet Sarah was barren. Miraculously, even after the “time of women” had passed, Sarah conceived and bore a child. The miracle may have evoked laughter from the neighbors. Truly, it evoked delight from the almost centenarians Abraham and Sarah. The laughter of joy spilled from their mouths as God’s promised word was fulfilled, and they brought forth new life. That one child was named Yitzhak (Isaac in English). The name means laughter, delight and humor in Hebrew. Jewish tradition insists that in his early thirties, Isaac obediently followed his father Abraham who was instructed to take this miracle son and offer him as a human sacrifice.
Where was Abraham taken to sacrifice his son?
Abraham and Isaac apparently learned that Isaac was a symbol of God’s firstborn son. Yet, a substitute was found as a ram in the thicket. Ever since, other substitutes were offered as a symbol of Him who would pay for our sins as we repent. God instructed Abraham to go to Mount Moriah to sacrifice his firstborn son of Sarah, his wife. Mount Moriah was given as the place of sacrifice, though it is very close to the Mount of Olives which is much higher. High places were usually selected as the sacrificial places. The name Moriah is derived from the words moreh, teacher, and Yah, the shortened version of the word Jehovah. Names ending with the sound “ah” often refer to Jehovah, such as Elijah, Micah, Hezekiah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and so on. The word Jehovah is not spoken in Hebrew; it means “I AM.”
How did Abraham learn who’s son was to be sacrificed?
God would provide a lamb for the sacrifice. Abraham and Isaac found a substitute ram in the thicket and offered it instead. From that time on, other substitute animals, always firstborn and unblemished, were sacrificed on Mount Moriah. Interestingly, the sacrifice was always done on the northern side of the temple altar. (Leviticus 1:11)
Where did the ultimate sacrifice occur?
Today on the northern end of the Temple Mount stands an abandoned quarry with caves that give it a grotesque skull-like look. Many people consider this the Place of a Skull, Calvary or Golgotha. They feel this is where the Lamb of God, the firstborn Son of God, was sacrificed when He was crucified. “And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:” (John 19:17) This Place of a Skull looks like the location described as the crucifixion site in the New Testament. However, some scholars and Christians have only recently recognized and identified it as such. Today, an empty first-century Jewish tomb, close by is known as the Garden Tomb.
How was the Atonement foreshadowed?
The remarkable symbolism of time, places, and events seemed to have foreshadowed the Messiah, the Holy One of Israel. Abraham’s life was chiastic: first to be offered as a human sacrifice and then to be saved, later to be commanded to offer his own son as a sacrifice and then to have him saved. All this was to teach us that God, also on Mount Moriah, was to offer his Son as a sacrifice to save us all. The final hours of the Savior’s mortal life fulfill His reason, His purpose, His mercy, His ultimate mission, to save us, to redeem us and return us to His and our Father’s presence.