Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Are We To Do With Jesus?

Two millennia ago, Pilate stood before a mob of his subjects, who cried out for the release of a well-known murderer and rebel. After giving in to their demands, Pilate inquired wearily as to the fate of the other well-known prisoner, brought to him only hours before. Matthew records that, "Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" (Matthew 27:22).

We don't have a lengthy legal brief or an elegant speech composed by Pilate at this trial--only a few snatches of conversation. But what few of his words the gospels record have resounded throughout time, as each man and woman has been faced with the momentous question of far-reaching implications--"What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?" (Matthew 22:42). In this respect, Pilate's few words were more profound than he ever understood.

What are we to do, then, with Jesus which is called Christ?

"And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands" (Mark 14:65).

"And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads. And saying...If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross....[and] mocking him...said, He saved others; himself he cannot save" (Matthew 27:39-42).

"He began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ...And he said: If there should be a Christ, I would not deny him; but I know that there is no Christ, neither has been, nor ever will be" (Jacob 7:2,9).

"And now, after the 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--That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created" (Doctrine & Covenants 76:22-24).

"They did cry out with one accord, saying: Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him...And Nephi arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss his feet" (3 Nephi 11:16-19).

"Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:27-29).

"In a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way." (Bruce R. McConkie, The Purifying Power of Gethsemane)

Like Thomas, Nephi, and the rest of Christ's disciples, ancient and modern, let us come unto Christ, kneel at His feet, and call Him Lord and God.

"O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him" (Mormon 9:27).

Picture from jesuschrist.lds.org

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