Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Friday, June 21, 2019

It is Finished



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Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end of the blog


Charity is a word we often hear in studying the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are told that charity ranks in the fore front of commandments and teachings. We are to have charity, be charitable, understand charity. So what exactly is charity? Do we really understand what it means to be charitable, where did charity come from how did it start?

The origin of the word is said to be late Old English (in the sense ‘Christian love of one's fellows’): from Old French charite, from Latin caritas, from carus ‘dear’  and Google gives the following definitions: the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need, kindness and tolerance in judging others, love of humankind, typically in a Christian context.

The Bible definition however is much more descriptive telling us that charity is: "The highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ. It is never used to denote alms or deeds of benevolence, although it may be a prompting motive." 

The truth about charity is that its origin is Jesus Christ and it is our greatest lesson. In the gospel of Luke, Luke reports that while Jesus was on the cross he cried out, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" "(Meaning the soldiers who crucified him)" (Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible). In every word and deed, Jesus Christ exemplified pure love, which is charity as we are taught by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13.  At no time was this pure love more evident than during the final hours of the Savior’s mortal life. His dignified silence in the face of false accusations demonstrated that He “is not easily provoked” 1 Corinthians 13:5. His willingness to submit to scourging, mocking, and crucifixion while restraining His power to end His torments, showed that He “suffereth long” and “beareth all things” 1 Corinthians 13:4, 7. His compassion toward His mother and His mercy toward His crucifiers, even during His own incomparable suffering, reveal that He “seeketh not His own but that of the Father” 1 Corinthians 13:5. In His final moments on earth, Jesus was doing what He had done throughout His mortal ministry, teaching us by showing us that charity is “the pure love of Christ” Moroni 7:47.

Our lesson this week follows the chapters of  Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19 which describe the final hours of the Savior’s mortal life. As we study let us seek to feel His love for us and understand how the accounts of the Savior’s death demonstrate His unmeasurable love.  

Part 1: Jesus Christ’s willingness to suffer shows His love for the Father and for all of us.  Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19

These Chapters tell of the most significant events in the history of the world. Matthew 27:1–26; Mark 15:1–15; Luke 23:1–25; John 18:28–19:16 tells that because the chief priests and elders do not have power to sentence Jesus to death, they send him to be tried by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in Judea. Before Pilate, Jesus is accused of being an enemy to Caesar. Learning that Jesus is from Galilee, Pilate sends him to Herod, a governor over Galilee. Herod refuses to judge Jesus and sends him back to Pilate, who yields to the crowd’s demands that Jesus be crucified.

Matthew 27:27–66; Mark 15:16–39; Luke 23:26–56; John 19:17–42. Describes how cruelly Jesus is scourged and crucified, then on the cross he experiences great agony while offering himself as a sacrifice for mankind.

Although the Savior had power to call down “legions of angels” Matthew 26:53, He voluntarily chose to endure unjust trials, why did He do it? “Because of his loving kindness,” Nephi testified, “and his long-suffering towards the children of men” 1 Nephi 19:9.

To better understand the agony of Christ and the love he has for each of us lets take a look at some of the things He endured for our sake.

When Pilate learned that Jesus was from Galilee, he sent him to Herod, who was a governor over Galilee Luke 23:6–7. Why was Herod “exceeding glad” to see Jesus?  Luke 23:8
8 ¶ And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.

How did the Savior respond to Herod’s questions?  Luke 23:9; compare this verse with the prophecy in Isaiah 53:7.

9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.


After Herod and his men accused and mocked Jesus, they sent him back to Pilate Luke 23:11. What was Pilate’s judgment of Jesus? Luke 23:13–17 Luke 23:4.
13 ¶ And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:
15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him.

17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)

4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

 Why did Pilate sentence Jesus to be crucified?  Matthew 27:15–24; Mark 15:6–15; Luke 23:18–25; John 19:1–16.

18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:
19 (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
20 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
22 And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.
23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.

25 And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Jewish leaders accused Jesus of treason, or trying to overthrow the Roman government, and claimed that Jesus declared Himself a king and sought to establish His own kingdom.

What might you have said to Pilate in defense of the Savior if you had had an opportunity to speak?

Matthew 27:15–25 explains that each year during the Feast of the Passover, it was the custom of the Roman governor to pardon a convicted criminal. The people were permitted to select one prisoner to be released. One notable prisoner at the time of Jesus’s sentencing was a man named Barabbas, who had been convicted as a thief, a rebel against Roman authority, and a murderer.  

The name Barabbas ironically means “son of the father.” The crowd, most of whom were stirred up by the chief priests and elders, called for the release of Barabbas while rejecting the true Son of the Father. In one sense, we are all like Barabbas, we are the sinful sons set free because the true Son of the Father was condemned to death. According to the Greek text of Matthew 27:26, Barabbas’s first name was Jesus. Jesus Barabbas was a thief, murderer, and traitor, while Jesus the Christ was perfect. Those who condemned the Savior to death were presented with a clear choice, and they chose evil.

15 Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?
18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.
19 ¶ When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.
22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
24 ¶ When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

According to verses 17 and 21, what did Pilate ask the multitude?
Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.


What reasons might Pilate have had for offering to release Jesus instead of Barabbas?
Pilate recognized that Jesus was innocent of the accusations made against Him; even his wife had warned him of Jesus Christ’s innocence Matthew 27:19–24. One provision of the Mosaic law stated that if a person was found to have been killed, the elders of the city could wash their hands to signify that they were not responsible Deuteronomy 21:6–7. There are also examples in Greek and Roman literature of washing oneself as a symbolic gesture of absolving oneself of responsibility for shedding another’s blood. Thus, when Pilate washed his hands, he may have been claiming innocence in a way the Jewish leaders would have understood. Washing his hands, however, did not allow Pilate to evade responsibility. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles noted that “Pilate’s freshly washed hands could not have been more stained or more unclean” (“None Were with Him,” Ensign May 2009, 86).

Why did Pilate finally release Barabbas and deliver Jesus to be crucified?  His Crucifixion was brought about by Roman authorities in cooperation with a relatively small group of Jewish leaders. 

Over the past 2,000 years, people have sometimes used the statement “His blood be on us, and on our children” Matthew 27:25 to blame all the Jews of Jesus’s time, or even Jews of later generations, for the death of Jesus Christ. Such accusations ignore scriptural accounts stating that a great many Jews of Jesus’s time believed in Him and that Matthew 26:3–5; 27:20; Luke 21:38; 23:27; John 12:42). Any anti-Semitism based on Matthew 27:25 also ignores scriptural testimony that the Lord loves the people of Israel and has a plan for their salvation (see Matthew 23:39; Romans 11:1, 26; 1 Nephi 19:13–17.

Mormon, the Nephite prophet-historian, wrote, “Yea, and ye need not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews, nor any of the remnant of the house of Israel; for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them, and he will do unto them according to that which he hath sworn” (3 Nephi 29:8)

For more information on Pilate’s role in the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, see the commentaries for Luke 23:4–12 and for John 19:4–16.

Jesus is scourged and crucified  Matthew 27:27–66; Mark 15:16–39; Luke 23:26–56; and John 19:17–42

What did the people do to Jesus after he was sentenced to be crucified?  Matthew 27:27–44; Luke 23:34–39

34 ¶ Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is the King of the Jews.
39 ¶ And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

Scourging
Generally, a scourging consisted of being beaten with a whip 39 times Deuteronomy 25:3. Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained what it meant to be scourged: “This brutal practice, a preliminary to crucifixion, consisted of stripping the victim of clothes, strapping him to a pillar or frame, and beating him with a scourge made of leather straps weighted with sharp pieces of lead and bone. It left the tortured sufferer bleeding, weak, and sometimes dead” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:807).

Mocking Images of Royalty
A theme in Matthew is that Jesus Christ is the rightful King of Israel. After the Savior was scourged, the Roman soldiers put a robe on Him, made a crown of thorns (plaited means “woven”) and put it on his head, and put a reed in His right hand. Then they mockingly bowed before Him and called Him King of the Jews. The robe was purple, a color known to be used by royalty (see Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 27:30 [in Matthew 27:28, footnote a]; see also Mark 15:17; John 19:2).

Why did Jesus allow the people to persecute him? 1 Nephi 19:9
9 And the world, because of their iniquity, 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.

The scriptures record seven statements that Jesus made while on the cross that clearly teach us charity or the pure love of Christ:

1.  Luke 23:34. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” 

The Joseph Smith Translation clarifies that the Savior spoke of the soldiers who crucified Him when He prayed, “Father, forgive them”: “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Meaning the soldiers who crucified him,) and they parted his raiment and cast lots” (Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 23:35 [in Luke 23:34, footnote c]). Luke recorded that after the Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross, they mocked Him and offered Him vinegar (sour wine) when He cried out in thirst near the end of His ordeal (see Luke 23:36; John 19:28–30).

What does this reveal about Jesus? 

What is the worldly way to respond to people who hurt or offend us? 

How are we blessed when we follow Jesus’ example? 

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency explained one reason why we too should forgive those who offend us: “We must forgive and bear no malice toward those who offend us. The Savior set the example from the cross: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34). We do not know the hearts of those who offend us” (“That We May Be One,” Ensign, May 1998, 68).

For additional prophetic statements on forgiving others, see the commentaries for Matthew 18:21–22 and for Matthew 18:33.

2.  Luke 23:43. To the repentant thief: “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” 

The Prophet Joseph Smith said that Jesus told the thief, “This day thou shalt be with me in the world of spirits” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 309).

From Doctrine and Covenants 138:36–37 we learn that Jesus went to the world of spirits during the time between his death and Resurrection and that there he prepared the faithful spirits to preach his gospel to the spirits who had not received it on the earth.


3.  John 19:26–27. To his mother, Mary: “Woman, behold thy son!” To John: “Behold thy mother!”
John’s Gospel preserves the moving account of Jesus Christ speaking to His mother while He hung on the cross.  His statement to the Apostle John, “Behold thy mother!” placed Mary in John’s care. Sister Elaine L. Jack, former Relief Society general president, taught about the love between the Savior and His mother:  “We read in John, ‘There stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister’ (John 19:25). They were there as they had been throughout his life. My mind darts back to the early years as Mary and Joseph raised this most remarkable child. I can hear Mary comforting the baby Jesus with soothing words that come so naturally to us: ‘I’m right here.’ And then at this most dramatic moment of all time, there was the mother, Mary. She couldn’t soothe his pain this time, but she could stand by his side. Jesus, in tribute, offered those grand words, ‘Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!’ [John 19:26–27]” (“Relief Society: A Balm in Gilead,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 93).

Whose needs did Jesus think of during these painful ordeals? Luke 23:43; John 19:26–27.

 4.  Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 
The Savior’s cry of forsakenness echoed David’s words of anguish because of his sins, recorded in Psalm 22:1. Though Jesus Christ had never sinned and therefore had never been separated spiritually from the Father, He did experience that awful separation when His suffering for our sins continued on the cross Isaiah 53:5–6; 2 Corinthians 5:21.  Jesus Christ had been blessed with a full measure of His Father’s Spirit throughout His life (see Joseph Smith Translation, John 3:34 [in John 3:34, footnote b]), and when this Spirit was withdrawn, the Savior felt the greatest pain, sorrow, and suffering. Yet this withdrawal of the sustaining influence of the Father was necessary so that Christ’s victory would be complete.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland discussed why the Father withdrew His Spirit from His Son:  “With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. 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.  But Jesus held on. He pressed on. The goodness in Him allowed faith to triumph even in a state of complete anguish. … Because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so” (“None Were with Him,” Ensign May 2009, 87–88).

What did Jesus experience on the cross that enabled him to understand and help us when we feel alone? 

Why is it important to know that the Savior can bear not only our sins but also our loneliness, grief, and fear?

5.  John 19:28. “I thirst.” Despite all that Jesus suffered, this was his only mention of physical discomfort.  John recorded that on several occasions, Jesus taught that He offers “living water” to quench forever the spiritual thirst of all who follow Him John 4:10–14; 7:37–39. But now, on the cross, Jesus declared His own thirst and was offered only vinegar, fulfilling ancient prophecy John 19:28–29; Psalm 69:21. Elder James E. Talmage said of this passage, “John affirms that Christ uttered the exclamation, ‘I thirst,’ only when He knew ‘that all things were now accomplished’; and the apostle saw in the incident a fulfillment of prophecy” (Jesus the Christ, 661).

6.  John 19:30. “It is finished.” 

Two of the statements the Savior made from the cross may be understood in light of what Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught about the Savior’s unwavering determination to accomplish His Father’s will: “From before the foundation of the world to the final moments on the cross, the Savior had been about His Father’s business. He completed the work He had been sent to do. Therefore, we do not wonder to whom He was talking when, upon the cross, ‘he said, It is finished,’ [John 19:30] and ‘cried with a loud voice, … Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost’ [Luke 23:46]. We know He was praying to His Heavenly Father (“Gaining a Testimony of God the Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost,” Ensign May 2008, 31).

Elder Hales also spoke about how the Savior’s example can show us the way to endure to the end: “Jesus chose not to be released from this world until He had endured to the end and completed the mission He had been sent to accomplish for mankind. Upon the cross of Calvary, Jesus commended His spirit to His Father with a simple statement, ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30). Having endured to the end, He was released from mortality.  We, too, must endure to the end. The Book of Mormon teaches, ‘Unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved’ (2 Ne. 31:16)” (“The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 6).

7.  Luke 23:46. “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” 
The Joseph Smith Translation provides additional insight: “Jesus when he had cried again with a loud voice, saying, Father, it is finished, thy will is done, yielded up the ghost” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 27:54 Matthew 27:50, footnote a

Why did the Savior have to die in order to accomplish Heavenly Father’s will? 2 Nephi 9:5; 3 Nephi 27:13–16. President Spencer W. Kimball said: “He needed to die, that he might open the graves of all men as his own tomb was opened. Without the deep darkness of the crucifixion hour, there could have been no spring of coming from the grave” (Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 4; or Ensign, May 1975, 4).

The Savior’s first recorded premortal words were “Here am I, send me” Abraham 3:27. Among his first recorded mortal words were “I must be about my Father’s business” Luke 2:49. Among the last words he spoke in mortality were “Father, it is finished, thy will is done” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 27:54; see Matthew 27:50, footnote 50a). Jesus never lost sight of his Father’s will or his own mission. He could have called upon legions of angels to rescue him, but he did not Matthew 26:53–54. Despite the agony, he never faltered in his humility and his willingness to accomplish the infinite Atonement.

This is charity, the pure love of Christ.  It is the love that Christ has for the Father and for the children of men as well as the love the children of men should have for one another.  It is the highest noblest and strongest kid of love and the most joyus to the soul.  It is everlasting love.  

Part 2: Matthew 27:14–60  Ancient prophets foresaw the Savior’s suffering and Crucifixion.

Many of the world dismiss the account of Christ as fable. However the records of history tell us different. This event was all part of the great plan of happiness that was put in place in the pre-mortal realms prior to the creation. Many, long before the birth of Christ, prophesied of the pains He would endure. Proof of these records exist in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and numerous other texts. These prophesies help to strengthen our faith in Christ in knowing that ancient prophets foretold many of the events in the Savior’s final hours.

Following are some examples:  

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

9 And the world, because of their iniquity, 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.

6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

10 And the God of our fathers, who were led out of Egypt, out of bondage, and also were preserved in the wilderness by him, yea, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, yieldeth himself, according to the words of the angel, as a man, into the hands of wicked men, to be lifted up, according to the words of Zenock, and to be crucified, according to the words of Neum, and to be buried in a sepulchre, according to the words of Zenos, which he spake concerning the three days of darkness, which should be a sign given of his death unto those who should inhabit the isles of the sea, more especially given unto those who are of the house of Israel.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


Psalm 22:7–8
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Find the verses in Matthew 27 that show how these scriptures were fulfilled. 

What do we learn from these prophecies? 

How do these prophecies strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ?


Part 3 Opposition cannot stop the work of God. Matthew 27:27–49; Mark 15:16–32; Luke 23:11, 35–39; John 19:1–5

Many reading this blog may have faced opposition in their lives such as being judged or mocked when they have expressed their beliefs or tried to live their faith.  I am one of those and have experienced grief over such.  The above verses describe when this happened to the Savior: 
 
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
29 ¶ And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
34 ¶ They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
36 And sitting down they watched him there;
37 And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus the King of the Jews.
38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
39 ¶ And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
40 And saying, 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.
41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
42 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.
43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

What opposition did Jesus face in His final hours? 
Betrayed by one of the apostles.
All his disciples "forsook him and fled."
False witnesses and accusations .
Accused of blasphemy by Jewish leaders.
He was mocked.
The people called for his crucifixion over Barabbas
He endured the agony of scourging.
He had to carry his own cross until relieved by Simon of Cyrene.
Endured the unfathomable pain of crucifixion.
Crucified with criminals.
Watched from the cross the emotional pain of his mother and others.
"In that bitterest hour the dying Christ was alone, alone in most terrible reality.  (Elder James E Talmage Jesus The Christ)

How did Christ respond to such a painful final hours? He endured and accomplished all the Father had given him to do, he did not give up, he did not turn away in the face of pain and tragedy, he endrued.  

How did you respond when this happened to you? 

What can we learn from the Savior’s responses that can help us face opposition in our day? 


Part 4:  Luke 23:34–43  The Savior offers us hope and forgiveness.

How do you feel when you read the Savior’s words in Luke 23:34-43?

34 ¶ Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is the King of the Jews.
39 ¶ And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.


What do you learn about the Savior from these verses? long suffering, kindness, selflessness, forgiveness, not easily provoked, thinketh no evil...


How can we follow the Savior’s example?  “Closely related to our own obligation to repent is the generosity of letting others do the same—we are to forgive even as we are forgiven. In this we participate in the very essence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Surely the most majestic moment of that fateful Friday, when nature convulsed and the veil of the temple was rent, was that unspeakably merciful moment when Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ As our advocate with the Father, He is still making that same plea today—in your behalf and in mine.

“Here, as in all things, Jesus set the standard for us to follow. Life is too short to be spent nursing animosities. … We don’t want God to remember our sins, so there is something fundamentally wrong in our relentlessly trying to remember those of others”
(“The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 83).

Conclusion
Jesus Christ is the perfect example of charity.  He is charity.  He went about doing good, teaching the gospel and showing tender compassion for the poor, afflicted, and distressed.  His crowing expression of charity was His infinite Atonement.  He said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  This was the greatest act of long suffering, kindness, and selflessness that we will ever know.  

The Savior wants all people to receive His love and to share it with others.  In relationships with family members and others, as followers of Christ we need to look to the Savior as our example and strive to love as He loves, with unfailing compassion, patience and mercy.  As we do, gaining a deeper understanding of charity, the pure love of Christ, our hearts will be filled with peace and the hope of a joyful eternity will be full. 

"Those who find a way to truly behold the Man find the doorway to life’s greatest joys and the balm to life’s most demanding despairs." (Conference Report May 2018 Behold the Man Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf)


Resources
New Testament Student Manual
Ensign
Conference Reports
Jesus the Christ
Book of Mormon
Doctrine and Covenants
Joseph Smith Translation Bible





The Fall of Adam and Eve

  Scriptures are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end...