If I could suggest one article for everyone reading this to look at, it would be this one entitled “Accepting the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” While I certainly learn and grow from sharing my thoughts on this blog, nothing I share is particularly unique; I really just strive to share some of my beliefs, and some of the Gospel as I understand it, in hopes of reaching out to those who don’t quite understand my faith. The article linked above is more than my ramblings can offer- it is clarity and authority on the most important subject known (or unknown) to man.
In the Christian world, we often talk about being more like Jesus Christ. Frequently, we’ll choose an attribute or teaching of Jesus Christ to emulate, and work toward understanding it and practicing it in our lives. Currently, I’m attempting to study charity, or “the pure love of Christ.” In so doing I hope to find ways to obtain more of this attribute, and ways to exercise it in my life to the benefit of all around me, and to the benefit of my own soul.
But what I find is that I fall short. And so this week, with my own goals in mind and with Easter upon us, I asked myself “what are the reasons that Jesus Christ came to the earth?” His entire life was a grand act of charity, culminating in the ultimate sacrifice, the atonement. Jesus Christ died for us, so that we might be freed from the burden of sin, and capable of returning to our Heavenly Father.
Jesus Christ also lived for us. He could have perhaps accomplished the atonement in some other way, without the public ridicule, torture, and abuse. But he did not. He came among His covenant people, and lived. He was born among them. He grew up among them. When he was of age, he taught among them, healed them, and worked with them. He organized His church among them. He showed them “a more excellent way.”
Jesus Christ lead by example. When we strive to obtain the attributes of Christ, do we stop and realize with gratitude that we are following an example, a pattern that was set forth in clarity and with humility and purpose? We see through a glass, darkly, and yet because of Christ’s charity, we don’t always have to walk in darkness. We have someone to follow.
As I celebrate Easter, in spite of my failings and shortcomings, I want to remember that Christ came to this earth not only to die for my sins, but to show me how to live. I want to keep His teachings forever in my sight, and always strive to live up to them. That will include picking myself up, sometimes day after day, month after month, or even year after year, and try to do better.
I am thankful that in all of this, I am not alone. I know that Jesus Christ Himself has an interest in seeing me succeed, and that He will help me through the Holy Spirit. I pray the same for everyone else out there that has any desire whatsoever to do better or be better than they are.