Monday, June 22, 2009

Jesus Christ - a Deeper Evaluation

I would first state that people's opinions of Deity is based on personal perception rather than a universal religious opinion. Therefore what I'm to present here is my personal opinion only, and not the opinion of all Latter-Day Saints.

Generally I find evaluations of Jesus Christ as being somewhat airy-fair, with the suggestion of him being some half man - half God type of thing. I therefore felt it necessary to mention some of the more ignored facts about what he actually was/is.

Jesus Christ is Jehovah of the Old Testament. He is the only begotten of the Father (Heavenly Father) in the flesh (meaning fallen flesh). He is the Lord God of Israel. He isn’t the Father himself, but he is the Father in the sense that he reflects the feelings, actions and thoughts of the Father (John 14:8-12). Therefore in the flesh he is the Son, but by the feelings of his heart, and subjecting his will to the Father, he becomes a reflection of the Father in actions. Thus he can be said to be the Father and the Son (Mosiah 15:2).

The Father is always greater than the Son (John 14:28). But by Jesus living the perfect life he lived and the things he has done, he has an equality of STATUS with the Father.

As with all living beings Jesus Christ is made of three parts (not to be confused with the false trinity concept) - intelligence, spirit body and physical body. He is an eternal intelligence; as all intelligences are eternal (including ours). He was eventually born as a spirit: The first born spirit child to our Heavenly Father (Col 1:15). Thus he received a spirit body at that time. We were all born after him. So he is our elder brother as spirit children of our Heavenly Father (Matt 6:9 - note "OUR father").

Jesus (from his personal growth point of view) came to earth to get a physical body. He had to go through the same process we all do, of learning and growing as a physical individual (Luke 2:52). He had to gain the experience of raising a family and learning to be a good husband and father (I'll go into this further down). He had to die and be resurrected to obtain exaltation. He learnt to make the right choices by watching the problems sin caused in others, rather than having to experience any himself (as we do because we aren’t as intelligent as he is. Abr 3:19). i.e. we often have to make mistakes to learn particular things, yet some things we learn by seeing the problems those things give to others. This requires us to also listen to the Holy Spirit often. Because He learnt everything by others mistakes and listening to the Spirit, rather than having to make any mistakes himself, He didn’t sin.

Jesus Christ’s special mission consisted of 2 essential parts. Firstly he atoned for the sins, of those who truly repent, in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. Secondly as he is the firstborn as a spirit, so he also was the firstborn from the dead (1 Cor 15:20 & 23). He made the resurrection of all occur by his death and resurrection.

Luke 1:35 presents, in regard the birth of Christ, that the Holy Ghost came upon Mary to assist her, and the Father came, and by the action performed Jesus was the son of God (which is virtually an instantaneous action, done strictly in great love). Science claims that a person whose sweat was as great drops of blood (as Jesus' blood was - Luke 22:44) would die long before reaching such a stage. Having a glorified resurrected father made it possible for Jesus to perform the atonement without his body dying in the process.

As a side mission he also set up his church at that time, by teaching the fulness of the gospel and giving authority.

Before we came here he had the special position of being in charge of the creation of the earth. Heavenly Father was the instigator. Jesus Christ was the foreman. And we (those able and interested in helping) were the learners. However it is Jesus Christ that is governing this area. He therefore can be considered our God in that sense. To get to the Father you MUST go through the Son. All communication with the Father is channelled through the Son. So he is our mediator in several ways.

As you would probably be aware, the name “Jesus” is the English version of a Greek word (as the NT was written in Greek). His real name was most likely “Yeshua”, as he was a Jew. Several titles are given to Jesus. Firstly we have “Messiah”, which is the OT equivalent of “Christ” as used in the NT, B of M, D&C and P of GP. That is referring to the fact that he was the chosen one that was anointed (as the word means) in the pre-existence for the special work that he performed.

He also has titles such as “Saviour” and “Redeemer” that relate to the fact that he saves those repentant from hell by his atonement, and that he redeems us all from physical death by his resurrection.

As Jesus Christ is the key within the whole plan Heavenly Father laid before us, we talk of “the gospel of Jesus Christ”. The good news includes the fact that we can have forgiveness of sins and resurrection (this body will be repaired and we will live forever in it) because of Jesus Christ.

When we pray, we pray to Heavenly Father through Christ, as he stated (John 16:23). We don’t pray to the Lord (Jesus Christ) through Jesus Christ. Therefore any thinking LDS, if quoting the Lord’s prayer, should conclude it with, “in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Having taken upon himself the sins of mankind in the garden and suffered to relieve us of the pain for our sins; his body being a mess after such a feat; and having completed his task, he went to fulfil the final act of dying an ignominious death. Thus, in a sense, he took our sins and nailed them to the cross. He died because he had saved us from our sins. Paul made great point of this particular part of the act, probably because it was the only part that people could understand the pain involved in. However his greatest pain, by far, was in the garden where he bled from every pore. He required an angel to help him (Luke 22:43), and did it in stages, not all at once (Matt 26:38-44). The shear agony of that act is far beyond our comprehension. He not only suffered for EVERY sin individually, that every person on earth who truly repents has done, but (it is suggested) also for all repentant on many other planets.

His premature death also served to quicken the time for resurrection of those awaiting it that rose at that time (Matt 27:52-53). Thus Christ was eager to die then for that purpose also.

Jesus Christ, as the High Priest and a leader (Heb 5:10, Heb 6:20), definitely was married or he would have been rejected (the law of Moses makes NO exceptions) (Lev 21:10+13). Also he needed a wife for eternal marriage, as is required to be a God.

Immediately after death, while still a spirit, Jesus Christ organised the teaching of the gospel to the dead (1 Pet 3:18-20). He spent 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth (Matt 12:40). It would seem that he was crucified on Wednesday and placed in the tomb. He spent Wed night, Thur night and Fri night in the tomb. Making the 3 days Thur, Fri and Saturday. He rose during Saturday night (remembering that their day went from morning to morning, not the middle of the night to the middle of the night, as ours does. When the women came early in the morning of the Sunday he was already resurrected. There is confusion about the reference of him being needed to be put in the tomb quickly for the coming sabbath. However this wasn’t the weekly sabbath as has been supposed, but one of the other sabbaths of the law of Moses observed at that time of year.

After resurrection he went to the Americas and taught the gospel there. He also went to many other places.

He directs the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the degree members are prepared to hear. He has given it his full authority to perform those functions required.

He will return again for what is termed his “second coming”. He will also have what could be termed a “third coming” at the end when everything will be finalised. He and Adam will present the whole thing, completed, back to Heavenly Father at the end.