This week I studied the sermon Christ the Redeemer by Carlos H. Amado. All quote come from this sermon unless otherwise noted. This simple but powerful testimony of Jesus Christ provoked many thoughts throughout the week.
"Jesus Christ, the Son of God...never received honors, favors, recognition, nor preferred treatment from the political leaders of the earth or from the religious leaders of His day." This is quite profound coming from someone who lives in an area of political unrest. Because political strife is growing in the US, the statement comforts me. Jesus lived a hard but beautiful life. Even with mounting domestic ills I can life a beautiful life, too.
Brother Amado spoke of Jesus Christ's power over death, giving several examples of people whose lives were prolonged after dying. The one closest to my heart is Jarius' daughter. Shortly after my little Katie died, I participated in a musical production, Women at the Well. Two songs were torture to sing: If Thou Had Been There and Daughter Arise. In the end, I imagined Jesus taking my Katie by the hand at the hospital and leading her up to Heaven. While her life on earth wasn't prolonged, even though I prayed that He might grant this desire, her spirit is with Jesus in a beautiful place awaiting Resurrection Day.
Jesus also established the new and wonderful commandment that we love one another, which is how He became a revolutionary. The idea of charity (no not material handouts), conquers evil occupation one soul at a time. The political leader and conqueror the Jews looked for in the Messiah turned out to be the greatest leader and conqueror of all time but not one that would take up arms against Rome. Then He performed the ultimate sacrifice to conquer the strongest enemy.
"...in the most sublime show of His love for humankind, and in the full exercise of His will, He walked bravely and determinedly to face His most demanding trial. In the Garden of Gethsemane, in utter loneliness, He suffered the most intense agony, bleeding from each pore. In total submission before His Father, He atoned for our sins and also took upon Him our illnesses and afflictions in order to know how to succor us. We are indebted to Him and to our Heavenly Father because His sacrifice blessed everyone, from Adam, the first, to the last of all human beings."
In His suffering, He taught us great lessons. "Once His agony in Gethsemane was concluded, He voluntarily gave Himself up to His detractors...At each moment of His suffering, the Redeemer of the world showed exceptional self-control. He always thought of blessing others; with kindness and tenderness, He pleaded for John to take care of His mother, Mary. He asked His Father in Heaven to forgive the executioners who crucified Him."
This suffering brought amazing gifts: immortality in a perfect body and a way back into the presence of God, the Eternal Father. "Even though He had authoritatively shown His power over death, the scriptural accounts of those He brought back to life before His Resurrection demonstrate that they were only coming back to a life that had been miraculously prolonged; they would yet die. Christ was the first to be resurrected and never die again, to possess forever a perfect, eternal body."
I love Jesus and strive to remember Him, to serve Him, to learn of Him, and to witness of Him. Although I never quite make the mark, I feel His loving call to keep trying. I feel His gentleness and forgiveness as I repent. I feel His guidance and fellowship and acceptance through the Holy Ghost. I feel His grace making up the difference.