Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday: A Story of Christ

A great hope on Sunday morning. There are two accounts about what could have happened on that day. One is found in Matthew and one is found in John. If you want to read the version written by Matthew it is found in Matthew 28. It is a bit different than this account. I am going to retell the version of John. 

Days after they gently put him in the tomb. Mary Magdalene went to visit Christ. When she got there the tomb was empty. Her first initial thought was probably that their Savior's body had been stolen.  She quickly left to share the news with the disciples.

Then Simon Peter and John raced toward the tomb. There is a great painting by Lemon Liz Swindle called Hope. It portrays Simon and John running. In the painting you see John a bit ahead of Peter but in there faces the same mix of emotions: anxiety, doubt, worry, hope. If you look close enough you'll see tears streaming down their cheeks.

"What did they think as they ran? Were they simply curious to see for themselves? Did they fear, like Mary, that their enemies had stolen the body? Or did they remember His promise, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up?" -Lemon Liz Swindle

Well John got to the tomb first and others followed they saw he wasn’t there. The only thing they beheld was the linen neatly folded. They went off to talk.

Mary stayed and wept. She later saw angels. They asked her:
"Woman, why weepest thou?"

Then she saw a man behind her and he asked her the same question.

                                                          "Woman, why weepest thou?"

She told him that they had taken her Lord and she didn't not know where. She begged him to tell her where they had taken him. Then Jesus called her by name and she turned around and said:

Rabboni "Master"

He instructed her not to touch him because he still had not gone to his Father. He told her to tell the disciples. Later that evening he appears to them. He shows them the prints on his hands and sides.
The scriptures describes that THEY WERE GLAD when they saw HIM (John 20:20)

Can you Imagine?

Christ closest followers , friends, confidants, and even brothers seeing their Savior! Knowing that he kept his promise that HE would come back to them. IT IS A FEELING I LONG FOR!

Christ told them to have peace. A few days later he came back. Thomas had been doubting and then when he saw Christ, he believed. He instructed them and shared things that weren't written in the book.

However for this reason the accounts were written:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name (John 20:31) 

So I ask you what Lemon Liz Swindle states at the end of her description of her painting. 

“The decision that faced Peter and John that Sunday
morning is the same decision that faces each one of us today.
Will we doubt? Will we hope? Or will we [just simply] know

that He lives?”

Sunday- A day of hope. Sunday- A day of joy. 
Sunday- He is Risen.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday: A Story of Christ

Imagine living in the time of Christ. You were a firm follower of him. You loved him. You believed in him. Then imagine people killing your Savior. He died on a Friday. How would you feel that night? How would you feel on Saturday?

Saturday was the first full day without Christ. Personally, I would feel sad. I would be in a mourning. What did the people do that day? How did they feel? They were probably filled with sorrow. Yet some of them probably held on to hope.

There isn't much written about the events of Saturday. However, we probably assume that they visited the tomb not hoping for a miracle but to show their love and devotion.

Through modern revelation we know what Christ accomplished in the three days his body was in the tomb.

We learn that his voice proclaimed through the American Continent. He warned the people of the destruction of the wicked. He proclaimed his divinity and told them that the law of Moses was fulfilled (3 Nephi 9).

We also learn that he went and visited with the spirits that had already died (John 5:25). While on the cross he told the person hung next to him:

“… Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43.)

Peter even tells us that Christ went to "Preach unto the spirits in prison" (Peter 3:19)

Christ accomplished that which he had promised and he went forth to the people in the Americas. He also set up the divine work in the spirit world. For that, I am grateful.

The people in Jerusalem and the Americas were most likely scared, grieving, but hopeful. 

I have never met Christ but I know him. I am glad that he brought the fulness of the gospel to the Americans by voice and then, once he was resurrected, he came himself. I am grateful that he instructed the spirit world to teach and proclaim his word. With this, came growth. 

Saturday was a day of mourning. Saturday was a day to hope. 
Saturday was a day of work. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday: A Story of Christ

Today is a sacred day. It is the beginning of what it is know as the holy weekend. Today commemorates the death of Christ. In English, it is called "Good Friday." Why is it considered Good? There is actually two different theories:

Theory one: In the oxford dictionary, it states that historically good means holy. Therefore, the actually meaning of the name is "Holy Friday." It is also seen in all romance languages as just that. For example, in Spanish, it is "Viernes Santo."

Theory two: It is good because Christians believe there is something good about it. It is the start of our Savior's mission. The same mission that save us from sin and gives us constant relief. The Huffington Post states it in a perfect way,"That terrible Friday has been called Good Friday because it led to the Resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death and son and the celebration of Easter the very pinnacle of Christian celebrations."

I think that this day is, in fact, a day of sorrow. However,  I learned from an early age that the thing that is important to focus on is that it was his mission. It had to happen. Everything about it is good, is holy. Everything about it was for you and I.

Friday. Friday I asume would have been a hard day for Christ. The night before he administered the sacrament, he suffered in Gethsemane, he got betrayed by one of his own, and he then was taken prisoner.

On Friday, when morning came, he was tried before the chief priests and elders. Then he was taken to Pilate. Judas repented and took the silver and told the priests and elders that he had condemned an innocent man. Judas, then, takes his life. The chief priests and elder decide they can't put that money back in the treasury because they state, "with that money was paid to kill a man." Instead, the words of Jeremy the Prophet were realized. The men bought a field in which they would use to bury foreigners.

When Christ was before pilate, he asked him a series of questions (Matthew 27 & John 18).

"Are you the King of the Jews?"

"Those are your words"

"Don't you hear the crimes that you are condemned for?"

The chief priests accuse him.

Christ says nothing.

"What have you done?"

"My kingdom is not of the world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."

"Are you a King?"

"Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice"

"What is the truth?"

Pilate turned to the crowd,

"I find in him no fault at all."

My heart turns ever time I read that part in the scriptures. Pilate announced that Christ was not guilty of anything. However his usual custom was to set someone free. Therefore, his ask the crowd wether it be Barabbas or Christ. They screamed, yelled in a cry of destruction, "Let him [Christ] be crucified." Pilate perplexed asked, "Why? What evil has he done?" The crowd ignored and cried louder than ever, "Crucify him!"Pilate gave in and explained to the multitude that he would have nothing to do with this innocent man's death and it was them, and only them, condemning him. The multitude told him, "let his blood be on us and our families."

Christ was then sentenced to death.

He was taken by the soldiers. They made fun at him. Dress him up in a scarlet robe and a crown of thorns. They mocked him. They spit on him. They beat him.

Then started the long road to Calvary.

Christ carried the cross on his back. A man named Simon took it and carried the cross for a while. Then, Christ took it again. Jesus was given a strong drink to ease the pain, but he refused to take it. 

Christ reached that hill. The Jews nailed him on the cross and hung him there in Calvary. Above his head it read:

זה ישו מלך היהודים]
Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ναζωραῖος ὁ Bασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων
Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum

Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews

The people demanded of him "If you have saved so many, save yourself. If you are truly a king."

We know that God had the power to save him at any moment. However, he did not. His mission was much bigger. 

Christ said to his mother, nearby, that she would be in the care of one of his disciples. 

He then was in excruciating pain. The Holy Ghost left him. Then he gasped,

"Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani"

"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"


"Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, 

the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit

the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. 

For His Atonement to be

infinite and eternal 

He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually,

 to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw,

leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone."

-Jeffery R. Holland
None Were with Him 
April 2009


Once he did all he was sent for, he gave himself to God. 

He was taken down and sent to Pilate. Joseph, a disciple, begged for the body and it was given to him. They wrapped him gently in clean linen cloth and put him in the tomb. Pilate was told that he had to put guards in front of the tomb in case Christ's disciples wanted to steal the body and then falsely say that he was "risen." The guards stayed watch for three days. 

Friday was a painful day for Christ. I am grateful he had the will to accomplish such agony and suffering for me, for the whole world.

Friday was truly a hard day. Friday- a day of pain. Friday- a day of suffering. Friday- a day of tears. Friday- a day of fear. Friday- a day of accomplishment. Friday- a day of fulfilling. 

Friday- a day so holy.