Today, when our modern-day prophets teach us, do we see Christ in their words? This morning I was reading Exodus chapters 26 and 27 where the Lord describes the construction of the ancient tabernacle. While I knew the tabernacle was a portable temple with obvious symbolism pointing to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I had not seen the Savior in some of the details. However, today Exodus 27:20 caught my attention when the Lord said to Moses:
And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. (Exodus 27:20)
After reading this I wrote in my LDS “Notes and Journal” (see: www.lds.org/study-tools):
This is a type pointing to the Savior. The Lord Jesus Christ is pure and like the olives was beaten too until His precious blood flowed. Like the tabernacle in ancient Israel, His light burns always. However, unlike the ancient tabernacle, Jesus’ light still shines brilliantly. (Stan Winchester, Notes and Journal, February 24, 2013)
After writing this, I thought how easy it is for me to point my finger at ancient Israel or others and say, “Why did they not understand, when Moses and the prophets all preached and prophesied specifically about Jesus Christ?” I can point my finger at others, but when I look in the mirror, can the same be said about me? Do I see Jesus Christ in all things pertaining to Him? Does His gospel make a difference in my life?
I truly believe as I study the scriptures, that both ancient and modern are intended to help bring me (and all of us) closer to our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel is not about judging others, saying, “why didn’t they get it?” It is about, “do I get it today?” This is a question I have reflected on a lot for many years.
My plea is, before we question why others do not see Jesus as the Christ, we must ask ourselves, “do we see Jesus as the Christ; do we see Him in the world around us?” It is only when I regularly come to His table and feast upon His gospel that I am filled. While my body may survive a while without food, it will eventually die if I don’t nourish it. My body feels better with regular daily nourishment and so does my spirit. When my spirit is fed at the table of Jesus Christ I feel better and feel Him with me always.
One of my favorite Book of Mormon scriptures is the following: Moroni’s closing words.
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
I am not sure when I wrote this commentary in my LDS “Notes and Journal” but I thought I would share it with you my thoughts about the above verses:
The process is:
- Come unto Christ, which we do in this life and in the spirit world after this life. (See Matthew 4:19; John 3:5; 1 Corinthians 15:29; D&C Section 138)
- Be perfected in Him, which is an ongoing process until we are complete as Jesus is. This cannot happen in mortality, but only at or after our resurrection. (See: Matthew 5:48 and especially 3 Nephi 12:48)
- Deny yourselves of all ungodliness (see: Titus 2:12). In mortality we can do our best to try, but we are all sinners (see: Romans 3:23). This is a step in a process, and we can all do it, but not fully in this lifetime. (See: Eternal Progression)
- Love God with all our might, mind, and strength (see: Matthew 22:37-38). Again, this is a process which can only happen after our eyes are fully opened. (See: 2 Nephi 16:10)
- His grace makes us perfect or complete, and when that happens we “can in nowise deny the power of God.” (See Ether 12:27)
- We will then be clean and sanctified in Christ by His grace through the shedding of His blood. (See Hebrews 10:10)
- We will be holy, without spot. (See: 1 John 3:3)
(Stan Winchester, Notes and Journal)
This morning as I have written this and read my previous Notes and Journal entries my spirit feels filled to overflowing. My hope is strengthened and I hunger for more of the words of Christ. In today’s troubled world, and particularly at this time in my life, I need all the strengthening I can receive. Christ strengthens me through His word and His spirit, which I feel in my heart and mind.
I know Jesus is the Christ. He is the Savior of the world. It is only through His name and by the power of His divine grace that we can be saved in the kingdom of our Heavenly Father. I love my Savior and am grateful unto tears for His love for me, an unworthy, but loving son. I know that Jesus, the Almighty Son of God is with me always, for I daily see Him in my life, even in the midst of adversity.
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Painting: Awesome Wonder, used with permission. Copyright © 2006 Greg Olsen