Why did I come into this world
That's what I came into the world for
When Jesus was brought before Pilate after a dark, hateful night of abuse and abuse, the haughty Roman governor quickly realized that this was no ordinary mortal. Jesus showed nothing at all of the grouchy submissiveness or feigned valor that customarily marked those who pleaded for their lives before the might of the Roman Empire. He stood quietly in front of the proud Roman, upright, majestic, his demeanor was mild but regal. "So you are a king after all?" asked Pilate (John 18:37).
Jesus, King of kings, whose father had sent "more than twelve legions of angels" at his request (Matthew 26:53), whose glory and majesty exceeded anything Pilate - or any mortal person - even imagined can, replied simply: "You say it, I am a king. I was born for this and came into the world for this, that I testify to the truth." (John 18:37.) Pilate, a weak and indecisive man, devoid of all honesty and not exactly a man of principles, replied cynically: "What is truth?" (John 18:38.) Then, although Pilate found no reason to condemn Jesus, knowing for a fact that he was not a political troublemaker and posed no threat to Roman authority, Pilate gave in to the bloodthirsty crowd and delivered Christ to those who who wanted to crucify him.
"That's what I came into the world for". What was the reason? Why did Jesus, God, Lord, Almighty, who sits at the right hand of the Father, Creator of worlds without number, lawgiver and judge, condescend to come to earth to be born in a stable, for the most part to spend his earthly life completely unknown, to laboriously wander the dusty streets of Judea and proclaim a message that was fiercely opposed by many, and finally, betrayed by one of his closest confidants, to die on Golgotha's gloomy hill between two criminals? Nephi, who praised Jesus, "glorious is my Jesus, for he has redeemed my soul from hell" (2 Nephi 33: 6), understood his motive: "He does nothing that is not for the benefit of the world; for he loves the world so that he even puts down his own life so that he may draw all people to him ”(2 Nephi 26:24). Love for all of God's children led Jesus, who was the only sinless and perfect, to offer himself up as a sacrifice for the sins of others. As the song says: "On Golgotha Jesus gave his life so that we could be redeemed through him." (Hymns, # 176) So that was the real reason Jesus came to earth to suffer, bleed, and die for people. He came as a Lamb "without blemish or blemish" (1 Peter 1:19) to atone for our sins, that after being lifted up on the cross, He might draw all people to Him (see 3 Nephi 27:14) . As Paul said so well: "As in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22).
The symbol of his victory over death is the empty grave. He, whom God "raised" on the third day (Acts 10:40), "loosened the bonds of this temporal death ... so that all ... may be raised" (Alma 11:42; emphasis added) and won "the victory over." the tomb "(Mormon 7: 5). In him "the sting of death ... is swallowed up" (Mosiah 16: 8).
But Jesus came not only to bring immortality to Heavenly Father's children, but also eternal life. Although the Atonement of Christ makes the resurrection possible for everyone regardless of their merit, the gift of eternal life - life with the Father and Son in their perfect presence - is reserved only for the faithful, those who love Christ show by willingness to obey His commandments and make and keep sacred covenants. "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them", Jesus reminds us, "it is he who loves me" (John 14:21). As the prophets of all ages have proclaimed, only by entering into and keeping sacred covenants - these sacred celestial agreements between God and man - can we "partake of the divine nature" and "partake of the pernicious desires that are in." the world rules "flee (2 Peter 1: 4).
Jesus came primarily as the atoning Redeemer who died so that all might find "peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come" (D&C 59:23). But there was another reason he came - to serve as an example of man's entire divine potential, as the yardstick by which everyone must measure their lives. He, who revealed his divinity to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well (see John 4), calls us to become "as I am" (3 Nephi 27:27), to become perfect "as I or your Heavenly Father is perfect "(3 Nephi 12:48). He is the embodiment of love; each of his deeds is out of love. Because of his deep love, he calls us to care for the sick, the poor and the afflicted and to pray and show compassion for all the children of God because "God does not look at the person" (see Acts 10:34) . With him there are no barriers of race, gender, or language: As Nephi taught, “he does not turn away anyone who comes to him - black or white, bonded or free, male or female; and he remembers the Gentiles ; and all are equal before God "(2 Nephi 26:33).
To those of us who wonder who our neighbors are, he spoke of the good Samaritan, the shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to look for the one who has lost his way, and the man who “one held a great feast "to which" the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame "were invited (see Luke 14: 1624).
Jesus, the greatest teacher, repeatedly taught eternal truths drawn from everyday events in life. One such lesson was about the need to be generous in what we give, out of sacrifice and with the sincere intention to give so that those worse off than us may be blessed. Luke reports that Jesus sat in the temple and watched those who threw their donations into the offering box there. Some put their offerings in reverently and with sincere intent, but others, though giving large sums of silver and gold, did it boastfully and to be seen by the people.
In the long line of those who put their gift in there was a poor widow who threw everything she had into the offering box, namely two small bronze coins. Together they were worth less than half a cent in American currency. Jesus saw the difference between what she gave and the much larger donations of others and declared, "Truly, ... this poor widow threw in more than anyone else". The rich had sacrificed some of their abundance, "but this woman, who barely has the bare necessities of life, has given up all of her livelihood" (Luke 21:14). It doesn't matter what amount we give. In the arithmetic of heaven, value is not measured by quantity, but by quality. Intent and goodwill is what God welcomes (see 2 Corinthians 8:12).
Jesus especially loved children. He made them come together in both the Old and New Worlds (see Luke 18:16; 3 Nephi 17: 2124). The Nephite account testifies to Jesus' kind love for the little ones: “He took their little children one by one and blessed them and prayed to the Father for them.
And when he did this, he wept "(3 Nephi 17: 21–22.) Jesus knew that young children are clean and free from sin." If you do not repent and become like children, "he said," you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven "(Matthew 18: 3). King Benjamin, the great Nephite prophet, explained what it means to become like a little child:" Docile, meek, humble, patient, full of love, and willing to submit to all that the Lord deems right to impose upon him "(Mosiah 3:19).
In this world, in which we are confronted every day with vivid evidence of the inhumanity of man towards his fellow men, Jesus spoke of the need to give the hungry to eat, to give the thirsty to drink, to give shelter to the stranger To dress the naked and to visit the sick and prisoners.
As one of the hardest tests for a Christian, he called on all of us: "Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you; pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6: 27–28.) He reminds us that if we do works of charity for others, even for those who are considered by some to be "the least," then we have done it for him (see Matthew 25: 3545). He spoke not only of our duty to help one another in terms of time, but also of the powerful, eternal spiritual aspects of that help. Indeed, all of His commandments are fundamentally spiritual, not just temporal. Hence, the scriptures advise us, “In order that [we] may receive forgiveness for [our] sins from day to day, so that [we] may walk before God without guilt,” we should “share our possessions with the poor ], each according to what he has "(Mosiah 4:26).
In essence, then, we show our devotion to Christ and best prove ourselves to be His disciples by the way we live and serve Him. The symbol of the place Jesus has in our hearts must be a life that is fully filled with serving, loving and caring for him, fully committed to Christ and his cause, to experience a spiritual rebirth that "works a mighty change" in our hearts and prepares us to "incorporate his image in [our] facial expressions" (Alma 5: 13–14).Taking his name upon us means that we are willing to do whatever he may ask of us. Someone once said that the price of a Christian life is still the same today, simply giving all we have, holding nothing back, and putting aside all of our sins to know (see Alma 22:18). If we do not meet these requirements because of our indolence, indifference or wickedness, if we are evil or mean, selfish, carnal or superficial, then we crucify him again, at least in a sense. And when we continually strive to do our best, when we care for and serve others, when we overcome selfishness with love, when we put the well-being of others above our own, when we carry one another's burdens and "with the grieving ... mourn "when we" comfort those in need of consolation, and ... always and in everything, where [we] may be, ... [appear] as witnesses of God (Mosiah 18: 8,9), then We honor him, receive his power, and become more and more like him, becoming "brighter and brighter" if we persevere "until the perfect day" (D&C 50:24).
No voice can proclaim the fullness of the indescribable example that Christ has given us. As the favorite disciple John said: "But there are many other things that Jesus did. If you wanted to write everything down, I believe that the whole world would not be able to grasp the books that you should write." (John 21:25.)
I stop where I began, namely with the sublime words that Christ addressed to Pilate: "This is why I came into the world." How grateful we must all be that He came two millennia ago to atone for our sins and to set an example for our lives. We bravely proclaim this greatest of all truths to all the world. I testify to you that he will soon return as King of kings and Lord of lords with healing in his wings to set his people free (Hymns, no.59) In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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