This last Sunday our Sunday School class studied the Crucifixion of Christ, "To This End Was I Born". It was a beautiful lesson, full of insight and the spirit was there to teach each one of us. Our teacher had an amazing way of showing a side of the Atonement that I had not really pondered on before.
He talked about how Christ responded to the mocking, scourging, questions, spitting, etc. He talked about his attitude and how it applies to how we should act. One scripture jumped off the page at me. It was in John 18:36-37. Pilate is asking Christ questions. Trying to find the fault in him that have upset those that brought him to him. He is speaking to him about being the King of the Jews. Christ answers,
"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
Then shortly after he includes this,
" To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."
"My Kingdom is not of this World." I was suddenly struck with the thought of Perspective. He was mocked, scourged, whipped, spat upon, tortured and yet his focus was clear. He did not lose his temper or strike back, He knew the whole picture. He knew what must be done. He had been sent to fulfill a mission and He would not stray from His Fathers will.
It really made me think about the stress we carry or the little things in this life that turn into big things, because of the amount of energy we give them, and what do they mean in the grand scheme of things?! We get so easily distracted from who we REALLY are and what we are here to do. We are spiritual beings, sent for an earthly experience. Yet, we lose focus and that earthly experience takes center stage. We forget who we are.
Wendy Watson Nelson spoke at a fireside I went to. She said that if we could just see into our lives before this one, when we were with our Father in Heaven awaiting our chance to come to Earth to learn and prove ourselves, just 10 seconds of viewing our lives there would melt away all of our stresses in this life. Perspective would be the tool we would use to help us stay on course.
We are members of Christs' kingdom, therefore, OUR kingdom is not of this world. He showed us the way to "rise above" the things in this life that would trip us up, cause us to forget who we are and stop us from returning Home.
As the last part of the lesson our teacher shared an audio clip with us by Jack R Christianson. He beautifully described the nobility & composure of Christ in those last few heart wrenching days. Then he brought up Barrabas. He talked about how this sinful man was called for by the crowd, and Christ was condemned to die. I wish I could find the clip so you could feel what I felt as he spoke of the meaning of the name Barrabas. He explained what just the name Barrabas represents. Bar mean "Son of" and "Aba" is Father. Barrabas was also the spirit son of our Father in Heaven, just as we all are His children. In a very literal sense we saw the life of Barrabas, a man whose sinful actions had imprisoned him and called for his death, freed from this sentence, so that Christ could fill his place.
How profound! Barrabas represents each one of us. Without the Atonement we would all be condemned to spiritual death, but because of Christ and our Father in Heavens loving plan, we are free from that condemnation, if we choose.
I love lessons like this. It fills my heart with gratitude and helps me have a deeper understanding for just how much our Father in Heaven and our Savior loves each one of us. Isn't it awesome that we have this knowledge?!
My goal is to be better about keeping things in Perspective. By doing things daily that keep my life in line with Heavenly Fathers will for me, repenting when I trip up...cause I do...A LOT, and staying focused on my personal mission!
Thoughts? I would love to hear them!