Chapter 12: The Atonement of Jesus Christ

"Chapter 12: The Atonement of Jesus Christ," Part Four: Our Savior, Jesus Christ, ()


Jesus suffered greatly because of our sins. Why did He choose to die for us?

Our Father in Heaven Sent Jesus Christ to Earth to Be Our Savior

We need to have bodies of flesh and bones to become like our Father in Heaven, but our Father in Heaven knew that we would all die and lose our bodies because Adam and Eve disobeyed our Father in Heaven. By eating the fruit that our Father in Heaven told them not to eat, they would eventually die, and so would everyone else born after them. Also, our Father in Heaven knew that all of us would sin while on earth, and because of our sins we would not be able to return to live with Him. We would need help to pay the penalty for our sins and to become obedient so that we could return to our Father in Heaven. We would need help to regain our bodies of flesh and bones after death. Jesus said He would help us. He would be our Savior.

We needed someone who was sinless to pay for our sins. Jesus is the only one who could do this. He did not sin. He had power over death, so He could help us to have our bodies again after we die. He loved us very much. He was willing to suffer for our sins so we could be clean from them. He was willing to die for us so we could come back to life after death. Jesus’ sacrifice for us is called the Atonement.

Discussion

  • Why was it necessary for our Father in Heaven to send Jesus to this earth?

Jesus’ Suffering Shows Us How Much He and Our Father in Heaven Love Us

Our Father in Heaven loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth and allowed Him to suffer and die for us. Jesus loves us so much that He suffered great pain and death for us. Jesus knew the suffering would be very great. It was almost more than He could bear. But He wanted us to be able to become like our Father in Heaven.

Jesus went to a place called the Garden of Gethsemane. There He knelt and prayed to our Father in Heaven for help. He asked our Father in Heaven, if it were possible, that He not be made to suffer. But He said He would do what our Father in Heaven wanted Him to do. Jesus was not forced to suffer. He chose to suffer because it was part of our Father in Heaven’s plan so we could be cleansed from our sins.

In Gethsemane, Jesus suffered for the sins of all mankind, as if they were His own. His suffering for all of these sins was greater than any of us can understand. The pain was so great that He trembled. Blood came out from every pore of His body.

Afterward, wicked people came and took Him to the rulers of Jerusalem. There they spat on Him and beat Him. They made a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They laughed at Him and made fun of Him.

The rulers told the soldiers to crucify Jesus. They made Him carry a heavy wooden cross to the place where He would die. They hung Him on the cross by driving nails through His hands and feet. On the cross, He finished suffering the penalty for Adam’s disobedience and for our own sins.

He was left to hang there for many hours. Even though He was suffering, and even though some people still made fun of Him, He was quiet and patient. Finally, He told our Father in Heaven He was returning His spirit to Him, and He died.

Jesus had power to save Himself from death. He could have continued to live, but He chose to die so we could live again with our Father in Heaven.

When Jesus died, His spirit left His body. On the third day after He died, His spirit returned to His body, and He lived again. The return of the spirit to the body is called resurrection.

Jesus appeared to His Apostles and to other people after He was resurrected. He showed His Apostles the marks left by the nails in His hands and feet. They touched them and knew that this was their leader, Jesus, come back to life. He talked with them and ate with them.

Discussion

  • How did our Father in Heaven show His love for us?

  • How did Jesus show His love for us?

Jesus Made It Possible for Us to Be Cleansed from Sin

Only Jesus could pay for our sins. We receive the full benefits of His sacrifice by believing that He lives and by keeping His commandments. We must be sorry for our sins. We must not do them anymore. We must follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Then our Father in Heaven forgives our sins.

Discussion

  • Why do you need Jesus to help you overcome your sins?

  • What do you need to do so that the Atonement of Jesus can pay for your sins?

Jesus Made It Possible for All of Us to Regain Our Bodies

Jesus died willingly and was the first person to be resurrected. He is the only person who had power to resurrect Himself. He has also made it possible for us to be resurrected.

Even though we will die, we will live again. When we die, our spirits leave our bodies. But since Jesus overcame death, our spirits and bodies will be joined together again forever. We will never die again. This is a gift Jesus has given to everyone born on earth.

Discussion

  • How did Jesus make it possible for us to regain our bodies?

  • Who will be resurrected?

References

Our Father in Heaven Sent Jesus Christ to Earth to Be Our Savior

  • Matthew 16:21 (Jesus told His Apostles He would die and be resurrected.)

  • Alma 34:9–16 (Jesus is the only one who could pay for our sins.)

Jesus’ Suffering Shows Us How Much He and Our Father in Heaven Love Us

  • Luke 22:39–46 (The account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.)

  • John 3:16 (Our Father in Heaven loved us so much He sent Jesus to save us.)

Jesus Made It Possible for Us to Be Cleansed from Sin

Jesus Made It Possible for All of Us to Regain Our Bodies