Sharing Time: Jesus Christ’s Atonement Is the Greatest Gift of Love


He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him (2 Ne. 26:24).

Jesus Christ’s Atonement Is the Greatest Gift of Love

Do you know that you lived with Heavenly Father before you were born? When Heavenly Father presented His plan for your life on earth and your return to Him, you shouted for joy! You wanted to receive a body and to make important choices and covenants. Heavenly Father knew that our earthly bodies would die and that we would make some wrong choices and sin. He loved us and wanted to make it possible for us to repent. He knew that someone would have to come to earth to free us from death and pay for our sins. To do this would be so difficult and so painful that only a perfect being could do it. We could not do it for ourselves. Jesus loved us so much that He asked Heavenly Father to send Him. He was willing to suffer pain for the sins of all people. He was also willing to give up His life to overcome death. He did not offer to do this because He wanted glory or honor but because He loved us and Heavenly Father.

How do we feel when we do something that we know is wrong? Sorrow and suffering result when we disobey the commandments or when we don’t do something we know we should. Heavenly Father chose Jesus to save us from our sins and our sorrows. To do this, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to be alone and to pray. As He prayed, He felt the sins and the sorrows and the pain of all the people who would ever live on the earth. He felt the pain and sorrow for the sins of each one of us. Jesus’ suffering was so great that blood came out of every pore of His body. We cannot imagine how great that suffering must have been. Because He suffered, we can repent. Jesus chose to do this for us so that if we repent, we can live with Heavenly Father again.

After suffering in Gethsemane, Jesus was arrested, bound, mocked, spit upon, scourged, and put to death on a cross. He suffered hours of intense physical pain, then gave up His life. Because He was a God and had power over death, He did not have to die. He chose to do it for our sakes, His spirit left His body. His body was taken down from the cross, wrapped in a clean linen cloth, and placed in a tomb. A huge stone was rolled in front of it. On the following Sunday, when women came to anoint Jesus’ body, the stone had been rolled away and His body was not there. He had risen! He had taken His body again. Because Jesus broke the bands of death, after we die, we will also have our bodies again. This is called resurrection .

Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be saved from our sins if we repent. Because of Jesus Christ, we will be resurrected and can return to live with Heavenly Father again. Jesus Christ loved us and gave His life for us. It was the greatest gift that has ever been given to us.

Instructions: After reading “Jesus Christ’s Atonement Is the Greatest Gift of Love,” find its underlined words in the letter square below by reading forward, backward, down, up, and diagonally. Some of the underlined words will also help you solve the crossword puzzle.

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Across

  1. 2.

    When Heavenly Father presented His plan for your life on earth, you shouted for _____.

  2. 3.

    Two-way promises between Heavenly Father and His children.

  3. 5.

    What it is called when the body is reunited with its spirit.

  4. 7.

    Jesus suffered for our sins if we will _____.

  5. 8.

    The Savior’s name.

  6. 9.

    The place where Jesus’ body was placed when it was taken from the cross.

  7. 10.

    You wanted to come to earth, receive a body, and make important _____ and covenants.

Down

  1. 1.

    “Through the _____ of Christ all mankind may be saved …” (A of F 1:3).

  2. 4.

    The Garden where Jesus bled from every pore as He suffered for our sins.

  3. 6.

    The place where you came to live when you left heaven.

  4. 11.

    Disobey a commandment.

Answers:

Sharing Time Ideas

Note: The Savior should not be portrayed in dramatizations except in the nativity scene. God the Father should never be portrayed. (See Primary Sharing Time Resource Manual, p. 13.)

1. Invite several adult ward members or older Primary children to portray individuals who knew Christ during His earthly ministry. They could wear simple costumes or hang large name signs around their necks. Have each discuss how he or she knew Jesus. Some of the people could be: Simeon (see Luke 2:25–32); teacher in the temple (see Luke 2:42–49); John the Baptist (see Luke 1:57–67, 76; Matt. 3; Mark 1:1–11); centurion (see Matt. 8:5–13); Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (see John 11:1–44); Peter (see Luke 5:3–11; John 18:1–11 and Luke 22:49–50; Matt. 26:57–58, 69–75; John 20:1–10; John 21:14–17).

2. Using your hand to represent the spirit, and a glove or small paper bag to represent the body, explain the resurrection to the children. Show how the body has no life without the spirit. Place your hand inside the glove or the bag and move it to show how the body is able to move when the spirit is inside. When we die (take your hand from the glove), our spirits leave our bodies. Explain that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ made it possible for the body and spirit to reunite after death (return your hand to the glove). Give each child a small bag, two pieces of paper stapled or glued together on three sides, or a stocking, and let him or her color or glue on items to represent himself or herself. Help the children practice how to show their parents about resurrection.

3. Explain that a parable is a story told to illustrate a doctrine or teaching. The Savior often used parables. Write the references and names of some of His parables on slips of paper. Place them in a container and let each class draw one, then have the classes prepare a short skit dramatizing it. After each skit is presented, encourage the children to talk about the parable. Some parables that could be used: The Sower (Matt. 13:3–9), The Lost Sheep (Matt. 18:12–14), The Unmerciful Servant (Matt. 18:23–35), The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37), The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–24).

4. Discuss with the children the importance of the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, emphasizing the last week of His life. Give each class a reference to find in the New Testament and to read in unison. The following scriptures could be used in order: (1) people gather to Jerusalem for the Passover (John 11:55–56; John 12:12), (2) triumphal entry (Matt. 21:6–12), (3) teaching in the temple (Luke 20:19–20), (4) the Sacrament (Matt. 26:19–20, 26–28 [see footnotes]), (5) Jesus’ suffering and prayers (Matt. 26:36–46), (6) Pilate decrees death for Jesus (Mark 15:12–15), (7) the Crucifixion (John 19:16–18); (8) the tomb (Matt. 27:57–60), (9) the Resurrection (Matt. 28:1–6).

5. Jesus told His friends that He would die. He also told them that He would be resurrected. Jesus did die, and He was resurrected. Because He was, we will all be resurrected. Everyone in the world will be resurrected. Make a paper-doll chain out of heavy paper for the younger children. Let them color each figure to represent members of their family. Let the older children watch you construct the paper chain, then do one themselves. (Fold a piece of paper accordion-style. Sketch one side of the figure of a boy or girl on the center of the folded paper, with arm and foot extending to the folded edge. Cut around the figure, remembering to not cut the folded edge where the hands and feet extend. Encourage the older children to color each doll to represent a family member.

6. Tell the children of your love for Jesus Christ and your desire to keep His commandments and follow His example. Write Jesus wants me to … on the chalkboard. Explain to the children that they are going to sing some Primary songs that will help them understand what Jesus wants them to do. After each one, ask, “What does that song tell us to do?” Write their responses on the chalkboard. Songs (all are in the Children’s Songbook): “Help Me, Dear Father” (p. 99—forgive others, repent), “When I Am Baptized” (p. 103—be baptized), “I Believe in Being Honest” (p. 149—be honest, keep my word, tell the truth, defend right), “Keep the Commandments” (p. 146—keep the commandments), “Love One Another” (p. 136—love one another), “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (p. 109—study the scriptures, pray), “Follow the Prophet” (p. 110—follow the prophet), “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 195—prepare to go to the temple).

[illustration] Illustrated by Beth Whittaker

Across—(2) joy, (3) covenants, (5) resurrection, (7) repent, (8) Jesus, (9) tomb, (10) choices. Down—(1) Atonement, (4) Gethsemane, (6) earth, (11) sin.