Friday, April 3, 2015

He "Only" Died

A Jewish friend of mine told me that Jesus Christ can't be the Savior, the Messiah, because all he did was die. After a long history of oppression, the Jews were desperately looking for the true Messiah who would free them. But, as the Savior declared to Pilate when asked if he was trying to set up a political government, "My kingdom is not of this world".
Someday, at the time of the Millennium, the Savior will return in glory and establish His Kingdom upon the earth, and we need to be the caliber of people who can be a part of that kingdom.

This is partly why Jesus Christ came to the earth in the meridian of time. He was trying to prepare a people worthy to rule with Him when He comes the second time in glory. Consider the Master Teacher's great Sermon on the Mount and His parables, and other teachings. Can you find any better guidance on how to live - anywhere?  Look at His example of love, patience, and faith in His Father in Heaven. I am always so impressed that He is totally in charge of every situation. His knows His goals, and never allows His antagonists to get the upper hand. He never just reacts-- He leads. I want to be more like that!

And I can, because of His grace. The Savior is truly our Savior. Through His Atonement (suffering for our sins), He fulfilled the demands of justice so we can have faith that God is dependable and fair. He also allowed Mercy to claim its own, showing us that not only is God just, but loving. When He paid the price for all the mistakes we have made and all our ailments (scriptures), it gave Him the right and power to heal us both physically and spiritually. It is because of Him that we have hope.

We can also have confidence that God has the power to keep his promises. Jesus healed the blind, lame, and lepers. He fed the multitude with only a few fishes and loaves of bread. Though He had the power to still the waves and calm the storm, He never used His power for himself even after fasting for 40 days, or when He was being crucified.

Seeing His life and example, I long to become like Him; to be a better person. I know that to be comfortable in God's presence, we must be like Him. I simply don't have the strength of character to be perfect. I make mistakes every day (probably every hour- or less!). I am so grateful that I can keep trying. Through the Savior's helping me, through His sharing some of His power with me (it is often called Grace), I can repent and try again (and again! and again!). I can get up each day with hope for doing better, and I can look back and see how I have improved. (Don't most of us look back on our younger selves with amazement that we could have been so dumb!?)

Not only does our Savior give us the strength to change our lives, to learn and grow, but He makes it all worthwhile. Yes, we can not take all our cache of acquired things with us when we die, but He has made it so that the character, the love, the intelligence, and the relationships we form here can continue after this life. Because of Him, life has meaning and purpose!

Yes, I look forward to having the opportunity of returning to live with my Heavenly Father someday and of having my family relationships continue, but I do not think I would be very happy just as a spirit. I want to have my body back. Our Savior made this possible. Not only did He die, but He did what no one had ever done, He came back to life! He broke the bands of death. He did more than bring a person back to life (the daughter of Jairus and Lazarus would later die again), but He arose with a body that was eternal; a body that would never age or die.

Through His life and Atonement, all mankind can know how to live happier lives, we can repent and be given help to change and grow, and we will receive a body which will continue forever. Did He do more than just die?  So much more!

For more on the Atonement (click on More Results)

To see videos of the life of Christ

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