THE APPEARANCE BEFORE PILATE
The Sanhedrists knew their tribunal and authority could not inflect a death penalty. Only Rome had reserved this prerogative as her own. The hour was early when they took Christ before the Roman ruler, Pontius Pilate, the governor appointed by Rome over the Jews. He Pilate listened to the charges and accusations of the Jewish leaders. They claimed Christ to be a malefactor and that he committed treason by claiming to be a King. Pilate listened then questioned the Lord asking him if he were a king. The Lord replied;
“My Kingdom is not of this world.”
Pilate found no fault in Him and sent Him to Herod Antipas, the token King of the Jews, hoping to dispose of the problem.
Herod is the only being who saw the Lord face to face but never heard his voice. Christ disdained every remark of Herod with silent retort. Herod became disgruntled and sent him back to Pilate.
When Pilate sat down in the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him a saying;
“Have thou nothing to do with that just man; for I had a dream and have suffered greatly because of him.” Pilate was now very perplexed and sought to release the Lord. He questioned the Savior again. Art thou 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 truth hearth my voice.”
“What is truth?”
It doesn’t record if Christ answered him but Pilate went out again unto the Jews and said.
“I find no fault in him.”
Jewish law required that the Romans could release one of its prisoners for the Passover. Pilate presented both Christ and one called Barabas who was a thief and a convicted felon. The decision was up to the Jews who should be released. With one accord they shouted to release Barabas. Pilate was amazed at their reaction and decision so he set Barabas free. Pilate washed his hands of the ordeal knowing that this man, the Jews had proclaimed to be a malefactor and treasoned against Rome, was innocent.
The Roman guards took Christ and scourged him, and put a crown of thorns on his head. He was already wrapped in a purple robe placed on him by Herod mocking his Kingship, they now removed the robe and left the crown of thorns; they tied him to flogging post and beat him while jeering remarks about being the King of the Jews. Pilate stood afar and watched the proceedings. When he, Pilate had seen enough he stopped the torture and demeaning conduct, then presented to the Jews this poor retched soul flogged and beaten hoping to appeal to the sympathetic nature of the Jews, wishing they would have a change of heart.
“BEHOLD THE MAN.”
But the Jews proclaimed that he should be crucified.
They exclaimed that his blood be upon their head and the heads of their offspring when Pilate’s final
Pro announcement was made, crucify the man.
This was the covenant people who just a few centuries earlier had covenanted that Jehovah should be there King and now rejected him in the flesh and shouted, let him be crucified.
When Judas saw what he had done Satan left him to his grief and the reality of his deed overwhelmed him and he committed suicide.
Jesus Christ was led away to be crucified, still bleeding from the flogging, and weak from the all night’s experience. His strength drained he was now required to carry his cross to the place called Golgotha or place of the skull. The Lord’s strength was spent and the weight of the cross was more than his physical body could endure. They summoned one called Simon to bare the cross.
As the Lord walked along the way he saw women weeping, he told them not to weep for him but weep for themselves and for your children, for the day when the destruction of this city would take place.
Pilate had a title written and put it on the cross that said: Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews. Then with two thieves the Lord was placed on the cross. The executioners offered him vinegar mixed with myrrh but he refused knowing he must endure this pain and suffering with a clear head. These men knew exactly where to place the nails not to sever an artery but to inflect great pain by cutting nerves and tendons that pain might be inflected without great loss of blood and an early death. Then they drove nails into his hands and feet then to sustain his weight they drove the sure nail into his wrist to prevent his body from tearing away the flesh of his hands. They raised the cross and lowered it into the hole. The pole dropped into the hole with a resounding thud.
The tendons and nerves of the one being crucified were stretched to their limit and the pain shot through their bodies like a lightning bolt into the night sky. The pain was more than agonizing. The Lord looked at his executioners who were now casting lots for his garment and pronounced; forgive them Father for they know not what they do. These men whose job it was to crucify were callous to the agony and pain they inflected upon their victims.
He announced he was thirsty and one of the guards put to his lips vinegar but again he refused. The hour was about 5:00 a.m. and the Lord looked down at his mother saying;
“Behold thy Son.”
Then to John he entrusted her keeping;
“Behold thy mother.”
The soldiers and the Jews present mocked him in a devilish manner. Behold if thou be the son of God save thyself. Even one of the thieves, being crucified with him, mocked him. But the other said unto him Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. Jesus answered him, today thou will be with me in paradise. Again he Christ thirsted and they presented him vinegar and put it on a hyssop to his lips.
It was about the 6:00 a.m. when darkness began to set in upon the earth until the 9:00 a.m. instead of the morning light… Then the Lord cried with a loud voice
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani that is to say My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me,”
Some said he was calling upon Elias and they waited to see if he would come. Then He cried again in a loud voice;
“Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.” and yielded up the ghost.
The sun was darkened and a great earth quake rent the Temple in the midst. Now a centurion and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earth quake and those things that were done and they feared greatly saying truly this was the Son of God.
Close to the place where he was crucified, there was a garden nearby and in it a new sepulcher, where never a man had been buried. Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Christ, sought audience with Pilate the Procurator to secretly arrange for the body of Christ to be laid to rest. Pilate gave him leave as the scripture describes, or permission to take away the body of Christ.
Nicodemus came and with Joseph, they prepared the body to rest in the tomb.
They applied a mixture of myrrh and aloes, then wrapped the body in white linen and sprinkled it with spices. They laid the body of Jesus in the sepulcher and rolled the stone covering the entrance of the tomb into place and sealed the entrance.
The preparation of the Jews was nigh at hand and it was unlawful to remain out on this solemn night. The Apostles had gone their way and John, being charged by the Savior to take care of the Lord’s mother, took her into his home. The Disciples of Christ had much to mourn that night.
The day after the preparation, the chief priests came to Pilate; requesting that a guard be set in front of the sepulcher so that the Disciples of Christ would not steal His body to bring about His declaration that after three days He would rise again. Pilate gave these religious pests their desire with the curt reply,
“Ye have your watch, go your way.”
Mary Magdalene had gone to the sepulcher early the first morning of the week before the sun rose, for it was still dark. She saw that the stone blocking the entrance to the sepulcher had been removed. She knew of the meeting wherein Peter had called and she ran to the chambers. She was met by Peter and John, but she wasn’t interested in the normal formalities of greeting this day. She blurted out that they had taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher and we know not wherein they have laid him. Peter and John went forth to the sepulcher. John being younger, out ran Peter, but waited for the senior Apostle to enter the sepulcher to view the linen clothes lying on the cold stone. They returned to the upper room and the other disciples were gathering, wherein Peter exclaiming the Lord was gone. The other disciples also went to the sepulcher and viewed the empty tomb. They all returned to the chamber.
They talked about the events that had transpired that day. Others talked about the death of Judas, who had killed himself. Their worst fears had come to pass; the Jews had possession of the Lord’s body and would use it to mock the Church. But, Mary stood watch at the sepulcher weeping and as she wept she saw two angels in the sepulcher. They said unto her,
“Why weepiest thou?”
“Because they have taken away my Lord and I know not where they have laid him.”
Then when she had said this to the angels she turned and saw a gardener.
“Sir,” she inquired of him, “where have they taken my Lord?” Then Jesus saith unto her, “Mary”.
She turned herself and recognized His voice, saying “Rabboni”, which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her,
“Touch me not, for I have not ascended to My Father, but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father and your Father.”
Mary ran to the disciples, who were still meeting, exclaiming that the Lord and Master were alive. She told them what she had seen and heard of her own ears. Then, the same day in the evening of the first day of the week, they were still meeting. The doors were shut and the disciples met in fear that they would be discovered by the Jews. Then suddenly in their midst stood the Savior.
“Peace is unto you, Peter, and unto all my disciples. Peace be unto you; as My Father hath sent me, even so, I send you.”
Then He blessed them with the Holy Ghost.
“Whose ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whose ever sins ye retain, they will be retained.”
This was the peace that Peter had so earnestly sought. He felt the peace of forgiveness and knew he was forgiven. He knew of the atonement of the Savior for the world. He lived and the Apostles were to testify of His resurrection. The Lord taught them many wonderful things that could not be written. Many days He spent with them, teaching them and instructing them in the Gospel principles and Church doctrine; that they might be strong when they would be tried even with their lives. All of these Apostles gave their lives for their testimony, all except John, Who received a special assignment from the Lord. Their Testimonies were sealed with their blood as the Lord had forewarned them the night of the last supper.
So as it was in the days of Jesus Christ during his ministry, and after His death and resurrection, it is today. The Lord establishes witnesses of His divinity. Joseph Smith and the other witnesses who saw Christ testified to the divinity of Christ left us with this message.
“And now after many testimonies, which have been given of Him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of Him, that He Lives! For we saw Him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that He is the Only Begotten of the Father.”
I too bear humble testimony of Jesus Christ.
This warning Christ has given to our modern day. “Therefore I command you to repent-repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by the my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore-how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.”
“For behold I, God have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself even God, the greatest of all to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer that I might not drink of the bitter cup, and shrink.”
Matthew 26: thou 27 Mark 14: thou 15 Luke 22: thou 23 John 12: thou 21 Matt 26:3-5 Mark 14:1 Luke 22:1-2 John 7:30-44
Taken from Jesus the Christ by Talmage Scriptures of New Testament