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The Reason for Christ’s Anguish in the Garden

How are we to understand Jesus’ cry of dereliction, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” along with his desperate prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, pleading with God “if possible, let this cup pass from me?

Here’s the (question): Many mere mortals have managed to face death with more (composure) than Jesus did—Stephen, for example, just months later. Jesus knew he would rise from the dead, so why all the anguish?

In his ordeal on the cross … Christ mind-reads the mental states found in all the evil human acts human beings have ever committed. Every vile, shocking, disgusting, revulsive psychic state accompanying every human evil act will miraculously, be at once, in the human psyche of Christ … without yielding an evil configuration in either Christ’s intellect or will.

Such psychic agony “would greatly eclipse all other human psychological su­ffering … Flooded with such horror, Christ might well lose entirely his ability to find the mind of God the Father.” This drives home the suffering of Christ, a suffering so comprehensively horrible that it surpasses even the physical abuse of crucifixion.

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