“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” (Col. 2:9-10)
From The Christian Church in the Last Days
In this critical area of biblical lessons demonstrating God’s attempt to raise our vision upward toward Him, one of the highest illustrative examples is the redemptive reach of the cross of Jesus Christ. How could anyone, including the apostles, grasp ahead of time the enormous idea that one person could die on the cross as satisfaction for all of mankind’s sin? The atonement for the mass of sin accumulated by every single person from the beginning of human history, redeemed through the sacrifice of one man Jesus Christ, was in-the-moment simply too much to contemplate. Even someone like Jesus, who is restoring sight to the blind, cleansing lepers, healing cripples, casting out demons, multiplying fish and bread to feed thousands, walking on water, instantly calming a raging storm at sea, and raising the dead, still does not bridge the conceptual gap ahead of time that one person could single-handedly absorb the enormous quantity of mankind’s sins and offences.
People see Jesus raise the widow’s son from the dead in the city of Nain, but they ascribe to this obviously divine miracle the arrival in Israel of a great prophet only. This is as high as their spiritual vision will allow them to go (Luke 7:16). Witnessing this miracle did not connect them with the idea of the Lamb of God sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Making atonement for mankind’s sin is a totally different matter. Though Jesus actually told the disciples ahead of time about His impending crucifixion and resurrection (Mark 8:31), even they did not get it. It was spiritually above their still worldly horizontal comprehension.
Only after the resurrection did they finally understand. They personally saw and spoke with the resurrected Jesus in His newly restored body, still having the nail-pierced scars on his hands and feet, affirming the divine capacity of the blemish-free Lamb of God Jesus to indeed take away the sins of the world. The perfection of Jesus as the sinless, spotless Lamb of God atonement for mankind’s sin would only make full sense after seeing Jesus visibly raised from the dead. The powerful testimony of Jesus through the words and deeds of His ministry, combined with all of the Old Testament messianic backstory, only comes into clear focus for the disciples after the resurrection. In the glorious new world the disciples awoke to on that fateful Sunday morning, where Jesus is now bodily risen from the dead, the upper boundary line of what was previously possible was completely shattered.
This unanticipated action by God liberated the disciples up above the conventionally horizontal into the realm where all things are possible (Acts 3:6; 4:8). The example of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ stands at the pinnacle of God’s divinely composed outreach to mankind, in a previously unthinkable and unimaginable way, to come upward in our spiritual vision of what God can and will accomplish in our lives if we will place our trust in Him. One man can take upon Himself the sins of the world, if He is the Son of God.