Monday, March 17, 2008

The Stones Cry Out

Welcome to Holy Week, which commemorates the last week of the Savior's mortal life. Yesterday was Palm Sunday, the day of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This Sunday is Easter, when Christ rose from the tomb and thus gained the victory over death.

As part of Holy Week, each day I'll be reading the New Testament passages that correspond to what Christ said and did during that day of His final week.

As Christ descended from the Mount of Olives that Sunday, riding upon the colt of an ass, His disciples and other multitudes strew their clothing and palms in His path, recognizing Him as their King, and crying "Hosanna!", the Hebrew word for "Oh, save us now!" All four gospels record some variant of the cry: "Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord" (John 12:13).

But the ruling religious elite weren't at all pleased by this adoration, as Luke records: "And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples" (Luke 19:39). The Savior refused to rebuke those who acknowledged the truth: that He who then descended the Mount of Olives was about to descend below all things, to rise above all things, that He might be in and through all things, the light of truth (Doc. & Cov. 88:6). He was and is the "light [that] shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not" (John 1:5). And though that week did not end as the disciples then expected, by the end of it they knew even more powerfully that Christ was the Lord, "for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me" (Isaiah 49:23).

Jesus, instead of rebuking His disciples as the Pharisees enjoined, rebuked the Pharisees, and testified that He was the promised Messiah: "And he answered and said unto them...if these [disciples] should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out" (Luke 19:40).

When the Savior comes again, this time in a cloud of glory, the stones will cry out, "and the mountains flow down at thy presence, thou shalt meet him who rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, who remembereth thee in thy ways. For since the beginning of the world have not men heard nor perceived by the ear, neither hath any eye seen, O God, besides thee, how great things thou hast prepared for him that waiteth for thee. And it shall be said: Who is this that cometh down from God in heaven with dyed garments; yea, from the regions which are not known, clothed in his glorious apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? And he shall say: I am he who spake in righteousness, mighty to save" (Doc. & Cov. 133:44-47).

May I echo in the words of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah. Though He may tarry, yet I will expect Him every day of my life."

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