A lot of people have this misconception that Jesus Christ suffered and died for all people all at once. That this suffering was so great that he bled from every pore” and so great was “his anguish” for everyone’s cumulative sins. (Mosiah 3:7) But to think Jesus suffered for ALL of us ALL at once- isn’t entirely accurate. This wasn’t a packaged deal. Nor could his sacrifice be limited to time as we know it.
There is so much more to Him. There is so much more to you and your relationship with Him.
Not just an Infinite Atonement, But An Intimate One
As Jesus was coming to the end of His earthy ministry, He and his apostles sung an hymn and then went out to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30). The mount of Olives had an olive orchard known as Gethsemane. The name means “oil-press.” A place where grapes were “crushed” and got out all the juices. A significant name for a place where The Savior would also be crushed from the weight of the world and bleed out sacred blood.
He had told eight of the apostles to stay near the entrance. “Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder”; and gave a clear instruction: “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”
Peter, James, and John continued with Him. As Christ continued further into the garden, he was overcome with a deep sorrow- even unto death. He told his companions to tarry with him and “watch with me.” As he went a little further He fell on his face. Then he prayed, saying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
There Christ suffered the pains, sins, afflictions, temptations of every kind. He took upon him all the pains and sicknesses of each of us. He suffered it all in full. But this wasn’t a suffering for all of us all at once. He suffered for YOU. Individually. Intimately. Personally.
“Thrust your hands in my side” He invites us “Feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know”
The invitation to come to Christ is a personal one. This is because He knows you personally. Nothing you currently face in the life, is something He hasn’t already faced before you – For YOU. He did this that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.
Graven thee upon the palms of my hands
His wounds are in fact Our wounds. They are your wounds. “Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands. THy walls are coninually before me.” (1 ephi 21:16)
Your challenges, weaknesses, pains, are forever before the Savior. He has graven you in the palms of His hands.
We can go forth “one by one until (we) see with (our) eyes, feel with our hands & know of a surety” for ourselves that it’s True. Christ did die for me. The Atonement of Jesus Christ isn’t just infinite, it’s inmitate. That suffering was one by one. A moment given to just you. How many drops of blood were spilled for you? You too can testify- This IS the Christ.
That I may Heal you
The Savior asks us to return unto him, repent of our sins, and be converted, that he may heal us. His arms of mercy are “extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him (or her) will I receive.” (3 Nephi 9:13–14)
When I was new college student, I remember feeling a alone and a little lost. I went out late one night and ran in the rain. I ran until I could run no more. Catching my breath, I stopped by a light pole and knelt down. I pleaded with the Lord for help and forgiveness of my sins.
Suddenly the light above me began to feel warmer and brighter. It enveloped me in a pillar of a peaceful feeling. I felt as if I was taken to a new place, a place full of hope, change, and joy. My worries were taken away and my guilt for sins was wiped clean. I felt elevated, pure, and joyful.
I was surprised to how both quickly and mercifully my prayer was being answered. How quick the Lord was to forgive me and raise me out of my despair. I thanked the Lord for being so kind to forgive me and grant such a wonderful experience.
Then, the face of a man who I harbored ill feelings towards came to my mind. I did not put his image there, it was if someone had forced his face into my mind. Then I heard the words calmly speak in my head “As I have forgiven you, how can you not forgive this man?”
My own sins were so quickly forgiven by the Lord who had truly suffered for them. This man’s wrongs towards me paled in comparison to what wrongs I had placed before the Savior. As the Savior literally suffered for ME. My hearts was softened and I finally felt full forgiveness and peace again with this man. I had come to the Lord, and I was healed.
“Ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:9–10).
Come unto Him, and Offer Your Whole Soul
I was newly married and trying to balance a full time job with a full time education. It was near the end of the semester and class projects were almost due. As I was leaving the campus late one night, I realized that I had misplaced my laptop. All my projects were saved there. I began frantically retracing steps from the day in search.
Finally, I knelt down in a small bathroom stall and offered up a prayer. To which came these words “It’s been a while since you have prayed with this much fervency.” A new matter began to fill my mind. I hadn’t been praying as sincerely and fervently as I should have been for the last few weeks. My prayers were almost routine like and lacked in revelatory experiences. The Lord was reprimanding me for not praying with more intent.
I repented of my sin and prayed more earnestly. Then an image came to my mind and I saw where the Laptop was. I went to that location and found it there. I returned back to that bathroom stall and offered another sincere prayer with a commitment that I would be better at praying always with more fervency.
I left the bathroom stall and made my way out to the car. As I walked in the cool night air, suddenly a wonderful feeling came over me. I felt a strong presence of someone by my side, then a loving arm around my shoulder.
“Daylen, what desirest thou?” He asked me
” I only desire to serve You.” I responded as tears pored down my eyes.
“This, ye shall do.”
Then that Heavenly embrace was gone, but the impact of it left me changed forever.
“come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him,” (Omni 1:26)
Give Jesus Christ your all. All of your heart, might, mind, and strength. He will make more of you than you could make of yourself. He will change you. He can heal you. Put all disobedience, justifications, hatred, contention, and pride on that alter of sacrifice. Offer up your entire soul to Him. So when He speaks, you’ll obey.
Jesus Christ didn’t just suffer for all of us collectively. He suffered for us Individually. He suffered for you. He didn’t just redeem all mankind, He redeemed you. His atonement isn’t just infinite, it’s intimate. It’s real. It’s personal.
He paid your personal price in full. You cannot repay Him. But you can use the gift He’s given you. You can repent- because He gives you that opportunity. You can change. You can come unto Him and give Him your whole life and soul. If you do, He’ll heal you. He’ll make you perfect- even as He is.