Thursday, October 20, 2011

Heaven's Gift Card

Being away from my family and living on a limited budget, my family occasionally sends me things to make life a little easier and more enjoyable. One favorite that they have sent to me is a McDonald's Gift Card! Getting that beautiful card loaded with some "Arch Dollars" is a joy akin to my Packers winning the Super Bowl, or a snowy Christmas morning spending time with my amazing family, enabling me to enjoy a savory Big Mac or some delicious french fries without having to pay for it.

Many of you have been thoughtful in "gifting" a gift card of one sort or another to friends or family. You paid the price for them to enjoy a meal or other purchase. How nice is that? You're giving someone you love something completely free of charge! So how bad would you feel if you pay the price for this gift card, and the recipient never uses it? You may feel hurt, or disrespected, or like this person didn't really value or care for what you had to offer them.

This is in essence what the Savior has done for each of us. He has literally paid the price of our sins. He has given this gift card with simple steps to redeem or use it. All we have to do is have faith, repent, be baptized and follow the guidance of the Spirit as we endure to the end. Jesus Christ has given us salvation pre-loaded onto a gift card. He sacrificed body and spirit so that none of us would ever have to!

Christ taking on the pains of the world in Gethsemane.

Christ dying for our sins on the cross.

Christ's ressurection overvoming physical death.

How do you think the Savior of mankind feels when we turn our backs on, or do not use this gift that He has given to us? We can show our love, gratitude and appreciation for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice by redeeming this every day in our lives.  However, if I choose to eat at McDonalds and not use a gift card, I must pay for it myself out of my own pocket.
For the believing Christians of the world, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the central, and single most important event in human history. It is deep and complex, and at times impossibly difficult to understand. Many analogies have been provided over the years so that we can better understand and apply the miraculous gift of the Atonement for man. I proffered yet another, that hopefully will allow someone to better understand the nature of the Atonement and it's application in our lives.

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