Skip to main content

Jesus, our Perfect Examplar (Maxwell)


Jesus, our Perfect Exemplar, was astonishingly exemplary even in the hours surrounding the awful but glorious Atonement. The intrigue of Pilate and Herod, for instance, who had earlier been "at enmity" but who "made friends together" because of Jesus, presented opportunities for Jesus to "shrink" from going through with the Atonement (Luke 23:12; D&C 19:18). Herod, who had been desirous "to see [Jesus] of a long season," "hoped to have seen some miracle done by him" (Luke 23:8). Yet Jesus, under heavy questioning from Herod, "answered him nothing" (Luke 23:9; see also Mosiah 14:7). Jesus' integrity and intellect were not for sale! Amid temptation, he maintained his integrity--even in the midst of an opportunity that a lesser individual would have seized to reduce his suffering and to increase the praise of men.

Ironically, when Jesus' enemies came for him, the Light of the World, they came with lanterns and torches (John 18:3). Jesus, who by then might have understandably been so swollen with sorrow and self-concern that there was no time to think of others, nevertheless restored the severed ear of a hostile guard (Luke 22:50­51). Amid irony he kept his poise. He also kept his way, which is not the way of the sword.

Christ spoke only several sentences on the cross. One of them was to insure that his mother, Mary, would be cared for by John (John 19:25­27). Another sentence reassured a thief on an adjoining cross (Luke 23:43). He had empathy amid his agony.

Finally, he maintained his consecration in the midst of the deepest deprivation anyone can know. President Brigham Young taught us that in the course of the astonishing Atonement, the Father withdrew both his presence and his Spirit from Jesus, and, further, even cast a veil over Jesus (JD 3:206). Thus Jesus became utterly and totally alone! There then came that great cry of forsakenness! "Nevertheless," Jesus did not "shrink," but, instead, "finished [his] preparations unto the children of men" (D&C 19:18­19). Just as he promised premortally, even when he might have reflected a little credit upon himself for the glorious Atonement, meek Jesus, instead, gave all the glory to the Father (D&C 19:19).

We need not apologize for regarding Jesus as "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). We need not apologize for regarding salvational knowledge, revealed by him, as being the most precious. Indeed, in Christ "all things hold together," for he is perfect in knowing and perfect in doing. And, most marvelously, he has challenged us to become like him (Matthew 5:48; 3 Nephi 12:48; 27:27).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, BYU Devotional, August 1992

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The God of the 4th Watch (S. Michael Wilcox)

The scriptures are our Father in Heaven’s letters; only He knows more than I did as a father what you and I would need.  There are times in our lives when we need to open the letter and communicate with our Father in Heaven, and understand what He is like and His concern for us.  I would like to share this morning, with you, four letters from my Father in Heaven that have been very important to me—that I hope will be indicative of the power that the scriptures can be for us as we face different trials and challenges of our lives.  The first letter is called "The Fourth Watch." That letter comes from the sixth chapter of Mark.  The Savior has fed the five thousand that day, and in the late afternoon, early evening, He is sending his apostles down into the ship. He will dismiss the multitude. He wishes to pray that evening, and then He will meet the apostles a little later on the shore and they are to pick Him up.  In late afternoon, early evening, the apostles get on the shi…

Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray to (W. Michael Wilcox)

Amazing talk about the nature of God, answers to prayer, adversity, etc.:

https://devotionalarchive.byuh.edu/node/332.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR2xdzkEIQk&feature=youtu.be

Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray toDevotional Talk Given at 
Brigham Young University-Hawaii 
March 31, 2009
S. Michael Wilcox 
Religion Instructor & Author
CES Institute of Religion
A number of years ago when my daughter was about your age, she was just out of high school, she went to one semester at BYU and then she got an opportunity to go to the Soviet Union (former Soviet Union) and teach English in Russia. Now this was before e-mail and cell phones, and communications between the United States and the Soviet Union were not going to be really good. She was eighteen; we were a little bit worried that there might be moments or times when she would need to talk with a parent, and not be able to because of communication difficulties.  So I decided that I would write her a series of letters…

Other Books Will Come Forth (Welch)

Let me share a personal story to illustrate this point. During my time in law school at
Duke University, I attended a class in the Duke Divinity School from James Charlesworth. He was a very prominent Dead Sea Scrolls scholar working at that time on a translation of Jewish and Christian texts from around the time of Christ that had never been translated and published in English.

In this class, we were charged with reading a certain text. Charlesworth presented it as one of the most puzzling texts he had ever run across. His question was: Is it Christian or Jewish? He had no idea where it might have originated, because it was quite unlike anything else that he had ever seen.

He explained to this seminar that it tells a story about a man named Zosimus who leaves Jerusalem. He goes out into the desert, wanders and gets lost in a big mist of darkness. He then arrives at the banks of a big ocean or river. He cannot move. He is afraid because he wants to know the way to a life of righteousn…