I posted the link to the Hallelujah video yesterday on Facebook. Thinking about it, there is more to say than just "We often talk about the true meaning of Christmas, but do we ever talk about the true meaning of Easter?". I will try and tackle here a little bit more.
All month we are having lessons on the Atonement. What is it, what did it do, how does it apply to us? All pertinent questions and all related to Easter.
So what is the Atonement? Simply stated, it is the victory of Jesus Christ over death and sin. By His voluntary sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross and then His Resurrection on the third day, Christ did for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
The consequences of Adam and Eve's decision in the Garden of Eden brought physical death and sin into the world. Imperfect mortal children of God would not have the power to overcome these two consequences. Hence a sacrifice would have to be made on their behalf in order for God's children to have the opportunity to return and live with him again.
Jesus Christ was the only person born on this earth capable of making such a sacrifice. His Father is God, an immortal being. His mother, Mary, a mortal woman born of imperfect children. This combination made Jesus unique from everyone else ever to be born on this earth. He had the power of his immortal Father and the abilities of His mortal mother. He could die, but he could also take his life up again. That allowed him to overcome physical death and freely give that gift to all of God's children.
Having the abilities of both His Father and His mother also allowed him to experience everything that a mortal could; trials, temptations, infirmities, weaknesses. The abilities inherited from His Father allowed him to take on those things and make requisite payment to justice when the laws of God were broken. As Mediator, it meant that He has the power of forgiveness for those actions that violate the Law. It also means that the gift of forgiveness is not free. We have a part to do in getting our sins forgiven. If we do not do our part, then we cannot have the gift of exaltation, meaning living in the presence of God forever. The process whereby we can receive forgiveness is repentance.
This then is the true meaning of Easter. The overcoming of death and sin to allow the children of God the opportunity to live in the presence of God forever and ever after this mortal time is done. Jesus Christ is the only begotten of the Father. He was the only perfect being to live on this earth. Only He could perform the necessary sacrifice to overcome death and sin. He is the Merciful Mediator and only waits for us to come to Him so that we can be clean of our impurities. His is the only name under Heaven whereby man may be saved.
So this Easter, I ask that you take a moment to remember this great sacrifice. To try and understand it a little better. I know that when I do this, I will echo the video referenced above and cry "Hallelujah".