In my scripture study this week I found the following principle: I can be free from physical and spiritual death because Jesus Christ chose to suffer and die for me. I found this principle in John 10:17-18, which states:
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Heavenly Father chose to send His Beloved Son to earth to complete the Atonement. As a parent, I can understand why this choice could have been very difficult for Him. No earthly parent that I know would deliberately send their child into a situation where they would be abused and killed. Yet, Heavenly Father chose to send His Beloved Son into that situation. Why did He do it? He made His choice because He loves all of His children and desires all of them to return to His presence.
Jesus Christ also made a big choice. He did not have to die! No one could kill Him because He had the power to live forever. He chose to give His life on the cross. Why did He do it? He completed the Atonement because He loves His Father and because He loves each of us. By completing the Atonement, He gave all of us the opportunity to choose eternal life with Heavenly Father or to choose everlasting death.
All mankind has power over physical death because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every person who came to earth will eventually be resurrected and have their physical body for all eternity. Because Christ atoned for the sins of all mankind, we can be exalted and live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ forever if we repent of our sins. This is known as overcoming spiritual death.
I have a difficult time understanding how either Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ could make the decisions that they did. I simply cannot comprehend it. However, I have a better understanding of the love that my Elder Brother has for me because I have an older mortal brother. When my father became older and unable to handle his own affairs, he delegated everything to my brother Lynn.
Upon Dad’s death, Lynn assumed the position of patriarch in our family and acted in Dad’s place in dispersing his worldly good and in all other ways. Lynn treats his siblings as he knows our father would, and his actions help me to comprehend a little better the great love that Jesus Christ has for me. Lynn continues to serve the family as much as he is physically capable of doing. He is now elderly and ill, but he continues to be a great example of a loving older brother. My love for Lynn and for Jesus Christ continues to grow because I know that they love me.