The Crucifixion “Death by crucifixion was at once the most lingering and most painful of all forms of execution. The victim lived in ever increasing torture, generally for many hours, sometimes for days. The spikes so cruelly driven through hands and feet penetrated and crushed sensitive nerves and quivering tendons, yet inflicted no mortal wound. The welcome relief of death came through the exhaustion caused by intense and unremitting pain, through localized inflammation and congestion of organs incident to the strained and unnatural posture of the body” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 655).
Seven Statements from the Cross Look up each of the statements & discuss its significance with a friend: 1-(Luke 23:34). 2-(Luke 23:43). 3-(John 19:26-27). 4-(Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34). 5-(John 19:28). 6-(John 19:30; JST--Matthew 27:50a). 7-(Luke 23:46).
Seven Statements from the Cross 1-Father forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). 2-Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43). 3-Woman, behold thy son: behold thy mother (John 19:26-27). 4-Eli Eli lama sabachthani?--My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34). 5-I thirst (John 19:28). 6-It is finished. Thy will is done (John 19:30; JST--Matthew 27:50a). 7-Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit (Luke 23:46).
Paradise?? “By many the terms ‘hades’ and ‘sheol’ are understood to designate the place of departed spirits, comprising both paradise and the prison realm… “The assumption that the gracious assurance given by Christ to the penitent sinner on the cross was a remission of the man’s sins, and a passport into heaven, is wholly contrary to both the letter and spirit of scripture, reason and justice. Confidence in the efficacy of death-bed professions and confessions on the basis of this incident is of the most insecure foundation. The crucified malefactor manifested both faith and repentance; his promised blessing was that he should that day hear the gospel preached in paradise; in the acceptance or rejection of the word of life he would be an agent unto himself. The requirement of obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel as an essential to salvation was not waived, suspended or superseded in his case” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 677).
IT IS FINISHED “On sunlit days during the noon hour, the streets of Salt Lake City abound with men and women who for a moment leave the confines of the tall office buildings and engage in that universal delight called window shopping. On occasion I, too, am a participant. One Wednesday I paused before the elegant show window of a prestigious furniture store. That which caught and held my attention was not the beautifully designed sofa nor the comfortable-appearing chair that stood at its side. Neither was it the beautiful chandelier positioned overhead. Rather, my eyes rested upon a small sign that had been placed at the bottom right-hand corner of the window. Its message was brief: “Finishers Wanted.” The store had need of those persons who possessed the talent and the skill to make ready for final sale the expensive furniture that the firm manufactured and sold. “Finishers Wanted.” The words remained with me as I returned to the pressing activities of the day. In life, as in business, there has always been a need for those persons who could be called finishers. Their ranks are few, their opportunities many, their contributions great. From the very beginning to the present time, a fundamental question remains to be answered by each who runs the race of life. Shall I falter or shall I finish? On the answer await the blessings of joy and happiness here in mortality and eternal life in the world to come… Concerning those who fall short, John Greenleaf Whittier’s words seem particularly fitting: “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’ ” —“Maude Muller” (Thomas S. Monson, “‘Finishers Wanted’,” Ensign, Jul 1972, 68).
IT IS FINISHED Who are some of the “finishers” in the scriptures? Take two minutes and write in your journal/notebook about an aspect of your life in which you need to be a finisher. Stick to your task ’til it sticks to you; Beginners are many, but enders are few. Honor, power, place and praise Will always come to the one who stays. “Stick to your task ’til it sticks to you; Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it, too; For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile Will come life’s victories after a while.” —Author Unknown (Thomas S. Monson, “‘Finishers Wanted’,” Ensign, Jul 1972, 68).
John 21:15 “Lovest thou me more than these?” What are “these” for me?
John 21:15-17 “Brothers and sisters, do we really understand the teachings of the Savior, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren”? (Luke 22:32). Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep. Feeding the lambs could well be missionary labors working with newly baptized members, who must be nurtured and given caring warmth and fellowship in the family of Saints. Feeding the sheep could well refer to the mature members of the Church, some active and some less active, who need to be cared for and brought back to the flock. “We have learned well the message of one prophet, “Every member [is] a missionary” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1959, 122). Hopefully, we will respond to an equally urgent plea that every member be a friend, a fellowshiper, nurturing and caring for all our brothers and sisters—fully active members, new members, and less- active members alike” (Robert D. Hales, “‘When Thou Art Converted, Strengthen Thy Brethren’,” Ensign, May 1997, 80).
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