Is not the resurrection of Christ the most miraculous and well documented miracle in the history of the Earth? How are we saved through the atonement? Is it through Christ’s sufferings or is it through His resurrection?” Most Christians – including members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – look only to the cross and His sufferings to cover our sins as we accept Him as our Savior. We often hear the prayer phrase, “We are grateful for Thy atoning sacrifice” — leaving out the resurrection.
Without the Resurrection We Are Damned
Does it surprise you then to know that without the resurrection we are damned! We would be in Satan’s grasp forever. For the early Christians who lived at the time Jesus arose from the tomb, it was such a spectacular event that they could not stop talking about it. To see the glorified risen Lord after all his suffering and most horrendous death on the cross was a contrast that the early Christians shared with great enthusiasm.
The membership in the Church grew rapidly as people internalized the implications of Jesus arising from the dead and opening the door for all of us to do the same – along with the anticipated and promised blessings of eternal life. Before His resurrection eternal life was a belief and hope for the faithful. With His resurrection, it became a reality.
Unbelief and False Traditions
The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. That is why they are “sad you see!” Are we a bit like the Sadducees by not better remembering His resurrection, this most glorious and well documented miracle in history? The Lord hears our sincere prayers. Prayer is our path way to God. I listen carefully to prayers, and almost never do I hear mention people’s gratitude for the resurrection. Because of false traditions, you will notice that prayers traditionally do not mention the Resurrection.
Along with downplaying the resurrection there are several other false traditions that have crept into Christianity over the centuries. The early Catholics and Episcopal churches believed in the necessity of ordinances for salvation, thus they introduced the practice of infant baptism. Moroni corrected this misconception stating it is a “mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children” because they cannot be held responsible until they reach an age of accountability and can understand importance of the ordinance. (Moroni 8:8-23)
Martin Luther introduced “saved by grace alone,” and now the evangelical churches believe that is how we may be saved and that works are not necessary. The beautiful answer is we are saved by grace, works, and the ordinances which are provided on both sides of the veil, as was practiced by the primitive church and as was introduced in the restoration of the fullness of the gospel by the Prophet Joseph Smith.
God’s Perfect Plan
Being 2,000 years away from the event, we have lost the feeling of this most miraculous and significant event in history. His glorious resurrection capstones the infinite atonement, which overcame both spiritual and physical deaths. So, as we think of Christ’s atonement, we need to think not only of the most horrendous suffering any mortal ever endured, but we need to also think of the most glorious conquering of “death and hell” and the grave. We cannot say enough good about what Christ has done, is doing, and will do for us as He brings us back to the Father.
God’s perfect plan, as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, gives an equal opportunity for all of His children, both the living and the dead. There is no other church that teaches this glorious doctrine. The need for us to fully embrace the fullness of the infinite atonement, which includes his glorious resurrection, is paramount as we face this secular, materialistic world. Indeed, the infinite atonement includes the most horrendous suffering of any mortal, but it is also the most glorious conquering of death and hell, and the final resurrection and celestialization of this earth.
He is the “way and the truth and the life,” (John 14:6) and because of His supernal and glorious resurrection, He will “change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:21) Spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy.” (D&C 93:34) THANK YOU, LORD, for your most glorious resurrection. How inspired we are as we contemplate its incredible depth of meaning and the hope it gives us of eternal life because of thine infinite atonement cap-stoned by this most inspiring event in the history of the earth.
Thanks be to Him, all of us will be resurrected and stand before the bar of God, and like Ben Franklin declared, “if [God] loves me, can I doubt that he will go on to take care of me, not only here but hereafter.” And on his tombstone, “In a new and more elegant edition, Revised and corrected.”
All the honest in heart, who will study, pray, and ponder on the events thereto, will come to know of this reality. His glorious resurrection is the best documented miracle in history. “He is risen,” and with that He has perfected Father’s perfect plan of happiness for all of us to receive. Any praise and gratitude we offer will not be sufficient for the magnitude of what we have received from our infinitely loving God. Paul said, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14) The scriptures clearly document that it is His glorious resurrection that brings us back into the presence of God. Let us be like the early Christians in sharing this most important event in the history of the Earth and its eternal implications for our maximum joy and happiness here and hereafter.
David W Allan