Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hump Day Hmm April 2, 2008-- Atonement

The word atonement carries many different meanings. To some people, atonement means to try to fix things they did wrong. To other people, the word means means that someone else did something wrong to me, and he/she should pay for his or her mistakes. To me, every time, I hear or read this word, I think of Christ. His atonement was truly infinite. And for that I am truly grateful.

Isaiah wrote a beautiful passage on what Christ's atonement was, (Isaiah 53:3-5) He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes, we are healed.

"He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." There is a lot of pain and sadness in our worlds caused by other circumstances or people. Also, "He was bruised for our iniquities," we sin and cause other people pain. Christ already suffered for all of this pain. He loved us enough that even when we hurt him and reject him, he chose to bleed, suffer, and die for us to keep us from all sorts of pain and suffering. He also chose to atone for our sins and mistakes, so we can go to live with God again.

Every person has the opportunity to choose to accept or reject this wonderful love of Christ. When we accept it, though, we are choosing to try to live like him. When Christ was choosing his apostles, he told them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." In following Christ, we choose to forgive others. God commanded us to "forgive all men." (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10.) I'm not to judge whether or not someone else is sorry for their sins. Luckily, that's God's territory. However, I'm supposed to forgive every person for any sin or pain they have caused me.

The problem is that this is easier said than done. I'm supposed to forgive them, but do I have to set myself up to get hurt by them again? No. I don't have to put myself in danger to forgive someone. However, I do have to work to forgive that person and avidly work to keep away negative feelings, anger, and hate from that person.

Julie Pippert has a wonderful post on this same topic at her blog. Feel free to come over there and join us for this week's Hump Day Hmm.


Robert said...

Excellent post. But then, you and I have very similar feelings about atonement. I look forward to other responses to the post.

Julie Pippert said...

I think your last paragraph hits it.

Intriguingly...your post makes me ponder two points:

(a) Judah
(b) Christ's cry to forgive them for they know not what they do

b really makes me sit and think: what is knowledge, what is lack of knowing, what is intent...and how are we to tell, and what weight does it carry for this discussion and its central concept?


le35 said...


I think that your a and b are very interesting as well. After pondering on them for a bit, here are my thoughts on the matter, but I would like to reason together and see what I really think about both of these.

a) I think that you mean Judas, not Judah, but if I'm wrong, correct me.) Christ asked his apostles to follow him, and Judas did for awhile until he betrayed Christ. Christ gives each of us the same invitation, each of us can choose to follow him. We will all betray him at some point, but most of us won't murder someone. However, in the end if our sins added to those he suffered and died for, in some small way, don't each of us have a hand in Christ's death? If Christ can forgive me for my part in that, why couldn't he forgive Judas? I think that this starts to touch on b.

b) Father, forgive them for they know not what they do-- after factoring in a, and that we all may have a small part in causing Christ suffering in the atonement, I think that his statement truly shows the love behind the atonement. It teaches me that in loving, I learn how to forgive. I think that it may have something to do with the "Pray for those that despitefully use and persecute you." Christ forgives us because he loves us. As we learn to love, even people who are full of hatred, we learn to forgive and become Christlike.

Robert said...

I think that last part, forgiving those who have caused us pain, was a big part of the talk we heard yesterday (Saturday). One example given was a daughter who brought in her father to let him receive counsel because she had already overcome his sexual abuse in her childhood but he had not. What a powerful story of the abused seeking to help the abuser.

michael said...

The verses that you quoted from Isaiah are some of my favorite verses in scripture. While Isaiah seems very confusing much of the time, some of the chapters and verses about the Savior are wonderful. Thank you for the post.