25 August 2022

"...be lifted up..."

I continue to slowly move along the Savior's great spiral, adding more and more information and focus on his gospel from a seemingly innocuous question. 

3 Nephi 27

13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.

14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

Christ came into the world to be the Messiah, which was the mission that God the Father assigned to him. Jesus was completely focused on his role in the great plan, the largest part was to take upon himself our sins (if we will repent, which comes up soon enough in this spiral lecture), suffer and die for them, and become our ultimate judge. The actions of our Savior give us the opportunity to grow from mistakes and sins, learn to choose the better course and to "be good" rather than evil. As Jesus says "I will draw all men unto me" which is to "be lifted up" toward the Savior by God the Father, just as Christ was lifted up on a cross.   We all have that opportunity and there is a reminder that Jesus will be our judge in the end - did we take advantage of the chance he gave us to improve, or did we not?

He reminds us yet again (and again) that ultimate judgement is based on our "works", perhaps a nod to the fact that many will interpret that the things we do are not important to the Messiah, which is incorrect.

I am trying to remember how grateful I should be for the huge gift Christ provided for all of us - judgement and punishment are largely moved into the future so that we can make corrections in our lives now. Jesus does not absolve us of our unrepented sins, but he will forgive us of the wrongs we have done if we change to become more like him.  That is the gospel or "good news" of Christ.