Near the end of His mortal ministry, Jesus prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for all the sins of mankind. He had been condemned to die because He had testified to the people that He was the Son of God.
The night before His Crucifixion, Jesus went to a garden called Gethsemane. Soon He was weighed down by deep sorrow and wept as He prayed. Latter-day Apostle Orson F. Whitney was permitted to see the Savior’s suffering in a vision. Seeing the Savior weep, he said: “I was so moved at the sight that I also wept, out of pure sympathy. My whole heart went out to Him; I loved Him with all my soul, and longed to be with Him as I longed for nothing else” (“The Divinity of Jesus Christ,” Improvement Era, Jan. 1926, 224–25; see also Ensign, Dec. 2003, 10). Jesus “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” (Matthew 26:39).
In a modern revelation the Savior described how great His suffering was, saying it caused Him “to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit” (D&C 19:18). He suffered “according to the flesh,” taking upon himself our pains, sicknesses, infirmities, and sins (see Alma 7:10–13). No mortal person can comprehend just how great this burden was. No other person could have endured such agony of body and spirit. “He descended below all things … that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth” (D&C 88:6).
But His suffering was not yet complete. The following day, Jesus was beaten, humiliated, and spit upon. He was required to carry His own cross; then He was lifted up and nailed to it. He was tortured in one of the cruelest ways men have ever devised. After suffering on the cross, He cried out in agony, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). In Jesus’s bitterest hour, the Father had withdrawn from Him so Jesus could finish suffering the penalty for the sins of all mankind that Jesus might have complete victory over the forces of sin and death (see James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. , 660–61).
When the Savior knew that His sacrifice had been accepted by the Father, He exclaimed in a loud voice, “It is finished” (John 19:30). “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). He bowed His head and voluntarily gave up His spirit. The Savior was dead. A violent earthquake shook the earth.
Some friends took the Savior’s body to a tomb, where it lay until the third day. During this time His spirit went and organized the missionary work to other spirits who needed to receive His gospel (see 1 Peter 3:18–20; D&C 138). On the third day, a Sunday, He returned to His body and took it up again. He was the first to overcome death. The prophecy had been fulfilled “that he must rise again from the dead” (John 20:9).
Shortly after His Resurrection, the Savior appeared to the Nephites and established His Church in the Americas. He taught the people and blessed them. This moving account is found in 3 Nephi 11 through 28. - By LDS.org
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