Friday, October 5, 2012
One of life’s lessons we learn quickly is the importance of the blood that passes through our veins. As a child, a simple bump or bruise quickly escalates to a major problem at the sight of blood. In a medical trauma, one of the first concerns for preserving life is to stop major bleeding. Our physical lives are dependent upon a normal flow of blood throughout our system. Without it, we simply cannot survive.
Our spiritual lives are dependent upon a flow of blood as well. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, shed precious drops of blood in Gethsemane and on Calvary so you and I would have the opportunity to be cleansed of our sins and iniquity. Without his sacrifice, we could never be worthy to enter God’s presence again.
Let me share what I feel are four important aspects of the Atonement of Christ to keep in mind.
First, the Savior was a willing participant. He was not commanded to do so, although he almost certainly would have obeyed such a command had it come from our Father in Heaven. He was not coerced in any way. He graciously offered himself as a sacrifice, and the offer was accepted, by our Father in Heaven and by us.
Second, his offer was motivated by his love for our Father in Heaven, and his love for you and me. He sought no glory other than to glorify the Father, and the only power and authority he sought was that which was needed to complete his work. The only apparent personal satisfaction he received came from his desire to fulfill the will of the Father. He had no hidden or ulterior motives.
Third, his sacrifice is given to all. From Adam on down, every man or woman to ever walk the Earth has been given the opportunity to apply the principles of his Atonement in their lives. All who choose to do so will be forgiven as they sincerely repent. Not a single person is excluded from its power.
Finally, his Atonement is infinite. It has no limits or bounds. It can redeem us from all sin. It can also bear us up from all the burdens the world can place upon us. All sorrow, pain and suffering can be eased as we seek support from him.
I know that the divine nature of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is difficult to comprehend. When I encounter things of a difficult nature, my response is to try to simplify them. A favorite song of mine poses the question, “How many drops of blood were spilled for me?” The simple answer is enough. Enough to cleanse us from our sin. Enough to allow us to live with God again. Enough to make the burdens of life bearable. Enough to lift us above the guilt and despair that iniquity brings into our lives.
The doctrines of Christ provide us with a pathway back to our Father in Heaven. His sacred atonement makes it possible. May we not waste the precious drops that were shed for us, I pray in his Holy name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.
Jim Lewis is president of the Walla Walla Church of Latter-day Saints Young Single Adult Branch. Pastors who want to write a column should contact Catherine Hicks at 509-526-8312 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org