Abinadi: Condemnation by Decree
More than a century before the blessed Savior was born, and 180 years before people would know of Jesus Christ's public ministry, Abinadi testified that Christ is the creator of salvation and the very fulfillment of the Law of Moses. In Abinadi: Not One of Us discusses how the people in two hemispheres received the message of salvation through Christ. Jesus, the God, gave the Law of Moses and completed it at the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea in a glorious resurrection. This article is about the result of Abinadi's ministry, occurrences in Abinadi's life that made him a shadow of things to come in the life of Jesus.
- Both Abinadi and Christ preach to an apostate society.
- Neither Abinadi or Christ were authorized by local priesthood guilds.
- 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.
Let MY Prophet Go!
Immediately when Abinadi set foot into the lands of Shimlon and begin to preach, the loyalist wasted no time presenting him and laying thickly their version of what Abinadi said in his sermons, bound before the king. The man had a two-year-old death warrant on his head!
The accusers said the following as recorded in Mosiah 12:9-12:
Behold, we have brought a man before thee who has prophesied evil concerning thy people, and saith that God will destroy them.
And he also prophesieth evil concerning thy life, and saith that thy life shall be as a garment in a furnace of fire. And again, he saith that thou shalt be as a stalk, even as a dry stalk of the field, which is run over by the beasts and trodden under foot. And again, he saith thou shalt be as the blossoms of a thistle, which, when it is fully ripe, if the wind bloweth, it is driven forth upon the face of the land. And he pretendeth the Lord hath spoken it. And he saith all this shall come upon thee except thou repent, and this because of thine iniquities.
After reading what these loyalists testified that Abinadi said about King Noah's life, I wanted him punished! Kidding aside, Abinadi was in a precarious situation with no friends to get him out.
Abinadi's Unjust Trial
Jesus Christ was also thrust before Pontius Pilate with no escape; except Jesus had the stuffing beaten out of him by the leaders of the Jewish sects before they handed him over for judgment as a seditious traitor to the Roman empire.
Such a charge was taken very seriously since it was common knowledge that the province of Judea was a hotbed of trouble. The Jews were a hard bunch to rule--especially since they abhorred their station as tributary to Rome.
Abinadi preached such a fiery and a troubling sermon to King Noah that his confidence failed him and he was about to let Abinadi go. Said Abinadi:
I say unto you, I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you concerning this people, for they are true; and that ye may know of their surety I have suffered myself that I have fallen into your hands.
Yea, and I will suffer even until death, and I will not recall my words, and they shall stand as a testimony against you. And if ye slay me ye will shed innocent blood, and this shall also stand as a testimony against you at the last day. (Mosiah 17:9-10)
Bold words for a man in fetters, yet Abinadi said that he would suffer death before he would recall his words to the Zeniffites. He also claimed that he had allowed them to capture him for the purpose of giving them the choice to repent, or take the life of an innocent man who told the truth.
Resolve broken, "king Noah was about to release him, for he feared his word; for he feared that the judgments of God would come upon him." (Mosiah 17) King Noah had a righteous father, Zeniff. Inklings of that righteousness must have still simmered somewhere in the heart of that man.
But just like the seeds from the parable taught by the Savior of the seeds placed on thorny ground, the weeds choked the tender plants that grew until they died; so did the priest of his court choke King Noah's last bit of sensibility out of him.
Because the "priests lifted up their voices against him and began to accuse him, saying: He has reviled the king."
"Therefore the king was stirred up in anger against him, and he delivered him up that he might be slain." (Mosiah 17:11-12)
Jesus Christ or Barabbas?
After Jesus had received thirty lashes from the guard, which was known to have killed lesser men, Pontius Pilate, as was customary for him to do in honor of their Passover, offered to commute one of the prisoners' sentences.
Jesus Barabbas was a seditious activist who was most likely sentenced to death for treason against Rome. It is interesting that Barabbas's name meant, Jesus son of the father. Some people think it was the very Jesus Christ, secularist. That no such other Jesus existed with Jesus of Nazareth.
Either way, Pontius Pilate offered to release a well-known separatist, Jesus Barabbas, to the crowds in Jerusalem or the man who was convicted of Heresy against the faith, Jesus of Nazareth. The leaders of the Sanhedrin and cohorts who had beaten the Savior would not have accented to a traitor to the faith, as was Jesus, the leader of the Nazarene cult. Of course, they chose Barabbas.
It is unclear how Pilate would have allowed this being that releasing a subversive against Rome who was sentenced to death could very well have meant his own death sentence. The Gospels confirm that is what occurred, as Pilot symbolically washed his hands of the situation.
Pilate did not remain in office long afterwards. I assume he was replaced because of his release of a traitor to Rome among other acts Josephus records against the peace with the people of Jerusalem.
It makes sense that the crowd chose Barabbas since the leaders of the religious sects of the day all hated Christ, the Nazarene for supposed crimes against God. It would be better to release a criminal against Rome than one against God.
Christ was not released due to the chanting of the People. "Crucify him!"
John records in John 19:11-16,
...Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar.
The Jews reported Pilate to his superior before according to Josephus. Pilate was not about to face another reprimand in regards to these people. So,
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat...and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him.
Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King?
The chief priests answered, We have no king but Cæsar.
Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
Abinadi. like John the Baptist, was a forerunner of Christ. His purpose was to prepare the way before the coming of Messiah. Abinadi: Martyrdom, is the finale of the seven listed comparisons of Abinadi and Jesus Christ.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Rodric Anthony