Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Atonement

This post I decided to talk about the Atonement, and I wanted to focus on 2 main questions with this subject.
1. What is it?
2. Why did Christ have to go through it?

Lets start with the first question and establish "what was the Atonement?"
Many people are familiar with the suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and the Crucifixion as the acts made by Jesus by which we are saved. His grace was then given at that time so that we all can be saved. But there is a third part. The Resurrection. This is one of the major points of Christ's life! He lived, then died, then LIVED AGAIN! So this is the order of the Atonement in which we will be talking about today.
1. The Garden of Gethsemane. (Luke 22:39-44) Video:
2. The Crucifixion. (John 19:1-30) Video:
3. The Resurrection. (John 20:11-17) Video:

These 3 events are are what make up the Atonement and each one has a specific purpose. Jesus did not suffer, die and rise again for no reason. I would like to share my understanding of these events in Christ life.

                           The Garden of Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane was a garden of olive trees and was a place the Jesus spent much of His time. In this Garden is one of the greatest events of all time took place. Jesus Christ suffered for our sins. But this is not all. Jesus Christ to fulfill the prophecies of prophets of old not only took upon him the sins of His people but also the sicknesses, the pains and sorrows (Alma 7:11-12). He felt any kind of pain you feel physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually so that He, the Son of God can comfort you, and help you as you go through hard times. He suffered to the point that He bled from every poor! No mortal man could do that! The amount of pain a person would have to go through to bleed from ONE poor is enough to kill them. Think of what He went through for you and I! The Son of God, sitting upon the right hand of God, came down to earth and suffered for you! This was not all. After Jesus Christ suffered for us, he was betrayed by one of His apostles to the priests. I cannot imagine what if felt to be betrayed by a friend into the hands of someone who wants to kill you.

                                      The Crucifixion

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends..." (John 15:13-14)
After Jesus was taken prisoner he was scourged and mocked. He was spat upon, bruised and beaten. The Lord Jesus suffered much to stand for truth. He was condemned for blasphemy, a crime punishable by death in those days. He stood for the truth that He is the Son of God. The Christ. He was delivered to the soldiers and they caused more suffering for our Lord and Savior and nailed Him to the cross. I think we know the story of the crucifixion quite well. There was one thing needed to be done before His death. "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"(Mark 15:34) Jesus Christ had the companionship of the Holy Ghost through His life. And because He was perfect, He had never lost it. He had to know what is was like to lose that companionship so He would know how to succor those who have the gift of the Holy Ghost but lose it. Without this it would not have been finished! Then He exclaimed that it was finished and He died. What was the purpose of all this? Why did Christ have to be killed and go through so much? I will explain. Gods plan includes our death. That is how we can progress and start a new chapter! It is part of the plan! Christ has “broken the bands of death” (Mosiah 16:7)  "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive" (1 Cor 15:22). Christ was given the power over death! Many Christians have a cross necklace or a crucifix in their home to remember the death of the Savior. If there is one thing I have learned growing up in the LDS church it is that we don't need to focus on just His death, but on his life. Both before and after death!

                                   The Resurrection

"He is not here, for he is risen..."(Matt 28:6) Jesus Christ overcame death and rose again upon the third day! I love the story of Mary seeing Christ because it just shows how amazing it was! “The death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.

“The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; …
“Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame” (Alma 11:42–44).
But why? Why do we need to be resurrected? What I believe is that God gave us a body so that we could experience things in this life like pain but also joy. Think about this. You have a favorite food and a least favorite food. If you only ate your least favorite food and had never experienced your favorite food, would you have a favorite? No. So God in a sense gives you this other food for you to try. You eat in and now you are like "Wow! That's good! I like that stuff way better!" Then what if God said "Ok well now you have tried it, I am going to take it away now." You wouldn't be very happy. But God doesn't take it away forever. He brings it back and you can have that food forever! That's why we are resurrected! So we can be joyful forever! 2 Nephi 2:27 says "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."

God wants us to be happy. The Savior chose to do these things for us so that we can enter into our Fathers kingdom. He payed for our sins so that we may follow Him and be lead to our Father and receive the fullness of joy! I know that God loves us all! I know that Jesus suffered and died then lived again for me! I know that He is  my savior and that as I follow Him I can live with God again and be happy for all eternity with my family! 

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