Abinadi: The Shadow of Things to Come - Martyrdom
The life of Abinadi, a courageous missionary, and prophet of the Lord is unknown other than for the short time he is mentioned in the Book of Mosiah among a small group of Nephites, the Zeniffites. His life was not what was important to him, as he put himself in danger to spread his message of repentance through Christ in 150 BC!
Abinadi serves as a type or shadow of the life of Christ because of the several things that occurred to him after he began his public ministry among a remote group of Nephites; a people who are believed to be a mixture--with another group called the Lamanites--of the principal ancestors of the Natives of the Americas.
King Noah and his priests are akin to the Jewish sect leaders in Jerusalem in their determination to maintain the power over the people who used their services. Abinadi taught things that would destroy the priestcraft of the priests of King Noah who glutted themselves with the taxation of the people. The leaders who decried the preaching of Jesus did so to protect the political positions developed with the Romans so that Israel to stay in power and protect the sanctity of the temple from Roman influence. The coming of a messiah that did not bring with him the power to throw off the shackles of Rome was not worth it to them, be he the true Messiah or not.
- Both Abinadi and Christ preach to an apostate society.
- Neither Abinadi or Christ were authorized by local priesthood.·
- Both Abinadi and Christ informed the people to repent.·
- Both Christ and Abinadi were rejected by the priests and the king·
- The priests of both societies accused Christ and Abinadi of treason.
- The king for both men could have released them from bondage, but did not.
- Both men were martyred for their preaching.
As the scriptures teach, Christ was taken by His people, who beat Him and betrayed Him to the gentiles who crucified Him.
He could not be taken until He delivered His message. He could not be taken by force. He went with the band of cutthroats who delivered Him to be beaten and judged of the Sanhedrin.
He told Peter, who aggressively defended Him, to stop and realize that if necessary He could call down a legion of angels, but it was not to be so.
Peter was told he would deny Christ thrice. In my opinion, it was a command from Christ for Peter to deny Him so that he could live.
Abinadi was put in a similar situation. The King placed him bound to burn him with faggots or hot sticks. He cried out that they would cause many more to die in that way. Mosiah 17:14-20 records that
...when the flames began to scorch him, he cried unto them, saying:
Behold, even as ye have done unto me, so shall it come to pass that thy seed shall cause that many shall suffer the pains that I do suffer, even the pains of death by fire; and this because they believe in the salvation of the Lord their God.
And it will come to pass that ye shall be afflicted with all manner of diseases because of your iniquities.
Yea, and ye shall be smitten on every hand, and shall be driven and scattered to and fro, even as a wild flock is driven by wild and ferocious beasts.
And in that day ye shall be hunted, and ye shall be taken by the hand of your enemies, and then ye shall suffer, as I suffer, the pains of death by fire.
Thus God executeth vengeance upon those that destroy his people. O God, receive my soul.
And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire
Points to Ponder
Abinadi, like Christ did after him:
- could not be taken without allowing it
- was not prevented from finishing his ministry
- willingly gave up his life to fulfill God's purposes
- died a martyr's death
- facilitated the growth of a religion due to his martyrdom
There are more parallels than I place here, but the grand point here is that Abinadi gave his life as a testimony of the Saviors life. He taught the Zeniffites the word of God through Moses about the coming of Christ. He then demonstrated that he willing would give up his life efficaciously to seal his testimony with his blood, though in his case, fire.
What do You say?
Can you see the parallel in Abinadi's life to Jesus's life?
© 2015 Rodric Anthony Johnson