God’s incredible plan for us is known as the Plan of Salvation. This plan entails our entire existence – our lives before we came to earth, our mortal life here, and our eternal life after death.
One of the most amazing parts of this plan has to do with life after death. We know that experiencing physical death doesn’t mean that our lives are over forever. This means that through Heavenly Father’s plan, we are able to see our loved ones again in the next life. Here on earth, we are sealed in temples to our families, enabling us to be with them forever – even after we die. This is such comforting knowledge and beautiful doctrine.
Reading in the New Testament, we gain new perspective not only on the physical aspects of resurrection, but on spiritual aspects of the Atonement.
Reading in John 11, we learn of Lazarus, who had been dead and “in the grave” (verse 17) for four days. His sisters, Martha and Mary, are mourning when Jesus arrives.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
It’s so easy to take this story at face value – Jesus performed a miracle and raised the dead. Just that alone is an incredible story of faith. But this account is more applicable to us today than we might think. How blessed will we be if we examine the deeper meaning and apply it in our own lives?
Christ was not a shallow person, nor do I think he used His words lightly. His parables are a wonderful example of abundant symbolic content. These verses are no different.
I am the resurrection and the life.
Through the Plan of Salvation, we are given life after death, an opportunity to experience resurrection and eternal life with our Father in Heaven. Through the Atonement, we are given spiritual life, an opportunity to repent of our sins and experience new life here on Earth.
The Bible Dictionary defines repentance as, “a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world.” I’ve always found this to be the most beautiful, compelling, and revelatory perspective on repentance. Sin spiritually deadens us. Through Heavenly Father’s plan and Christ’s sacrifice, we can repent and find spiritual life.
Applying the power of the Atonement in our lives is not an easy thing to do. Note that in verse 26, Christ says whoever “liveth and believeth”. It does no good to simply believe in Christ if we don’t act on His words and take advantage of His sacrifice – His sacrifice for us.
Do not take the Atonement for granted. God gave His Only Begotten Son for all of His children. What a blessing it is that we can repent of our sins and grow in the gospel. Through the healing power of the Atonement, we can be given spiritual life, just as Lazarus was given physical life.
I am grateful for the Atonement and the blessings it gives me – blessings I am undeserving of. If you would like to learn more about some of the topics addressed here, links are provided below.