Saturday, April 12, 2014

VT Message April 2014: The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ Savior and Redeemer

One of the things I have hung onto is visiting teaching.

It doesn't always work. But right now I love my companion who has been my friend for the past 15 years, and I love the women I visit teach.

And this year, the messages have been on the Savior.

This month is about the Redeemer.

We don't talk much about grace at church. We talk a lot about obedience and the lists of things we're supposed to do. But this month, it's all about the grace.

And it isn't just about sin. I've heard people say "what did I do so bad that someone had to die for me", or "why can't God just forgive our sins without having someone pay the price."

I don't know the answers to these questions. They are valid questions. It's one of the things I've put back on the shelf and said "there are some things I just don't know."

So I accept that there needs to be a balance for things. That Heavenly Father has laws that He must abide and one of them is that no unclean thing can enter heaven and for some reason there has to be a complete innocent to pay the price and make us all clean.

That premise is the basis of the atonement. It's why many people reject Christ as the Redeemer. They don't see the need for a Redeemer. So to them Christ was this really cool guy who had a lot of wild things to say.

I accept the premise. I have no reason to accept it. I just do. Maybe I don't want to go down that rabbit hole.

So the premise is that God has laws He has to follow and to balance out the law He had to send down a Redeemer.

Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President (quote from woman Yeah!) said "Heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten and perfect Son to suffer for our sins, our heartaches, and all that seems unfair in our own individual lives."

So not only did Jesus suffer for our sins, He suffered for our heartaches as well! Those things that happen to us even though it is not our fault and we have no sin tied to it, He suffered for those things as well. Not that we need to be forgiven for them, but because we are scarred by them. We bear the marks of them and His sacrifice will make those marks go away.

"One woman who had been through years of trial and sorrows wsaid through her tears, "i have come to realize that I am like an old 20-dollar bill - crumpled, torn, dirty, abused, and scarred. But...I am still worth the full 20 dollars."

Not one of us is a fresh new crisp 20-dollar bill unless you are a new-born baby and even those come with problems. We are all abused, scarred and crumpled.  But we are all our full worth (which by the way is way more than 20 dollars.)

The message also includes the story of the woman at the well which can be found in John 4. Jesus stops to speak to the woman who is getting water for her household and tells her "whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." 

This woman was not ignorant. She says "I know that the Messias cometh, which is called Christ when he is come, he will tell us all things."

Jesus revealed Himself to her - okay can you imagine. She knows a savior is coming and then she meets a man who basically says "Hi, I'm superman" only way better than superman.

I would assume she would have a spiritual experience (he knew who she was) to know that what He said is true and not just some guy who goes around and says this. We are told  "The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"

We do not know how long she spent with Christ. If it had been me, I would have talked with Him for as long as He would allow. But the interesting thing, is that out of all the things she had to do that day, getting water would have been the most important. More important than sweeping the floor or doing dishes or making dinner. And yet she didn't say "I just need to finish this and this and this, and then I'll tell people about Christ." Nope, she left her chores undone, even the water chore and ran and told people of her experience.

How many times do we put aside the things that Christ wants us to do until we get our lists of chores done?

In the end, it doesn't matter what we have do, Christ is the one who has created the bridge that we need to get home. We just need to find it and cross it.

Christ is our Redeemer. One of my favorite songs is a Point of Grace song.

"The Great Divide" 
 Svensson, Peter Anders / Sveningsson, Magnus.

Trying to fathom the distance
Looking out 'cross the canyon carved
By my hands
God is gracious
Sin would still separate us
Were it not for the bridge
His grace has made us
His love will carry me
There's a cross to bridge the great divide
A way was made to reach the other side
The mercy of the Father cost His son his life
His love is deep, His love is wide
There's a cross to bridge the great divide
God is faithful
On my own I'm unable
He found me hopeless alone
And sent a savior
He's provided a path
And promised to guide us
Safely past all the sin that would divide us
His love delivers me
There's a bridge to cross the great divide
A way was made to reach the other side
The mercy of the Father cost His son His life
His love is deep, His love is wide
There's a cross to bridge the great divide

Here's the link to the message.

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