The Atonement and Ressurection of Jesus Christ

In the center of Christianity is a single individual, The Old Testament looks forward to his coming, the new Testament Speaks of His life and teachings on the earth. The Book of Mormon testifies to His people and teachings in the Americas. Our modern day prophets expound on his teachings and liken them to us in our day.

Jesus the Creator of all the Earth, the Son of our Heavenly Father, chose a mission of pain and hardship, to be born of Mary, a simple mortal woman. This decision gave him power over life and death, the immortal parentage of his Father gave him power over not only his own life, but the elements and even the Adversary himself. The mortal parentage of Mary enabled him to experience the hardships of life, hunger, pain, suffering, guilt and death. These traits enabled him to choose to live a sinless life, to be a sacrifice to pay for the sins of all mankind, of this he chose freely, even when the presence of his Father withdrew from him. To enable us to become clean of our sins and return to the Father, suffering was not enough he had to pay the ultimate price. He had to make the choice to die, this was not a passive act, not a loss of willpower, but he willingly allowed the death of his body, in fact this single act bridged the spiritual gap between man and God. He became the great mediator, one who had sacrificed for all mankind that they may look to him and choose life.

With this great act His mission was not finished, as was foretold in the scriptures he chose on the third day to rise again, his mortal earthly frame was transformed into a glorified perfected body. In doing this he provided a way for all mankind to be resurrected with immortal bodies. That we may become more like our Heavenly Father, no longer subject to disease or death and the suffering of this world.

In a world of much pain, death and spiritual famine the reality Jesus' physical resurrection is questioned. Even many Christians cast doubt on this doctrine, a modern widely used textbook on the New Testament reads, “We need to keep in mind that the empty tomb was an ambiguous witness to the resurrection. It attests the absence of the body, but not necessarily the reality or presence of the risen Jesus.”(Reference)

We must be careful in our daily lives not to forget the importance of this doctrine, we have numerous witnesses as to the reality of the living resurrected Lord. In Luke chapter 24 is two angels spoke to Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary the mother of Jesus,"Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is arisen.

He later went and visited the disciples, they were discussing the events of the day, "And as they thus spake, Jesus himself astood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, bPeace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do athoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: ahandle me, and see; for a bspirit hath not cflesh and bones, as ye dsee me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and awondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be afulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their aunderstanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it abehoved Christ to suffer, and to brise from the dead the third day: And that arepentance and bremission of sins should be cpreached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are awitnesses of these things."
The resurrection is such a miraculous event that even those who tarried with Jesus through is ministry and witnessed numerous miracles did not immediately believe, it might have been through misunderstanding, but Jesus made it clear through partaking of food with the men and allowing them to physically examine his wounds that he in fact had been resurrected. We have further witness of the Lord's resurrection through the Gospels and the book of Mormon.

The resurrection of mortals, or the doctrine of the of the universal resurrection was made crystal clear in the Book of Mormon, In the May 2000 issue of the Ensign, Dallin H Oaks wrote:

The possibility that a mortal who has died will be brought forth and live again in a resurrected body has awakened hope and stirred controversy through much of recorded history. Relying on clear scriptural teachings, Latter-day Saints join in affirming that Christ has “broken the bands of death” and that “death is swallowed up in victory” . Because we believe the Bible and Book of Mormon descriptions of the literal Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we also readily accept the numerous scriptural teachings that a similar resurrection will come to all mortals who have ever lived upon this earth.

The literal and universal nature of the resurrection is vividly described in the Book of Mormon.

The prophet Amulek taught:
“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).

Alma also taught that in the resurrection “all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame” (Alma 40:23).

Many living witnesses can testify to the literal fulfillment of these scriptural assurances of the resurrection. Many, including some in my own extended family, have seen a departed loved one in vision or personal appearance and have witnessed their restoration in “proper and perfect frame” in the prime of life. Whether these were manifestations of persons already resurrected or of righteous spirits awaiting an assured resurrection, the reality and nature of the resurrection of mortals is evident. What a comfort to know that all who have been disadvantaged in life from birth defects, from mortal injuries, from disease, or from the natural deterioration of old age will be resurrected in “proper and perfect frame.”

A true witness of the resurrection can only be gained through the spirit, Elder Calro E. Asay stated in the May, 1994 issue of the ensign stated:
"“Infallible proofs” of spiritual matters, such as Christ’s resurrection, are not of the hand, but of the heart. They are not seen with the naked eye; they are seen through the “eye of faith”. Nor are they established by a touch of a finger. The reality of spiritual matters is confirmed by feelings stirred through the spoken or written words of God. I say this because “the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be”. The Holy Spirit deals with facts, not with fancied happenings."

Through the restoration and modern revelation we have been given an even greater knowledge of the universality of the resurrection and the true nature of Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus and

These witnesses each testify to the reality of the resurrected Lord and a testimony of a Heavenly Father that in many ways is like us, flesh and bones. The doctrine of the Resurrection also gives us the knowledge through eyewitness accounts that death is not a final state for mankind, it is part of a much bigger journey to Eternal Life. We can take comfort in the fact that those who suffered from debilitating pain and handicaps, born with birth defects, suffered from all sorts of physical ailments will be restored to a perfect frame.

I ask each of us to pray about the reality of the resurrection, ponder the scriptures, and ask the Lord to give us a sure knowledge in our hearts, that the spirit will testify to us of the truth of it.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment