The other day I was attending a concert where I found myself completely overcome by emotion. The singer sang lyrics expressing gratitude for a Father in Heaven who was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for us by allowing His Son to atone for our sins. As he did so, I sat in my bewilderment and realized, “I could not have done what He did.”
I reflected on my life and how it is all a gift from Him. I remembered the beautiful people I am surrounded by–thinking of my wife, my family, my friends, and the extraordinary relationships I have been blessed with. I thought of nature and the planning our Creator must have gone through to give us the splendor and astonishment we enjoy every time we witness our views and vistas. I sat amazed where science has taken us and will yet take us in the future. And I felt gratitude for the commitment of others who have given so much for us to enjoy the peace and safety we take pleasure in.
I then realized as a father I have participated in feelings of total commitment to my children’s success and safety. I have been in circumstances where I know I would give of my life to save theirs. There have been times my emotion has overcome logic in protecting them from what I thought was a threat. I decided there are few things, if anything, in this world as important to me as my children. In fact, I felt nearly my entire existence in life is dedicated to ensuring their betterment.
I reflected on times in my life where I have stood at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, knelt at the hollowed grounds at Martin’s Cove, gazed into the pit left from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and witnessed the destruction from hurricane Katrina–each time thinking of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives for others. There are not words I can express to suggest how difficult it must be to give of one’s life for a cause, a country, a belief, or another.
I thought of the trial Abraham went through after being asked to sacrifice his son, yet he was willing. I realized the dedication of the parents who have children serving each of us as policemen, firefighters, rescue personnel, or military personnel, to name a few.
I was overwhelmed as I tried to imagine what it must have been like for our Father in Heaven to follow through with His commitment to us by allowing His Son to atone for our sins. Our Father in Heaven is perfect and omnipotent; thus being capable to stop the pain suffered by his Son on the cross, yet He allowed it knowing it was necessary. As Jesus suffered for us that dreadful day nailed to the cross, His Father, perhaps, needed to remove Himself for a short time as not to be overcome and interfere with the atonement. He (our Father in Heaven) did this for us, His children. God, our Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, gave us that day more than anyone ever has or can ever do.
I am a father, I love mankind, I want a better world, I serve others; yet I realized as a father I could not do as our Father in Heaven has done. From the bottom of my heart and with every fiber of my being, I privately and publicly thank my Creator for doing for me what I, as an imperfect being, do not feel I could do for Him.
Your insight is amazing. Not everyone understands that Jesus suffered in ways far deeper than our understanding, far greater than our very limited capacity, and was required to pay so great a price that no other creation of the Father could pay, yet the sacrifice was the Father’s. This, as I know you understand, of course does not diminish Jesus in any way. He performed the ordinances that were required of Him. He gave everything that we may join with Him and the Father as was planned from the beginning.
How blessed we are that such sacrifice is not required of us. Not that brave men and women do not lay down their lives for others. They do.
But we are not required, as the Father required of himself, to know from the beginning what He must allow His child to suffer to perfect a perfect plan. Even Abraham, who fortold through his example, was ultimately spared from the sacrifice the Father would actually make. And Isaac was spared as well, to teach us the way, but to also teach us that there was only One qualified to sacrifice, and One worthy to perform the ordinance.
You mention your spirit is touched by the view and the vistas of His creation. My spirit thrills every time I see wildlife in their natural habitat. And when I do, I am reminded that God is God, and His Son is the redeemer of all of God’s creations.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts that recalled these thoughts to me.