A few weeks ago I was asked to teach a Sunday School lesson on the Atonement. I said that I would but felt very nervous teaching something that I didn't quite understand myself. I knew that Jesus had taken upon our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and then died on the cross only to be resurrected allowing us to live with him again for eternity. But why? Why did it have to be that way? Why not come down and share the Gospel and teach that through repentance we could be clean again--why did this sacrifice have to be made? Why did He have to suffer so greatly, bleed at every pore, feel alone in this torment and be denied by a dear friend? I've never understood that.
Have you ever felt God was teaching and shaping you to reach your full potential? Through trials, discomfort, joy etc. you were being lovingly molded? As I studied this lesson I felt that. I needed to understand the Atonement. In order to create a personal relationship with my Savior I needed to know why He suffered for me---for everyone.
I learned about the Law of Mercy and the Law of Justice. Both are eternal laws that must be fulfilled, but without a mediator, they fight against each other. When Justice is satisfied there is no room for Mercy, and when Mercy is satisfied there is no room for Justice. Because Christ was without sin, he was able to act as the Mediator for each of us. Without Him we wouldn't be able to live with Him again. Justice was at work. Each of us sin and no unclean thing can dwell with God. But because Christ took upon Himself each of our sins he is able to show us Mercy because he owns our debt. As we come to Christ in our sin and sincerely ask for forgiveness with renewed fervor to try harder, we are able to be clean again. (mercy at hand)
I'm so grateful that because I was asked to teach a lesson that I felt unqualified to teach, I was able to understand the Atonement more fully, which has also allowed me to feel Christs love more deeply. God will give us knowledge as we diligently seek it. What a blessing that is!