Jesus Christ Paid the Debt
After the fall of Adam . . . there was no way nor means by which man could be raised from the grave except through the death of the Divine One. A great and eternal law had been violated, and it required the death of a God, really, to atone for the broken law and to bring to pass the salvation of man and the salvation of the world.. . . .
I like to look upon it from a practical point of view, or in a way that we may clearly understand it. . . . If you had lost the home where you were born, the old family homestead that was very dear to you, because in a foolish moment you overreached yourself and in excessive confidence you placed a mortgage on that home, with the thought that you could easily redeem it, would you not feel very much distressed and sad when finally it was discovered that you could not redeem it and the mortgage was to be foreclosed so that it was to pass out of your hands?
Supposing in such a moment a friend of yours could settle with the holder of that mortgage, and he would say to the holder of the mortgage, “You do not want this property.”
He would say, “No, I want my money.”
“Very well, I can give you the money. I will pay you. You surrender the mortgage to me.”
And when that friend had paid the price and had secured the title to the homestead, would he not be a wonderful friend if he should return and say to you, “Now I know this was your home, and I know you love it. I know you are very sorry to lose it. I have redeemed it. It is mine, but I propose to give it back to you on certain conditions. They are easy. It is possible for you to fulfill them. I will not only give it back to you as it was, but i will glorify it also. I will make it more splendid and more wonderful than ever, and I will give it to you forever and ever.”
Would he not be a wonderful friend? That is the kind of friend the world has in Jesus Christ. The mortgage of death was foreclosed, and death claimed its own. The grave received the body, and there it would stay forever and forever, were it not that Jesus Christ has interceded. he has settled with the holder of the mortgage. The price he paid was his life; in some way not yet perhaps fully comprehended and understood by us, he attained in that sacrifice a value of worth recognized, bartered for and exchanged and given to the holder of the mortgage, and satisfied the claims upon these earth bodies.
Jesus Christ has purchased us; he has redeemed us; he has bought us; and we belong to him. And now Christ proposed to give back these bodies glorified. To those who keep the full law he promises to give a celestial body, full of celestial power and glory and splendor; and to those who keep the terrestrial law, a body not so glorious, but still glorious and splendid; and telestial bodies to those who keep the telestial law; thus he extends to each this privilege. This is what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for man.
Melvin J. Ballard, Paying the Debt, The Gift of the Atonement, 2002, Deseret Book, p. 4-5.
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