“Sacrifice is the True Act of Love”
As this weekend approaches, I thought it would be great to talk about the true meaning of Easter. Many of us think of Easter in the commercialized way including the Easter bunny and egg hunts, but it’s significance to our lives is much more than we can possibly imagine.
It started with Jesus’s crucifixion on the cross. Jesus’s sacrifice was a perfect example of his love for us as he suffered and died for our sins. How much more can you show someone you love them than to die so that they could live? Because of our fallen state, justice demands that a price be paid in order for us to come back to live in the presence of God again. The price for our sins wouldn’t be able to be paid for by men nor any of his riches but by a perfect being, Jesus Christ. He took upon himself the sins of mankind so that justice may be satisfied and mercy could be extended.
Christ’s sacrifice is similar to many love stories out there. So I would like to share with you one of my favorite childhood love stories within Disney’s Hercules.
In the movie, Hercules was the son of Zeus. He was snatched as a baby by Hades and forced to live on the earth as a mortal, but with godlike physical strength. As he grew up and became a teenager, Hercules needed to prove himself worthy of living with the gods in Mount Olympus. In his journey to prove himself a hero, he meets Meg, a beautiful damsel who was sent by Hades to figure out what Hercules’s weakness was. Hercules soon falls in love with Meg not knowing the deal she had made with Hades. Eventually, Hades discovers that Meg is Hercules’s weakness. Hades then threatens to harm her unless Hercules gives up his strength and become a full mortal. Hercules makes the deal on the condition that Meg does not get hurt. After Hercules gave up his strength, a cyclops was released to kill Hercules. As a pillar was about to fall on him during the battle, Meg pushes him out of the way saving him because “people always do crazy things when they’re in love”. As Meg’s spirit is traveling through the underworld, Hercules makes a deal with Hades to trade his own spirit for Meg’s. His amazing courage and willingness to ultimately sacrifice his life for others proved him to be a true hero, restoring all his godly powers and rendering him an immortal.
The love and sacrifice showed by Hercules reminds me of the love and sacrifice that Christ showed for us. In addition to taking upon the pains and sorrows of our sins, he was ridiculed and mocked before he was hung on the cross. This pain that we could not comprehend is described in the bible “Which suffering caused myself, even God , the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit” (Doctrine & Covenants 19:18). The price for that suffering and pain could only be paid for by a divine sacrifice, an unselfish decision to take upon those sins in return for our salvation. This incredible act of love is what will set us free from Satan and bring us back to our Lord.
The story of Hercules and his selfless sacrifice for the person he loved regardless of what fate he may face himself in the Underworld led to a spiritual impression upon my heart to help me understand the true meaning of the Atonement and its divine significance.
The Atonement was God’s way of showing the depth and magnitude of how much he loved us. It is the greatest evidence that we have of God’s love for his children.
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” – John 3:16
How does a better understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ change us and impacts how we live our life?
John 11: 25-26