This week in our New Testament class, we are reading and discussing about Jesus' last few days here on Earth. We are learning about the injustices and pains He had to face and the true depth of His sacrifice for mankind. He "fell on his face, and prayed, saying "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39). As I have been reading the New Testament this semester, I have noticed that Jesus always gives the glory, honor, and respect to the Father after He performs any sort of miracle. He never tries to boast, brag, or do His own will. Jesus knew His purpose and did not want to do anything to detract from fulfilling it. He came to Earth to perform what we call the "Atonement." This word literally means "the process of becoming at one", particularly with God. Therefore, Jesus came to Earth to help all of us be able to become "at one" with God the Father. Without Him, we would not ever be worthy to live with God. In order to be able to lift us up, Jesus had to descend below the depths of all sin, guilt, shame, sorrow, bodily pain, sickness, and temptations. He had to experience these feelings and rise above them. I always thought it was quite admirable that Jesus went through all these difficult things, yet all along was giving the credit to His Father. I used to wonder, "Why doesn't He take some of the credit for Himself? After all, He is doing a lot."
But, I have come to better understand that Jesus, like all of us, strives to serve the Father and do as He commands. While it is true that He underwent the utmost agony and sacrifice for the world, He gave the glory to the Father because it is He who makes it all possible. He pays the ultimate price. A great analogy that my professor gave this week helped me to understand this. He prompted us to think of the story of Abraham sacrificing his son, Isaac. Whenever we read this story, to whom do we give more respect and credit -- Abraham or Isaac? Of course, Isaac was the one that was going to die as a sacrifice. But, do we not revere Abraham for his strength and courage in being the one to perform the sacrifice? This is similar to the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ. Jesus is the mediator between God and man. He makes it possible for us to come to God because of His Atonement. However, if it were not for the Father and His great and eternal plan for our salvation, none of it would be possible!