Context and General Information
- Lehi, before his death, preaches to Jacob a final time.
- People are instructed sufficiently to know good from evil.
- We have the law.
- The law justifies no one, in fact because of the law we are cut off – from God.
- We are also cut off from God spiritually and will be miserable forever.
- BUT, redemption comes through the Holy Messiah
- Christ offers Himself as a sacrifice for sin to answer the ends of the law.
- If we will come unto Him with a broken heart and contrite spirit, then His sacrifice will answer the ends of the law – and we will not be subject to misery or death.
- It is important that everyone on this earth knows this message. No one can dwell in the presence of God, save it is through Christ – His merits, mercy, and grace. He laid down His life and took it again to bring pass the resurrection of the dead.
- He will also stand an intercessor between us and God – saving us.
Redemption Comes Through Christ – A Sacrifice for Sin
So, today we are continuing our study of 2 Nephi 2:5-9 – Redemption Cometh through Christ. In Part One, we studied the law. In Part two, we studied Redemption. In Part three, we studied Christ’s grace and truth. Today, we are studying a sacrifice for Sin. I know that there have already been a lot of “parts” in studying this small selection of verses, but I really feel like there is something important for to learn here, so…onward!
“Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.” – 2 Nephi 2:7
It has been established that there is a law that governs heaven. Because of this law, and because of the effects of the law, we are cut off. As fallen men and women, we sin and are therefore unworthy to be in God’s presence.
What’s the big deal with that? Well, God is light, life, happiness. So, when we are shut out from His presence – we experience darkness, death, and misery. Yikes. We need some way for our sins to be paid in order to have any kind of hope.
Enter Christ. It also been established that Christ—full of grace and truth—offers us redemption. As Lehi taught: he offered Himself a sacrifice for sin to answer the law,. How is this done???
It is done through Christ’s Sacrifice.
The Bible Dictionary helps us to understand the significance of Christ’s sacrifice.
“Atonement – The word describes the setting “at one” of those who have been estranged and denotes the reconciliation of man to God. Sin is the cause of the estrangement, and therefore the purpose of atonement is to correct or overcome the consequences of sin. From the time of Adam to the death of Jesus Christ, true believers were instructed to offer animal sacrifices to the Lord. These sacrifices were symbolic of the forthcoming death of Jesus Christ and were done by faith in Him (Moses 5:5–8).
Jesus Christ, as the Only Begotten Son of God and the only sinless person to live on this earth, was the only one capable of making an atonement for mankind. By His selection and foreordination in the Grand Council before the world was formed, His divine Sonship, His sinless life, the shedding of His blood in the garden of Gethsemane, His death on the cross and subsequent bodily resurrection from the grave, He made a perfect atonement for all mankind. All are covered unconditionally as pertaining to the Fall of Adam. Hence, all shall rise from the dead with immortal bodies because of Jesus’ Atonement. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22), and all little children are innocent at birth. The Atonement is conditional, however, so far as each person’s individual sins are concerned, and touches every one to the degree that he has faith in Jesus Christ, repents of his sins, and obeys the gospel. The services of the Day of Atonement foreshadowed the atoning work of Christ (Lev. 4; 23:26–32; Heb. 9). The scriptures point out that no law, ordinance, or sacrifice would be satisfactory if it were not for the Atonement of Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:1–9; 2 Ne. 9:5–24; Mosiah 13:27–32).
Sin is lawlessness (1 Jn. 3:4); it is a refusal on men’s part to submit to the law of God (Rom. 8:7). By transgression man loses control over his own will and becomes the slave of sin (Rom. 7:14) and so incurs the penalty of spiritual death, which is alienation from God (Rom. 6:23). The Atonement of Jesus Christ redeems all mankind from the Fall of Adam and causes all to be answerable for their own manner of life. This means of atonement is provided by the Father (John 3:16–17) and is offered in the life and person of His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:19).” – Bible Dictionary: Atonement
I don’t think that I could say much to explain this any better than the above. However, there is a scripture that keeps coming to mind:
“Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.” – Doctrine and Covenants 19:15-19
We need to repent – we will be learning more about this next time. We need to turn to the Savior and accept the atonement and sacrifice that He did perform in order for it to take effect in our lives. He will not force Himself on us. If we do accept His Atonement, then we will not suffer as He did. We will receive mercy. We will have light, life, and joy.
What does this mean for you and for me?
If you read this blog regularly, then you might already be pretty familiar with the basic tenets and doctrines of Christianity – namely that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us, we are fallen creatures, and the Atonement performed by Jesus Christ can save us. We are probably also somewhat familiar with the principles and ordinances required in order for us to be redeemed.
The thing is, these truths are deeply personal, yet I’m feeling unsatisfied because this post feels kind of philosophical and impersonal. So – how do I impart some of the personal into this post???
I keep thinking about that law. Yes, I believe in Christ, but let’s take Him out of the equation for a moment. Without Christ, then I’m a fallen creature. Without Christ, we don’t have the creation of the earth. Christ is the light. He is the bread of life. He is the water of life. He is life. He is Hope. He is salvation. He is joy.
Without Christ, then there is none of this:
If we take Christ out of the equation, we take every good thing out of the equation.
Thankfully, Christ isn’t “out” of the equation. He is the linchpin of it. Christ offered Himself a sacrifice for Sin to answer the ends of the law – the law that, because of our natures and propensity for sin, would mean everlasting death and misery for us. When we think about this in the context of the beauty, joy, light, life we get to experience here, now, I feel so much gratitude.
I feel like I’m still not expressing what I want to say. Right now, this moment, as you read this, do you realize the blessing that Christ has been in your life? Regardless of your faith in Him – regardless of your past, present, or future choices, He has given so much. He has created this earth.
I know for myself, I tend to forget how much mercy and joy He is offering to me right now. I tend to think of the Atonement and its application in my life as this “far off” thing – that one day I’ll be judged; that Christ’s Atonement covers my sins so one day I can return to Him. I tend to forget that His Atonement, His sacrifice for sin, is blessing me RIGHT NOW! Even though I’m often oblivious, Christ is the reason for everything that is good in my life. I can’t imagine how bleak my existence would be without Him. Without Him there would be no existence.
I’m so grateful for our Redeemer – who offered Himself a sacrifice for sin. The ends of the law have been answered, and we can have hope, light, peace, life, and joy.