Now, . . . what do men and women find when they discover the true Messiah? Finding the Messiah is the greatest of all discoveries. If we were to discuss the most important thing about Jesus the Messiah, what would it be? If we were to go home today to our families and say, “We have found the Messiah!” what would we say about Him? What is the most important thing about Him that we could tell another person? Would it be His height or weight, the color of His hair, the style of His clothes, the tone of His voice? Everything about Jesus Christ is important any any true detail or concept would be worth knowing, but what would be the single most important thing to find out about Him? I could answer that with my own opinion, but let us take a cue from what the scriptures say about Christ.

Jesus Christ Prince of Peace MormonI think it can be summarized in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” While that is the central concept, it takes a considerable amount of study to know what that one verse means. I’ll tell you what I have discovered about the Messiah that I have learned from the scriptures and the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. The greatest message about Jesus Christ is that He has conquered death–both spiritual and physical death. He is literally the light and the life of the world (Doctrine and Covenants 10:70).

We are given a plan discussion of the redeeming role of the Savior in the following scriptures:

From Paul: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

From Jacob, [prophet of ancient America]:

For it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.

For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfill the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.

Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement–save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.

O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself (2 Nephi 9:5-9). . . .

Do we understand that Jesus Christ made payment with His blood in order for mercy to satisfy justice? No other person, no human being, could redeem us; the redemption could be made only by a God, as explained by Amulek [prophet of ancient America]:

Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.

For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.

For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.

Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another.

Therefore there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sis of the world.

Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice.

And that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal (Alma 34:8-14).

What does this mean to us? It means that our association with the Messiah is not optional or casual. It is critical.

By the Fall of Adam all mankind has suffered two deaths–a spiritual alienation from God and a physical death. We have all suffered the first–the alienation. We will yet, with no exceptions, suffer the physical death. We are thus dominated by death because of the fall of Adam. It is absolutely necessary that we understand that Jesus, in order to be the Messiah, had to be divine, that He Had to be the literal, biological Son of God, and thus was not dominated by death and sin as is all the rest of humanity. Had He not been the Only Begotten, He could not have been able or worthy to pay the debt of the Fall of Adam and of our own individual sins. The infinite Atonement required the life and the death and the sacrifice of a God, not a man.

The plan of salvation is equally real. Adam was a living person in time and in space. The Fall is so real that, if we knew the details, we could place on a calendar the time when he fell. Also, if we knew the details, we could mark on a map the location where he ate the forbidden fruit.

In the very same manner, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is so vital and so necessary in time and in space, that if we had the facts, we could place on a calendar the date of His birth, the date of His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, the date of His death, and the date of His Resurrection. In like manner we could mark on a map the place of Christ’s birth, suffering, death, and Resurrection. These are events in time and geography. This is the Messiah I have found, and I believe this is the greatest message in the world. It s the message of John 3:16 in its expanded form.

When that morning comes that any of us stands in perfection of body and spirit, resurrected, cleansed, and with eternal life in the presence of God, we will then know with full meaning what we perceive only in part today when we say, “I have found the Messiah!”

Robert J. Matthews, Spery Symposium Classics, The New Testament, Deseret Book Company & Brigham Young University, 2006, p. 133-36.

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