So many of you might have seen this video on your newsfeed, but here it is once again. Sometimes when I see something that almost everyone on my Facebook has posted, I choose to not watch it, but I wanted to share this one because of it’s meaning.
And when I think about Easter, I think of the first time that Easter really made sense to me. Where the meaning of Christ’s atonement and Resurrection became real.
At this time two years ago, I was a mess. I was getting ready to graduate high school, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and I was struggling with my testimony in the church. I had always struggled with my testimony growing up. I remember as early as fourth grade talking to friends about Mormonism and how I struggled with some of the things that were believed in the Church. And as I was preparing to leave to a Mormon school after graduation, I didn’t want to go with my testimony where it was. I had no idea what to do or where to go.
Currently at the time I was attending a local church. A bunch of friends from the dance studio attended there and they had invited me. I remember when they first invited me (in October of 2011), I did not want to go. I was dared to go…. And of course, I couldn’t back down. It was an incredible service that night. It was so powerful and exactly what I needed to hear. I started attending their youth services regularly with friends. I quickly became involved at that church; dancing in services, competing in Fine Arts, and becoming really close to the youth and adult pastor’s there.
Ok, sorry, that was a lot of back story, but it leads up to where I am going…
I remember I went to the Easter service that year and how powerful it was. Have any of you ever seen the Passion of the Christ? If you haven’t, you should. But only if you’re able and prepared to be emotionally wrecked. I don’t remember exactly what was said in that Easter sermon, but I do remember that they showed about an 8 minute clip of that movie. And it hit me so hard exactly what Christ had suffered for me. It still gets me (shoot, I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes at work as I write this).
I feel like the crucifixion of Christ is treated so lightly. And that the paintings that we have of the crucifixion are so…. Unrealistic. We talk of the immense torture that Christ endured in such a light manner and the pictures don’t portray half of the immense pain that Christ must have felt. So that’s why the crucifixion probably didn’t really resonate with me. The atonement, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ was what I believed in the most too. And it didn’t even have that deep of a connection with me.
But sitting there in that auditorium watching what I think was probably the closest thing to the gruesome and terrible torture that Christ endured, it hit me. And it hit me good. I know that Easter is not about celebrating the crucifixion of Christ, but rather the resurrection of Him. But I think that in this time, we need to remember what Christ endured before He was resurrected. He was taken out of God’s presence. He was betrayed by his best friends. He was beaten, whipped, and broken. He was mocked and spit upon. He was utterly alone.
And He rose from that. No amount of physical torture or death could stop Him. He defied all odds. And he defeated the grave. The cross had nothing on Him.
I love Easter because I love the atonement and I love the resurrection. While I now have a testimony of the truth and divinity of the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I still have the strongest testimony in the atonement and in the resurrection of Christ.
Because of Him, I am never alone. Because of Him, I am able to repent and start over. Because of Him, I can be with my family forever. Because of Him, I am saved. Because of Him, I will always have someone who understands me.
I know that Christ lived. And he continues to live today. Through all of us. I know that He lived a perfect life and set a perfect example of me. I know that I fail at being like Him, but because of His atonement, I am able to try and start over each day. I know that He knows exactly what you’re feeling. Whether you feel alone, happy, torn, broken, or numb; He knows. I know that He suffered for all of our sins. And I know that He felt what we feel today. I know that He knows me personally; that He knows me by name and that He knows what I go through each day. I know that He died for me. And for you. And I know that He was resurrected. I know that He defeated the grave. I know that nothing can conquer Him. And that if we believe in Him, we will be victorious. I know that Christ was and is perfect. I know that one day, I will be reunited with family that has gone before me because of His resurrection. I know that Christ lives, and He loves us. That I am a daughter of the almighty King and that He loves me. I know this.
He lived and He died for you too. I encourage anyone and everyone reading this to find Christ. Because this knowledge that I have, it is meant to be shared. And Christ’s love for you is there. And He is waiting for you to turn to him, even if it just be a glance in His direction. I know all of this and I testify it in the name of our loving brother, Jesus Christ. Amen.