Jesus of Nazareth

By Elder David B. Haight

of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

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(From an April 1994 general conference address. See Ensign, May 1994, pages 75–78.)For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent (D&C 19:16).

The Thursday before His death, Jesus met with the Twelve in an upper room to celebrate the Passover. During the meal, He said that one of them would betray Him, and a deep sadness fell over all of them. Then Jesus told Judas, “That [which] thou doest, do quickly” (John 13:27).

Judas left the room to do his awful deed.

Jesus taught His disciples many things that night as He tried to prepare them for what He knew was coming. Then they got up from the table, sang a hymn, and walked together to the Garden of Gethsemane.

“The awful hour of His deepest [suffering] had arrived: … nothing remained … but the torture of physical pain and … mental anguish. … And He must face that hour alone.”*

Then came Judas with his betraying kiss; Christ’s surrender to His enemies; the insults and scorn of the multitudes; His appearance before Pontius Pilate, then Herod, then Pilate again. Then Pilate delivered Jesus to be scourged (whipped with leather straps that have sharp pieces of bone or rock embedded in them).

Jesus was nailed to the cross on that fateful Friday morning, probably between nine and ten o’clock. At noon, darkness spread over the whole land for three hours.

At about the ninth hour, Christ cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46.) In that bitterest hour, the dying Christ was alone.

Later Christ exclaimed in triumph: “Father, it is finished” (Matt. 27:50—see footnote) and “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Then He bowed His head and voluntarily gave up His life.

Christ’s body was lovingly carried to a nearby garden, where a new tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathaea was located.

On the dawn of that first-ever Easter morning, the two Marys and other women carried their precious spices and ointments to the tomb to finish preparing the body for burial. They wondered who would help them remove the stone that blocked the opening of the tomb. To their amazement, they found the heavy stone already rolled away, the body of Jesus gone, and two angels in white bearing witness that Christ had risen from the dead.

The prophet Alma taught that an atonement had to be made by God himself “to appease [help meet] the demands of justice” that God might be a perfect, just, and merciful God. (See Alma 42:15). I bear witness that Jesus Christ lives, that He is our Savior and the pathway to true happiness.

Painting by Del Parson ©

Show References

  • Frederic W. Farrar, Life of Christ, page 575