During this Christmas season I have been contemplating the life and great atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I thought that perhaps I could spend some time today speaking concerning this the central point of our theology.
I would like to talk about:
- The importance of Jesus Christ and his atonement
- The Youth of the Savior and his character
- The Ministry of Jesus Christ
- The Atonement of Jesus Christ
- The Results of this atonement
1. The Importance of this doctrine:
Joseph Smith Taught: (Teachings of Joseph Smith)
“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heave; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”
Are we disciples of Jesus Christ, should we also not gain a testimony for ourselves of the life and atonement of Jesus Christ? (Alma 5:45-46)
- The Youth of the Savior and his Character and Attributes
Who was Jesus Christ and what was he like?
His lineage and birth – Spoken of already
- Lineage of the House of David – Kingship by right of lineage. (Jesus the Christ Chapter 7)
- Only Begotten Son of God – Kingship by right of lineage. Jesus is the Literal son of God (Ensign 1984 October - Pattern of our parentage, Jesus the Christ - teacher manual - lesson 7)
- He had received the Title of GOD before he was born – and brought those divine characteristics with him at birth.
- Birth through a Miracle – A virgin was with Child who was the son of God
- God was a physical being and his son was Jesus Christ
- Mary was the physical mortal woman who was the mother of Jesus.
- How this occurred has not been revealed – yet the results have.
- Mary was a virgin before Jesus was born, and after as well having had no intercourse with a man. (or God… IMO)
What were his physical Characteristics and Attributes
What did he look like?
- He looked just as a normal man – Isaiah 53: 2 – no form nor comeliness
- He looked exactly like his father – God – The Origin of Man
D&C 107:43 – Seth was the express likeness of his father, insomuch that he seemed to be like unto his father in all things, and could be distinguished from him only by his age.
Heb 1:3 – the express image of his person
John 14:9 – He that hath seen me hath seen the Father
What was he immortal?
- He was not subject to the penalty of Sin – namely death – John 5:26
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (Power to rise again given him of God)
- He was born of an immortal man and thus had the capability to live forever
- He could feel pain, sorry, hunger, and all the experiences we have in this life.
- He had the capability to die because of his mortal mother Mary. (He was not immortal)
What was his mind like?
- He was more intelligent than all the sons of God or the spirits that had been organized. Abraham 3:18-19
“19 And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.”
- JST Mathew 3:24-26
“24 And it came to pass that Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come.
25 And he served under his father, and he spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him.
26 And after many years, the hour of his ministry drew nigh.”
He served under his father. – He did what his father asked, and was obedient to him.
Can you imagine the capability of this young man… more so than anyone who has ever lived… neither could he be taught, he needed not that any man should teach him!
“46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.”
JST Translations tells us:
and they were hearing him, and asking him questions (not he asking them!)
At the Age of 12 he was speaking with the learned men of the day and teaching them and answering their questions. Men who had studied the law all of their lives!
What then of the Ministry of our Master…
- The Ministry of Jesus Christ – This could be a talk unto itself!
He Spoke with Power and Authority when he taught:
Math 7:29 – For he taught them as one having authority … and not as the scribes.
If I were to study and obtain a degree in Medicine can I then immediately begin practicing medicine. just because I have the knowledge?
What of a Lawyer. can I practice law just because I have finished my degree?
The Devil and his angels have great knowledge, do they then also have authority?
Knowledge and information does not give one authority. Thus the point is that knowledge and capability does not give one authority.
This is one of the things I like about my church. The doctrine of Priesthood authority and that this authority cannot be earned, nor taken, but must rather be given freely of God to Man.
Why did Jesus Teach in Parables?
Frank F. Judd Jr., “Parables of Jesus: The Priceless Parables,” Ensign, Jan. 2003, 56
The Master Teacher’s parables show both the justice and mercy of God at work among those who hear them. “Two men may hear the same words,” wrote Elder James E. Talmage (1862–1933). “One of them listens in indolence and indifference, the other with active mind intent on learning all that the words can possibly convey; and, having heard, the diligent man goes straightway to do the things commended to him, while the careless one neglects and forgets. The one is wise, the other foolish; the one has heard to his eternal profit, the other to his everlasting condemnation.” (Math 13:10-13)
3. For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.
4. Ye call upon my name for revelations, and I give them unto you; and inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings, which I give unto you, ye become transgressors; and justice and judgment are the penalty which is affixed unto my law.
Those who merely listened to the story were protected from themselves. They did not know or understand the meaning of the story and thus were not condemned as much as if he would have spoken in simple clear terms. Thus he concealed the doctrine from those who would not have accepted it even if it was spoken as clear as word can be!
Does this not show the compassion and love of the savior even for those who hated him!
- The Atonement of Jesus Christ
- The Garden of Gethsemane – Paid the Price of Our Sins
- He suffered both body and spirit
- He bleed from every pore
- The Cross – gave up his life that we might all be resurrected
- He was resurrected and received an immortal eternal body
- He gave his life as an offering for sin – no man took it from him
- The Garden of Gethsemane – Paid the Price of Our Sins
Infinite and Eternal Atonement:
“11 Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay.
12 But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered; therefore there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world.”
What is the price of our sins? Why must it be an infinite atonement?
The penalty of our sins was eternal, and infinite. It was an eternal separation from God never to live in his presence again. (Jesus paid this price in some way…)
The result of death was eternal in that we would eternally be separated from our bodies never to be clothed in a tabernacle of flesh! (This was because of the act of Adam and thus because of Justice had to be reconciled via Jesus Christ)
Talmadge Jesus the Christ – pg 661
What mind of man can fathom the significance of that awful cry?
It seems, that in addition to the fearful suffering incident to the crucifixion, the agony of Gethsemane had recurred, intensified beyond human power to endure. In that bitterest hour the dying Christ was alone, alone in most terrible reality….
The father had withdrawn the support of his presence, leaving the Savior of men the glory of complete victory over the forces of sin and death!
Was it Just that Jesus Christ should die?
Was it not an infinite sacrifice in that Jesus Christ had life in himself and need not ever die?
Was it not an infinite sacrifice in that he truly and completely suffered the penalty of all sin, in the withdrawal of the spirit of God in an infinite manner in some way?
Furthermore the resurrection brought man back into an eternal state to return in their bodies to the throne of God to be judged of him.
Thus he paid the price for our sins in a manner that we will probably not ever completely understand. Ye the results of that act, that atonement are eternal in consequence to you and I!
Results of the Atonement:
2 Nephi 9: 6-17 rise no more and be subject to the devil
D&C 76: 50 – 62 then shall they be Gods
- The Origin of Man By the First Presidency of the Church
- Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 5: The Infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ