Leaders of integrity or infamy found in The Book of Mormon provide the fodder for spiritual growth and self-improvement. It was made for us.
More than a century before the birth of Jesus Christ, and 180 years before people would know of Jesus Christ's public ministry, Abinadi testified of Christ as the creator of salvation and the very fulfillment of the Law of Moses. Abinadi: Not One of Us addressed how the people in two hemispheres received the message of salvation through Christ.
Jesus gave the Law of Moses at Mount Sinai and completed it at the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea in a glorious resurrection. This article addresses the result of Abinadi's ministry, occurrences that made him a shadow or type of things to come in the life of Jesus.
Abinadi a Type or Shadow of Christ
- Preached to apostate societies
- Neither authorized by the local priesthood.
- Both informed the people to repent.
- Both rejected by the priests and the king.
- Both societies accused them of treason.
The king for both could have released them but did not.
- Both martyred for their preaching.
Let MY Prophet Go!
Immediately when Abinadi set foot into the lands of Shimlon and begin to preach, the loyalist wasted no time presenting him and laying thickly their version of what Abinadi said in his sermons, bound before King Noah. The man had a two-year-old death warrant on his head!
The accusers said the following as recorded in Mosiah 12:9-12:
Behold, we have brought a man before thee who has prophesied evil concerning thy people, and saith that God will destroy them.
And he also prophesieth evil concerning thy life, and saith that thy life shall be as a garment in a furnace of fire. And again, he saith that thou shalt be as a stalk, even as a dry stalk of the field, which is run over by the beasts and trodden under foot.
And again, he saith thou shalt be as the blossoms of a thistle, which, when it is fully ripe, if the wind bloweth, it is driven forth upon the face of the land. And he pretendeth the Lord hath spoken it. And he saith all this shall come upon thee except thou repent, and this because of thine iniquities.
After reading what these loyalists testified that Abinadi said about King Noah's life, who wouldn't want him punished! Abinadi entered a precarious situation with no friends for extrication.
Abinadi's Unjust Trial
Pound of Flesh
Jesus Christ thrust before Pontius Pilate with no escape, stoically bore his public shaming--except Jesus had the stuffing beaten out of him by the leaders of the Jewish sects before they handed him over for judgment as a seditious traitor to the Roman empire.
Such charges bore a heavy penalty in the province of Judea, known as a hotbed of seditious behavior. Of all Roman provinces Jews, in Judaea proved a difficult bunch to rule, since they abhorred their station as a tributary to Rome instead of an independent state. Of course, they took their pound of flesh out of Jesus before handing Him to the Romans. Luckily for Abinadi, he did not experience such a fate. Heaven protected him as he delivered the message God intended for King Noah and his subjects.
Abinadi preached such a fiery and troubling sermon to King Noah that his confidence failed him and he almost to let Abinadi go. Said Abinadi:
I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you concerning this people, for they are true; and that ye may know of their surety I have suffered myself that I have fallen into your hands.
Yea, and I will suffer even until death, and I will not recall my words, and they shall stand as a testimony against you. And if ye slay me ye will shed innocent blood, and this shall also stand as a testimony against you at the last day. (Mosiah 17:9-10)
Bold words for a man in fetters. Abinadi submitted he would suffer death rather than recall the words God urged him to prophesy to the Zeniffites, claiming his capture served the purpose of giving them the choice to repent or take the life of an innocent man who told the truth.
Resolve broken, "king Noah was about to release him, for he feared his word; for he feared that the judgments of God would come upon him." (Mosiah 17) King Noah had a righteous father, Zeniff. Inklings of that righteousness must have simmered somewhere in the heart of that man.
But just like the seeds from the parable taught by the Savior of seeds placed on thorny ground, the weeds choked the tender plants that grew until they died; so did the priest of his court choke King Noah's last bit of sensibility out of him!
Because the "priests lifted up their voices against him and began to accuse him, saying: He has reviled the king. Therefore the king was stirred up in anger against him, and he delivered him up that he might be slain." (Mosiah 17:11-12)
Jesus Christ or Barabbas?
After Jesus received thirty lashes from the guard, known to have killed lesser men, Pontius Pilate, customarily in honor of the Jewish Passover, offered to commute one of the prisoners' sentences. Roman always attempted to acknowledge the customs of its vassals, which helped it endure for centuries.
Jesus Barabbas, a seditious activist who most likely received a sentence to death for treason against Rome, claimed an unwarranted opportunity. Interestingly Barabbas's name means Jesus, son of the father. Some people thought him the very Christ, secularist, incarnate. No such other Jesus existed with Jesus of Nazareth.
Either way, Pontius Pilate offered to release a well-known separatist, Jesus Barabbas to the crowds in Jerusalem, or the man convicted of Heresy against the faith, Jesus of Nazareth. The leaders of the Sanhedrin and cohorts who had beaten the Savior would not have accented to a traitor to the faith, as Jesus, the leader of the Nazarene cult. Of course, they chose Barabbas.
Pilate allowing a subversive against Rome sentenced to death could very well have meant his own death sentence. The Gospels confirm Pilot symbolically washed his hands of the situation.
Pilate did not remain in office long afterward, possibly replaced because of his release of a traitor to Rome among other acts against the peace with the people of Jerusalem, Josephus recorded.
It makes sense that the crowd chose Barabbas since the leaders of the religious sects of the day all hated Christ, the Nazarene for supposed crimes against God. Better to release a criminal against Rome than one against God possibly explains their peripheral estimation when in truth Rome kept the leaders of the sects of Judaism in power in Judea..
Christ was not released due to the chanting of the People. "Crucify him!"
John records in John 19:11-16,
Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar.
The Jews reported Pilate to his superior previously according to Josephus having leverage. Pilate did not desire another reprimand in regards to these people.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat...and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him.
Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King?
The chief priests answered, We have no king but Cæsar. [John 19:13-15]
So, "Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified." [Mark 15:14] Pilate wanted to release Christ as Noah wanted to release Abinadi, both knowing their prisoners held no guilt other than the priests of Noah's court and the sects of Judaism in Jerusalem despised them.
Abinadi. like John the Baptist, prepared his people for Christ, a forerunner. Abinadi: Martyrdom, confronts the deaths of these two men, and the finale of the seven listed comparisons of Abinadi and Jesus Christ.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson
Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on August 19, 2018:
Thanks, Charlie. I agree with scripture. I am reading and studying in 1 Corinthians (KJV) right now and Mosiah (BOM). I am not fond of the translations that you are using, but they are close enough. I like the KJV.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on August 19, 2018:
2 Cor 11:3-4
3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted — you may well put up with it!
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.