And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. (Luke 2:49-50)
This verse, if translated correctly, would seem to indicate that Mary and Joseph had sort of forgotten the Divine origin of Jesus, and that the intervening twelve years had not been full of angels and visions and miracles. That He had grown up in a pretty normal childhood atmosphere.
I’ve heard some people comment that they think He may actually have been a very homely, sickly, almost handicapped child, perhaps even socially backward or awkward, as part of His having “descended below all things” (D&C 88:6).
I personally wonder about the concept that He never did anything less than perfect in His childhood. Now, I’m not suggesting that He was an average person, as prone to sin as the rest of us are.
But I believe that if He knows my every lowest ebb, lowest motive, weakest moment, that somehow He’s been there—not just as a witness or an observer, but that somehow He experienced my wrongdoings as if He had done the wrong. In other words, I could imagine Him saying, “Greater love hath no man than he would lay down his life for his friends’ sins.” (Paraphrase of John 15:13.)
I find it difficult to believe that all the pain inflicted by our sins—both the pain of the victim and of the perpetrator—was just loaded on the Savior’s back like you would load weight on some uncomprehending beast-of-burden which would stand staring off into space. Somehow, those sins—my sins, your sins—entered into His soul, into His heart and mind, so that He experienced it. For Him to truly comprehend our sins, it couldn’t have been simply like someone walking through a hall-of-horrors wax museum. Rather, it had to have been experienced as if He were truly there, involved in every crime.
Could it be that during those few hours that He spent in Gethsemane, He could have possibly collapsed the past, present and future together, and literally experienced the pain of every crime? Could it be that He became the victim of every wrong doing? Oh, my heart twists. Oh, that I would never, never perpetrate another hurt on anyone, never commit another unkindness against anyone—not against God, others, or even against myself!
Nothing I have ever thought about His “atoning sacrifice” breaks my heart like this! That He can and will take the effect of sin out of my life—both the sins that have been committed against me and the sins I’ve committed against others. I don’t have to carry the burden of being a victim any more. He has taken it upon Himself. As Isaiah wrote, “With his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
I can lay down the burden of being the victimizer, too. If I allow Him, He will also neutralize the effects of my sinful acts.
Boy, I’m in deep here, and I know it. But I feel it is absolutely essential to absorb and to always remember what He’s done for me, if I ever want to love Him even a fraction as much as He already loves me (1 John 4:19).
Humbled by own forgetfulness, I pray I will never forget the “business” the Savior has wrought for me.
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