This Good Friday, I’m reflecting on several things Easter-related. Firstly, I’m thinking about how I wish “Easter ham” wasn’t a thing (I hate ham and always have; I literally have nothing good to say about this cut of meat), and secondly, how grateful I am for my Savior Jesus Christ.
Truthfully, I can’t hear the word “Easter” without thinking of the most important people in my life: my Heavenly Father and His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. More specifically, on this holiday I think about the Atonement and Resurrection.
I am so flawed, so imperfect. I make mistakes and then I make even more foolish mistakes… And then I do it all over again. There are times when I feel so scared and alone; times when I wonder if I can possibly make it through another day. There are times when it feels, in the deepest moments of my despair, that no one in the world could possibly understand the pain I’m experiencing. As Elder David A. Bednar said in a talk that changed my life:
“No human being, perhaps, knows [what you are going through]. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore burdens before we ever did” (David A. Bednar, “In the Strength of the Lord,” BYU Speeches, October 23 2001).
Many people know that Jesus Christ suffered our sins so that we could be cleansed, but not everyone knows that He also took upon Himself our pains, sorrows, and illnesses. Every single bad OR good thing that has ever happened to us, Jesus Christ knows and understands because He experienced it. He lived through all things so that He, who was perfect, could find a way out of our sorrows, sins, and pains. In the eloquent words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland,
“The Savior reminds us that He has ‘graven [us] upon the palms of [His] hands.’ Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion and Atonement, I promise you He is not going to turn His back on us now. When He says to the poor in spirit, “Come unto me,” He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Broken Things to Mend,” April 2006).
Jesus Christ atoned for us so that we would never be alone. Because of His Atonement, there is always someone who not only understands us, but can help us find our way out of painful situations, whether in this life or the next. He literally took upon Himself the exact experiences we have gone through. It’s mind-blowing and incredible, and I’m not exactly sure how it all worked, but the most amazing and awe-inspiring part of it all is that did work. I know that’s true! Anyone can know it’s true.
When Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, He, Who had never once experienced guilt because He had never done any wrong in His life, suddenly felt the weight of not only MY guilt, but the guilt of every single person who has ever lived. I can hardly even begin to fathom how that must have felt. But He did it willingly because He loved us. That, to me, is the most beautiful part of it all: He loves us. He loves me. Me! Imperfect and unworthy as I am, He cared deeply enough for me to suffer the most excruciating pain so that I would never have to be alone.
To add insult to injury, Christ was tormented, humiliated, and mocked just for trying to help people. After everything that He did, He was crucified. After every miracle He’d performed, after every life He’d touched, after every heart He’d healed… He was crucified. He, the perfect Son of our Father in Heaven, was killed for nothing more than serving others. He died and was buried, just as we will be one day. But three days later, Christ rose again.
He lives again. And because of Him, we will too.
This life is not the end. There is more, so much more. And it is all possible through Jesus Christ.
I love Him. I love Him for all that He has gone through for me. I love Him for being my friend not only when I do what’s right, but when I’m short-sighted and forget Him. He loves me even when I turn aside from His commandments. He doesn’t condone bad choices, yet even still, He is always there, willing to help me get my life back on track. He is forever waiting and wanting to speak with me.
If you’re struggling with your testimony or you need help to believe any of this, please don’t wait. If you want to believe it, I promise you can. I know you can. Because it IS true and it IS real, and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want so badly for you to know that. They can help you overcome any struggle. Ask Them for help. I promise it’s worth every sacrifice you have to make to know that it is true.
He lives. His life on Earth wasn’t the end. I know it.
You can, too.
Amy Carpenter is the site manager and editor for LDSBlogs.com. She served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Denver, Colorado, where she learned to love mountains and despise snow. She has a passion for peanut butter, dancing badly, and most of all, the gospel.