1 Nephi 19: Nephi makes History of People on Plates
Nephi makes plates of ore, one which would include their journey and the teachings of his father Lehi, and the other would include the contentions and wars of his people. Nephi explains that he does this for a wise purpose in the Lord that these records be passed down from one generation to another throughout time. Nephi explains that he is human; “…if I do err, even did they err of old; not that I would excuse myself because of other men, but because of the weakness which is in me, according to the flesh, I would excuse myself. For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.” (1 Nephi 19:6-7) Nephi explains that he makes mistakes and his writings (just like prophets of old) will contain these mistakes. He explains that his record will be as preserved as possible, and not like other records which would be ‘esteemed as naught’ and trampled under the feet of men. In other words, some records do not contain all the words of God, because wicked men, thinking it is of no worth, will eliminate things from records to suite their own agenda. These men doe no hearken unto the voice of God’s command and counsel.
Nephi explains that roughly 600 years from the time of this writing the Lord Jesus Christ will come among the children of men, but because of their iniquity, they; “…shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.” (1 Nephi 19:9)
Nephi explains that after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Jews will be hated, scattered and despised among all nations throughout time, until the time when Jesus Christ comes again and shall restore them among and preserve them. Nephi read a lot of these things from the Books of Moses; “…that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.” (1 Nephi 19:25) Because Nephi had the Books of Moses [the first five books of the Bible], Nephi was able to teach his brethren and family many things of ‘profit and learning’. This emphasizes the fact that the Book of Mormon and Bible go hand in hand.
Pilate took Jesus and made Him to be punished and the soldiers took him and put a crown of thorns on His head and put on Him a purple robe. The soldiers, while hitting Jesus said; “…Hail, King of the Jews!” (John 19:3) After this was done, Pilate took Jesus out before the people and said; “…I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in this man… Behold the man!” (John 19:4-5) But it wasn’t enough to convince the Jews of their wrongs and they immediately cried out; “…crucify him, crucify him…” (John 19:6), Pilate responded to their pleas and said; “…Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.” (John 19:6) The Jews screamed back; “…We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” (John 19:7)
Upon hearing this Pilate was afraid (perhaps because he knew that Jesus was the Son of God?) and he immediately went back into the Judgment Hall and asked Jesus; “…Whence art thou?” (John 19:9), but Jesus gave no answer. So Pilate screamed; “…Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?” (John 19:10) Jesus answers; “…Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto you hath the greater sin.” (John 19:11) It is unclear who that other person was, if Jesus was speaking of Judas, or perhaps all of the people involved in the plot to kill Jesus. Either way, Jesus was telling Pilate that he had a choice, but if he chose to have the people decide and He was crucified as a result, Pilate would not share much if any of the sin associated with it. Nevertheless, Pilate desired to release Jesus, but the people began to threaten him, and say that he was betraying Caesar. For they claimed; “…If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend; whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.” (John 19:12) At this point Pilate had his hands tied, but still could have made a decision to let Jesus go. Whether or not Pilate shares a sin in the crucifixion of Jesus, we know not. What we do know, is that Pilate did not agree and tried to convince the people otherwise.
Jesus was sent off to Golgotha, which is the place of the skull, there Jesus would be crucified with two thieves, one on both sides. Now, Pilate most likely feeling remorseful of what had happened, made a sign to go above the cross of Jesus that read: “…JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (John 19:19) This sign was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, for the whole world to see and read. The soldiers there cast lots for the raiment of Jesus. In other words, think of straws, they literally fought over the few belongings that Jesus had. Many loved ones of Jesus came to see the crucifixion, and in time, Jesus gave up the ghost and died on the cross.
The Sabbath day was approaching and Pilate, as it was custom to break the legs of those who had not yet died, so they did not leave them on the cross during the Sabbath. But when they came to Jesus they saw that He had already died and did not break His legs, instead they took a spear and stabbed His side. This fulfilled two scriptures that they should not break His bones, but shall stab Him in the side (see: Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12 and Psalms 34:20)
Joseph of Arimathaea sought for the body of Jesus and went to Pilate for fear that his request would be denied by the Jews. Pilate agrees for Him to dress the body, so they bring the body of Jesus to a new sepulcher and they prepare His body for rest.
Jesus Christ is led to speak with Pilate, who finds no fault in Him. When Pilate finds that Jesus was from the area of Galilee, governed by Herod, he sends Jesus to him, because he had jurisdiction. Herod and his men mocked Jesus and arraigned Him in a gorgeous robe as an insult to the “King”, Herod sends Jesus back to Pilate. Pilate confirms again that he has found no fault in Jesus, but as tradition he must release one prisoner at the feast. The people cry out for Jesus to be crucified, and after Pilate made it clear that he found no fault, he gives into the demands of the people and releases Barabbas instead of Jesus.
Jesus is sentenced, without trial to be crucified and Pilate “washes his hands of the situation”, as to not be held accountable for the death of Jesus. After beating Jesus almost to death they force Him to carry His own cross to Calvary to be crucified, but so weak, the soldiers ordered a man named Simon to carry His cross for Him. On His walk to imminent death, women follow Him wailing, He comforts them and tells them; “…Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.” (Luke 23:28) Jesus knew that there soon would come great calamities. Jesus is crucified between two thieves, and cries out to His Father; “…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” (Luke 23:34) Jesus knew that the people were limited in their light and knowledge and because of the hardness of their hearts, they knew not what they were doing; crucifying their Lord and Savior.
Those gathered to witness this atrocious act of the murder of Jesus Christ mock Him and tell Him that if He was the Christ, He could save Himself. Above His head read a sign; “…THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (Luke 23:38) Jesus soon gave up the ghost, but before he turned to the two criminals being crucified with Him and said; “…To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Jesus commended His Spirit unto the Father and died.
After the death of Jesus, a man named Joseph went and asked for the body from Pilate, who granted his wishes that Jesus have a proper burial in a sepulchre, in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
In the early morning hours the chief priests and elders took counsel against Jesus, and decided to put him to death. They bound Him and took Him away to go before Pontius Pilate, who was the governor of the land. Judas, who had betrayed Jesus, finds out what had happened and came before the chief priests. Judas was filled with guilt and desired to return the 30 pieces of silver that had been given to him to betray Jesus. He tells the chief priests; “…I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us?” (Matthew 27:27:4) Judas through the silver down in the temple and went home to hang himself. When the chief priests asked what they should do with the money, they took counsel and buried them in the potter’s field. This fulfilled what Jeremiah had prophesied about; “…And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field…” (Matthew 27:9) The field was from then on called the “Field of Blood”.
Jesus stands before the governor (Pontius Pilate), where Jesus is asked; “…Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.” (Matthew 27:11) Pilate then asks Him if He knows about how many people are witnessing against Him. But Jesus does not respond, and Pontius marveled at this. While Pilate was questioning Jesus, he had in his custody a prisoner named Barabbas. In Hebrew, bar means ‘son of’ and abba means ‘father’ meaning that Barabbas was the ‘son of the father’. Pilate then goes before the people and asks them; “…Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:17) The chief priests and the elders, persuaded the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas. So Pilate asks; “…What shall I do then with Jesus which is called the Christ? They all said unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done?” (Matthew 27:22-23) But the crowd continued to cry louder and louder for the crucifixion of Jesus. Pilate washed his hands before them said to the crowd; “…I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” (Matthew 27:24)
Barabbas was released to them and soldiers took Jesus and “scourged him”, meaning they whipped Him with a leather strap that had sharp glass, pottery or rocks tied into the leather. Then the soldier put a scarlet robe over His back, a crown woven of thorns on His head. The soldiers then got down on one knee and mocked Him, saying; “…Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit on him… and smote him on the head.” (Matthew 27:29-30) After they had finished mocking and beating Him, they led Jesus away to crucify Him.
The soldiers were leading Him to a place called Golgotha, which means the ‘place of a skull’, while on their journey there; Jesus was no longer able to bear the weight of His own cross. Because of this a man of Cyrene, by the name of Simon was compelled to carry the cross for Jesus. The soldiers gave Jesus Vinegar to drink, but He refused. Upon arrival to Golgotha the soldiers stripped Jesus and cast lots for his raiment. Setup above the cross, where Jesus was crucified, read; “…THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (Matthew 27:37) And one the left and right of Jesus were two thieves, who were also being crucified. This just shows how little the despicable people around Him, thought of His being. While Jesus was suffering on the cross, many passed by and mocked Him.
“…Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” (Matthew 27:40) – This is very interesting, because 3 days later, Jesus did build the temple again, His own body.
“He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” (Matthew 27:42) – Even though the chief priests had seen His great miracles, seeing was not enough for them. Instead, every action or move that Jesus made would require proof. This is the very reason why seeing is not always believing. The priests had already seen, but wanted more. Thus proving that they would never be satisfied, even with the evidence placed before them.
In the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice towards the heavens; “…Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Many that were there, thought Jesus was crying out for Elias. And foolishly said, “…let us see whether Elias will come and save him.” (Matthew 27:49) But at that same moment Jesus “…cried again with a loud voice, [and] yielded up the ghost.” (Matthew 27:50) Immediately following the death of Jesus, the veil of the temple was rent in twain [it was torn] and the entire earth did shake. Graves of the saints were opened, and the dead did walk. Those who were around, began to fear greatly, saying; “…Truly this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54) Many women and men, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses and Joseph went before Pilate and begged for the body of Jesus.
Pilate agrees to give the body and they take the body to a sepulchre, where they rolled a large stone in front of the door. Pilate remembered that it was said Jesus would arise the third day. So to be careful he commands soldiers to watch the sepulchre, to ensure that His disciples don’t take the body and then claim Jesus was resurrected.