Our Father’s Role in the Atonement

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When we think about the Atonement, we commonly think of it as the Savior’s sacrifice. As I was thinking about the Atonement the other day I thought of the sacrifice our Heavenly Father made. I can’t say this is a novel thought, it just isn’t something I’ve thought about much. Heavenly Father had to give up His Beloved Son to those who would abuse and kill Him. During the suffering in the garden of Gethsemane, the Father had to remove His presence as His Son took upon Him the sins, sorrows, and sicknesses of the world. How the Father must have suffered as He watched His Son suffer! He surely match the Savior’s tears with His own. Just as the Son asked for the cup to be removed, if it was possible, I’m sure His Father would gladly have asked a lesser sacrifice if it was possible.

In the book of Genesis we read the story about Abraham being commanded to offer up his first-born son Isaac. He dutifully followed the Lord’s commands, even though he did not fully understand why he was asked to sacrifice his son. How Abraham must have suffered in seeking to do what was required of him. Isaac was to be sacrificed but Abraham was the one offering his sons as the sacrifice. Isaac was willing and trusted his father. The similarities between Abraham and Isaac and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are intentional. Of course, Isaac was replaced with a ram at the last moment but the Father and the Son had to go through with their sacrifice. It’s important to remember our Father’s sacrifice in addition to the Savior’s.

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