v. 8 "Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth,"
Our church is a missionary church. Why? Because it is essential for all the inhabitants of the earth to know these things. How are people to know if we don't tell them? We're not trying to force our religion on anyone. In fact, most of us are a little shy in sharing the gospel for the simple reason that we don't want to step on toes. But, if we do share the gospel with you, there's a reason for it: We care about you. The gospel makes us happy, and we want to share that with you. What kind of friend would I be if I didn't at least give you the choice?
"...that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, asave it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah,"
When I read this, I think about the curse that came to Laman and Lemuel when they rebelled against God. The curse was that they were cut off from the presence of the Lord. By the fall of Adam, we are all cursed to be cut off from the presence of the Lord. But through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we may in the flesh approach God and dwell, in various degrees, in His presence again.
"...who blayeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the cresurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise."
Here Jacob is talking about Jesus Christ overcoming physical death through the resurrection. I find it interesting (and somewhat confusing) that he intertwines physical death and spiritual death in the same verse. I think his sons must have been similarly confused, because he goes on to explain in greater depth later in this chapter.
v. 9 "Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make aintercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved."
In trying to understand "intercession" better, this verse led me to Isaiah 53:
v. 4 ¶Surely he hath aborne our bgriefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
v. 5 But he was awounded for our btransgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his cstripes we are dhealed.
I love this verse. It is so sadly beautiful, a reminder of what He went through for me, and a promise that I can be healed.
v. 6 All we like asheep have gone bastray; we have turned every one to his cown way; and the Lord hath laid on him the diniquity of us all.
I love the imagery in this verse. We are like sheep, and we have all gone astray. We have turned to our own way, and our way is what causes us to get lost. The atonement (literally at-one-ment) brings us back to God and returns us to His way. His way is the good way, the only way that brings happiness in this life and the life to come.
I have this image in my mind of me, a wayward wandering child, walking away from God, and my Savior, Jesus Christ running after me. He takes my hand and gently, lovingly leads me back to my Heavenly Father. Every step He leads me in the right direction brings me closer to God. And the journey there, with my hand in His, is a happy, pleasant one.