Pastor's Corner:
"Alive in Christ"

Posted: March 31, 2020

"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." — 1 Corinthians 15:22-23

Jesus left the realms above.
Jesus took our nature and our place.
Jesus lived and died to save our race.

We know that Jesus was born of a virgin and took upon Himself flesh (our nature). Alma explained to his son, Corianton, how Jesus also took our place by telling him that a law had been given and that a punishment had been affixed to that law. The law was against sin and according to Paul we have all sinned and come up short. Amulek says that we are hardened, fallen, and lost. And because we are guilty and "the wages of sin is death" we deserve to die a spiritual death or complete separation from God. This is the place that Jesus took and because He did, we are redeemed. Otherwise, we would unavoidably perish.

Jesus coming to the earth to atone for our sins is the great plan of our eternal God to reclaim us and make us His own. He must save us because we are wholly incapable of doing so ourselves. Our repentance, while necessary, was not by itself sufficient. The demands of our just and holy God are great. The price is too big. God is infinite. The sacrifice due must also be eternal and infinite. There are two ways this could be done. Either an infinite being must die once to pay for our sins, or finite beings (us) must pay for their sins infinitely in a place where they are separated from God and cannot return.

God so loved us that in order to redeem us, He sent His Son, who is infinite like His Father. He sent Him to die. To die in our place. To substitute Himself for us so that we do not have to suffer infinitely and eternally. To suffer once for our sins as an infinite and eternal sacrifice. The righteous for the unrighteous that he might bring us to God (1 Pet 3:18).

If we want to understand the full wrath of God toward sinful man and the price that had to be paid, we just need to look at the cross. If we want to understand the full measure of God’s love toward sinful man, we also need to look at the cross because there we see His justice and there, we also behold His love and mercy...perfectly amalgamated in Jesus’ suffering and death. He went there willingly. He suffered unimaginably...separated and abandoned by God. He did it out of love. He took our place. He did it on our behalf.

Jesus’ suffering and death opened the door of mercy. Because the penalty has been paid, our repentance is made effective, and when we express and exercise our faith in Him in the waters of baptism, God wraps us up in His arms, mercy, and grace. God claims us because His Son atoned for our sins. We are washed clean. Held guiltless. Justified. Saved. Redeemed.

And our soul wants to sing:
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul!

Gone is the old person who was sentenced to death. Because of Jesus’ blood, death has passed us over. We are born again--new creatures--alive in Christ. In our new person, His Spirit now can reside, taking up residence and working to make us into His image and countenance so that, just like parents today see themselves in their children, our Father in heaven might see Himself in us. His Spirit bears witness to us that we are His children (Romans 8:16). What joy!

Jesus died in our place.
Jesus rose from the dead and broke the bands of death and hell.
Jesus paid it all.

During this Easter season, may we give "Glory to God in full anthems of Joy!"