For Christmas, we received the book, Reflections of Christ, by Mark Mabry. It is a collection of photos representing the life of the Savior. As I thumbed through its pages, I couldn’t help but feel a deep reverence for the Savior and his mission here on earth because this book presents such a powerful representation of the Savior’s birth, baptism, calling to teach, his crucifixion, and finally his triumphant resurrection.
I again looked through this book while listening to Oh Lord, My Redeemer by Jeff Goodrich on his album, I Heard Him Come. I felt an overwhelming sense of the Spirit and, once, again, my testimony of the Savior and his atoning sacrifice grew.
The depth of the atonement is hard to understand. I have no idea how Jesus was able to physically take upon him the sins of the world. I can’t comprehend how that was accomplished, but I know, somehow, it was. I know the pain and sorrow I’ve felt at different times in my life, I can’t fathom what he felt as he knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane as my own pain was multiplied by everyone who ever has, or ever will, live on this earth. No wonder he bled from every pore. He suffered something that none of us can begin to grasp.
I find it difficult to view photos or paintings depicting his crucifixion because I imagine the agony and physical pain he endured for me. It’s hard to think about that. It’s even harder to think about how often I need the atonement and the pain that I’ve personally caused the Savior.
The atonement has loosed the bands of death that came as a result of Adam’s transgression. Every single person that has ever lived on the earth, or will ever live on the earth, will be resurrected and live again. That is a gift to all of humanity. But, the most important part of the atonement is that Jesus paid the price for our sins, and if we are willing the make the atonement effective in our lives, we can once again return to him. He paid the price so we don’t have to. All we have to do is look to him and choose to take advantage of the atonement by repenting of our sins and then following his commandments.
I think it’s important for each of us to think about what the atonement means to us personally. Do we truly have our own testimony that Jesus is the Son of God and his willing sacrifice made it possible to return to Heavenly Father? Do we make the atonement effective in our own individual lives? What do we need to do each day to take advantage of what the atonement offers us?
Though my finite, mortal mind cannot fully comprehend the atonement, I have a testimony that it exists and that Jesus is the Christ. I have a testimony that he is my Savior and my Redeemer and if I can be humble enough to repent of my sins and come unto him, I can someday return to my Heavenly Father and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
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