In the Bible Dictionary when looking under "resurrection" we read this:
The resurrection consists in the uniting of a spirit body with a body of flesh and bones, never again to be divided. The resurrection shall come to all, because of Christ’s victory over death. Jesus Christ was the first to be resurrected on this earth . Others had been brought back from death, but were restored to mortality, whereas a resurrection means to become immortal, without blood, yet with a body of flesh and bone.
All will not be raised to the same glory in the resurrection, nor will all come forth at the same time. Christ was first; the righteous have precedence over the wicked, and come forth in the first resurrection, whereas the unrepentant sinners come forth in the last resurrection.The N.T. gives ample evidence that Jesus rose with his physical body: He ate fish and honey; he said he had flesh and bones; the people touched him; the tomb was empty; and the angels said he had risen.One of the most fundamental doctrines taught by the Twelve was that Jesus was risen from the tomb, with his glorified, resurrected body. To obtain a resurrection with a celestial, exalted body is the center point of hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus is the most glorious of all messages to mankind.
So, what exactly does this mean for us? In Moses 1:39 we read:
For behold, this is my awork and my bglory—to bring to pass the cimmortality and deternal elife of man.
This wasn't possible without the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But, first, what is the difference between immortality and eternal life. Aren't they both the same thing? Well, I always thought the were before I read "What is the Difference Between Immortality and Eternal Life?" by Joseph B. Wirthlin.
As I read the talk mentioned above I learned that immortality is about quantity and eternal life is about quality. All will receive immortality and live forever. However, only the righteous will receive eternal life and live forever with God. What an amazing blessing!
What did we come to earth to prove?
Abraham 3:25 And we will aprove them herewith, to see if they will bdo all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
Are we obedient enough to receive eternal life or just immortality?
An incredible chapter that helped me understand what Christ did a little more is 2 Nephi 9. I have this chapter completely marked up in my scriptures. At the Fall of Adam two deaths began -- Physical Death and Spiritual Death. Physical death is the separation of the body and spirit and spiritual death is to be separated from God. We agreed to experience these two consequences during the pre-existence.
When Christ went through the Atonement he actually redeemed us from BOTH deaths. We really have an amazing older brother, don't we?
If Christ had given up before the Atonement was complete then our body would "rot and crumble to mother earth and rise no more" (2 Ne 9:7). The scariest part of all was that our spirit would become subject to Satan and become like Satan. We would have become angels to the devil (2 Ne 9:8-10). So, yeah, that would have NOT been cool at all.
In Revelation 12 we learn that we fought for this right! We fought for the chance to come here and to be separated from God and go through both forms of death. We fought with Michael against Satan and his angels. It must definitely be worth it if we were willing to fight for it, right?
I am so grateful that, even though Christ went through so much torture, he never gave up on this important task. I cannot even imagine the relief he felt when he said "It is finished." He was done with the pain and was able to experience physical death.
Elder James E. Talmage said,
When the Savior exclaimed in triumph, 'It is finished', he knew his atoning sacrifice had been accepted by the Father. Sweet and welcome would have been the relief of death in any of the earlier stages of His suffering from Gethsemane to the cross. He lived until all things were accomplished as had been appointed. (Jesus the Christ, p622)
I am truly amazed at the sacrifice my Savior made for all of us so that we can return to the presence of our Father. We have been given what we need to return and we just need to take advantage of those gifts we have been given and not let them go to waste. What an amazing gift we were given, too. ;)