The Atonement of Jesus Christ, according to The Guide to the Scriptures, means “To reconcile man to God.” Also:
To atone is to suffer the penalty for an act of sin, thereby removing the effects of sin from the repentant sinner and allowing him to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ was the only one capable of making a perfect atonement for all mankind … the only one able to do so. His atonement included his suffering for the sins of mankind in the Garden of Gethsemane, the shedding of his blood, and his death and subsequent resurrection from the grave.
Because of the Atonement, all people will rise from the dead with immortal bodies. The Atonement also provides the way for us to be forgiven of our sins and live forever with God. But a person who has reached the age of accountability and received the law can receive these blessings only if he has faith in Jesus Christ, repents of his sins, receives the ordinances of salvation, and obeys the commandments of God.
The scriptures clearly teach that if Christ had not atoned for our sins, no law, ordinance, or sacrifice would satisfy the demands of justice, and man could never regain God’s presence. (The Guide to the Scriptures, Atone, Atonement)
This week the atonement is the subject of the Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School. I have been asked to substitute and an assignment like this can be quite intimidating. Not that the experience of teaching Gospel Doctrine is new to me, for I have often taught about the Old Testament. But still, it has been a while and I never have got used to teaching and keeping the attention of 100 members for 40 minutes.
When teaching, I stay on topic but like to vary how part of the lesson is presented. To that end, it would be helpful to read to the class a few thoughts from you, dear reader, if you are up to it.
Below are the images I will show at the beginning of class, as suggested by the lesson outline. Click on the links below to see images of Christ’s ministry. Look at the pictures and think about what Jesus Christ has done for you.
The Death of Jesus courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.