Witnesses to the atonement – biased, hostile, and independent. An unfair trial. Who shall I send? The slow grind that was the crucifixion. Making olives from oil. A temple on Golgotha. The detail in the garment.
Link to the description of what Christ suffered on the cross:
Transcript (Not 100%, but it’s a start)
[00:00:15] Jason: Welcome to the weekly Deep Dive podcast on the Add on education network. The podcast where we take a look at the weekly come follow me discussion and try to add a little insight and unique perspective. I am your host Jason Lloyd, here in the studio with our friend and this show’s producer, Nate Pyfer.
[00:00:32] Nate: Wow, nice. Yeah, it was a really hard r at the end of Pyfer. A little aggressive on the aggressive ‘r’ there. “Er”, okay. But it is me though.
It was not a mispronunciation.
[00:00:44] Jason: No. You are here.
[00:00:46] Nate: I am here.
[00:00:47] Jason: We are in the studio.
[00:00:48] Nate: Let’s do this.
[00:00:49] Jason: Nate, do you have a lot of snacks? You ready to go?
[00:00:54] Nate: I actually do. I’ve got my almonds.
[00:00:56] Jason: Okay.
[00:00:57] Nate: I’ve got my fresca.
[00:00:59] Jason: Because all I’m saying is, are we.
[00:01:01] Nate: Going to be a burner tonight? Barn burner?
[00:01:03] Jason: We might be here a while. Okay.
I can’t promise we’re going to get this one done on time. There’s just a lot to cover and I’m super excited to get into it.
[00:01:10] Nate: I do appreciate you giving me and everybody listening, a fair heads up warning, tonight’s going to be a barn burner.
[00:01:18] Jason: I mean, all throughout the Old Testament, as we were talking about the scriptures, it seemed like everything revolved around the Atonement. And we are here. I was very excited. We talked about Gethsemane last week and I feel like there’s a lot of depth there. But we’re getting to the culminating event and Christ on the cross and I can’t tell you how I don’t even know if excited is the right word. Right. There’s a lot of emotion that comes with this. There’s some gravity to it, there’s some reverence that’s involved, there’s some excitement.
[00:01:51] Nate: It feels like we’ve been building a lot of this towards this episode.
[00:01:56] Jason: Yeah.
[00:01:58] Nate: I don’t think that being excited takes away from any of the reverence of it. I can say that we are definitely not going to be having kind of the usual hijinks, you know what I mean? Like Amy Grant’s not going to be making an appearance.
I know, but part of it is we do have a lot of content to talk about tonight and there is definitely an excitement to get to really discuss this incredible universal event, but it definitely will not carry the same.
It’s going to be taken very hopefully, reverently.
It’ll be fun, but it’ll still be fun.
[00:02:40] Jason: Well, and and we’ll start off I’ll start painting with broad strokes and and we’ll go in kind of 1000 foot view and as we start going into some of these details, we’ll get into a little bit more. But to start us off, if I were to talk about sitting in court, right? And I needed somebody to come witness, bear witness about what I have done or haven’t done to try to get me off the hook.
And I think about the weight of the witness that’s coming. If it’s my wife or if it’s my mom and they love me and they’d lie for me or do anything for me and they wouldn’t. I mean, they’re honest people. But you can see that when you have a witness that’s a friendly witness, we’ll say it might not bear the same weight as, say, a hostile witness. If I have somebody that absolutely hates me and has gone on record and we’ve had issues in the past and they come into the courtroom and they say, yeah, I would like nothing less than see this guy go away. But the truth of the matter is, this is what happened that seems to carry a lot more weight. And the reason I bring that up is when we’re talking about Christ and the atonement, this is the central event of human history, the culmination. This is the most important thing that could ever happen in all of the history of mankind.
And there’s some gravity here. And I think it’s meaningful that the witnesses that we have of this event are somewhat hostile. I think that adds to the credibility of what went down here. And let me explain what I mean by that.
Isaiah says it really good when he says, come, let us reason together and let us talk. And he says, I will show you what I’m going to do, lest you say we did it by ourselves. And I take what Isaiah is saying and I apply it to the atonement of Jesus Christ and I look at it. If the Jews had believed that Jesus was the Messiah, then how easy would it be for us to look at the Passover, for example, and say, you know what? They probably changed that tradition at the time of Christ to fit all of these details, to have the blood marking the post, to have the bitter herbs served with the lamb when they have vinegar being put on the pole. They probably changed all of those details to convince us, the world, that he was the Messiah.
And the fact that the Jews did not believe Him, in fact, not only did they not believe, but were extremely hostile and trying to convince the world that this was not the Messiah, that it makes the connections that we saw with the Passover and the Atonement all the more potent for me. And I’m not going to go through all those details. If you’d like to dive down that I think we covered it a fairly well job, a decent job in our Easter message this year. You go back and listen to that and it says several times in the New Testament, right by the mouth of two or three witnesses. So obviously we have the witness of the Christian nation and maybe that’s a little bit of a biased witness. Of course they’re going to be saying that Christ rose from the dead, that he did this. But then you have Christ, just like he’s saying in Isaiah, let me show you what I’m going to do beforehand. Lest you say, we did this of ourselves. Lest you say, So go back. I’m going to tell you what I am going to do before I come and do it. Lest you say, we changed the story. We changed the narrative. And you have that with the Passover existing thousands of years before Christ came. So here we need to find another witness. We’ve got the bias witness, we’ve got the Jewish hostile witness. And I want to rope into here, if I can, a Greek witness.
[00:06:44] Nate: Whoa.
[00:06:45] Jason: Yeah. Okay. And the reason I say Greek witness, because the Greeks this is going to be a pagan witness. We’re not talking about Greeks at the time of Christ. We’re going to go backwards about a thousand years before Christ comes. So we’re talking about a group of people that are not reading the Bible, that are not practicing Jews, that are not practicing Christians. So this is a third party altogether, a pagan religion from before. Different space in time, different space geographically and very different religious beliefs. Correct.
And I want to look at their mythology and kind of paint this a little bit with broad strokes.
Bear with me on this. If we look at Prometheus and the story of Prometheus being bound, the idea is, correct me if I’m wrong, Nate prometheus wants to steal light from the gods and give it to the men.
[00:07:42] Nate: It’s fire. Right? But fire, yes.
[00:07:44] Jason: Okay.
And when we’re talking about taking fire from the gods, really what he’s doing is taking the knowledge of the gods and giving it to the men so that the men can be like gods. And because he crosses this line now, he is bound for eternity in hell. And that’s the story of Prometheus. And as I’m painting in these broad strokes, when I hear about Prometheus, it reminds me of Adam, who is taking a fruit that offers knowledge of the gods. For example, the knowledge of fire that the men don’t have, this knowledge of the gods that is going to burn.
And because he does this, it’s going to be binding him now to hell.
He’s cast out. He’s bound. Right. That’s where I see in this connection. But bear with me.
Prometheus’s end is different from his beginning because of chiron. And chiron is a centaur. And centaur. If I say centaur, I think a lot of you probably thinking half man, half horse. And I think that’s what naturally most of us would think of.
But I want you to break down that word a little bit when we say centaur and take scent and move it off to the side in the front. Right. And Tar, it’s the toro, the taurus and taurus, toro, that’s bowl.
And then the first part of it, the scent in the Latin scent, is the centurion. Right? The hundred. But in the Greek, because this is Greek mythology, the Kent actually means pierced.
And so the word centaur is a bowl that is pierced, which is kind of interesting, this pierced bowl idea.
And chiron is a centaur. So he’s half man and half bull.
And not only is he half man, half bull, by the way, but this is also important for the story. Chiron is immortal. He’s an eternal being. He can’t and having this dual nature between man and bull, where I want to take a turn with this is talking about what the bull represented in the ancient world.
And the bull was a symbol of God. And you go back to we talked about this in Genesis, Exodus, when they build the temple. Well, even before they build the temple. So you’ve got Moses going up into the mountain to get the commandments. And while he’s gone, what happens? Aaron gathers up their jewelry, their gold, and he makes a calf, which is an image of Jehovah, and it’s a symbol of Jehovah. And they’re upset that they’re worshiping this golden calf. But the thing is, the calf, the bull, the reason why they chose that image is because this image symbolized the Lord.
And you see it not just in the Jewish culture, not just in Hebrew, but in other ancient cultures, the bowl was their symbol of their god.
And after Israel in the north splits from Judah in the south, israel builds bowls in their temple in the northern kingdom, it continues to be the symbol of God, something that you might not realize in the text when you read about it. And it says the God of Abraham. The God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. The word that’s translated as God is not Elohim. It’s not el. It’s not even Jehovah. It’s Abir. It means the bowl, which is kind of interesting. The bowl of Jacob, the bowl of Abraham, the bowl of Isaac. So this idea, this symbol that he’s a bowl. When you look at a centaur as half man, half bull, you kind of get this imagery, this idea in the ancient Near East, that this is half god, half men. And you look at Greek mythology and Demigod and how this rolls throughout here. It was a prominent part in their mythology. But here you have this Chiron who is a half man, half bull, and he gets pierced with a poison arrow. And because he gets pierced, he decides to give up his immortality and give it to Prometheus to set Prometheus free. And he lays down his life as a god, sacrificing himself to set Prometheus free. And so you’ve got this idea in Greek mythology that you’re going to have Chiron, who’s half god, half man, who’s going to be pierced and offer his mortality to free Prometheus, the man who took knowledge from the gods so that he could be mean. I’m painting with some broad strokes, and maybe this isn’t exactly lining up for you, so let me see if I can’t just take it home. Right here with one last fine point and see where this goes in the stars, when you look for the different constellations there is the Chiron constellation Centaurus centauri. And this constellation is half man, half bull but underneath the bowl is the cross, the Southern Cross. And so in the sky, the bowl is lifted up on the cross the bowl that is pierced is lifted up on the cross and it becomes even more fascinating to me that because he’s positioned right towards the equinox the lower body most of the time is in the southern hemisphere. We get a glimpse of the upper body, the head part of the year here in the northern hemisphere. So in the springtime, the head rises up above and we’re able to see him rising, almost as if a resurrection coming from the grave, coming from the dead, rising up in the sky. And in the fall, it drops back down, this pattern of death and rebirth, year after year in this symbol of a pierced bull who’s lifted up on a cross so that mankind could be freed.
The same imagery, by the way, actually works for the southern hemisphere because our seasons are switched due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis. The northern hemisphere, when it is tilted towards the sun, is experiencing summer but because it’s tilted towards the sun the southern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun and experiencing its winter. So during the fall, as it’s going into the winter, the head of Chiron is disappearing almost as if the death for the southern hemisphere and in the spring that head lowers back down into the southern sky and you see the god Reappearing in the southern hemisphere in springtime symbolizing that death and rebirth cycle the same as what we’re seeing in the north. I just find the whole thing fascinating.
And the idea that this culture as alien and pagan, as weird as it seems, seems to be painting in broad strokes thousand years before Christ comes that early on in man’s history, stealing from the gods to try to be like the gods is going to be condemning mankind to this eternal hell. But then this Chiron, this bull that’s half and half nature is going to come and liberate them by giving up his mortality.
The cool thing about this to me is where did this mythology come from?
Why do the Greeks know anything about these constellations? Why do they call it Centaurs? Where did they get their knowledge from? Right.
And I was reading modern scientific journals, talking about the history of astronomy and the history of the constellations and where they came from. And they said that the Greeks learned about the constellations from the couple. And I’m sorry, I’m not remembering the names of the philosophers that went down there and studied in Egypt, but they went down there and studied it in Egypt, and they said that the Egyptians learned it from the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans? And this gets even more interesting. If anyone wants to look this up and read it in Pearl of Great Price in the Book of Abraham, chapter one. And Abraham, coming from the land of the Chaldeans, decided that he needed to get out of there. He needed to get out of Dodge. Right.
And he leaves his father’s house after his father tries to sacrifice him, and he takes off. And then as you flip through the pages, you see another picture, a facsilomy number three. And in facsilamy three, as you start reading through the figures, it says Abraham sitting on Pharaoh’s throne teaching the Egyptians about astronomy, the heavens and what the signs and the heavens mean. And so you get this story in the Pearl of Great Price that a man from Chaldea went into Egypt and taught them about the signs in the heavens. So you start looking at this. And maybe it’s not as coincidental and strange as it seems, but you have this tradition a thousand years before Christ came that was painted for them up in the stars so that every night you could look up and you could remember and you could see that promise that Christ is going to come. So for me, even before we get into the crucifixion of Christ, I see the testimony of the Christians, and I could look at that and say, maybe there’s some bias here. But then I see the testimony of the Jews, which is a little bit hostile, but then I see the testimony of the Greeks, which is almost this third independent party that really doesn’t have a dog in the fight one way or the other, but by the mouth of two or three witnesses. This was the single most important event of human history. And I seeing all things denote that there’s a Christ, and it’s just comforting to me. I don’t know. That’s a mouthful. Nate.
[00:17:37] Nate: Any nailed it.
[00:17:40] Jason: Not too strange. Off the beaten path.
[00:17:43] Nate: Nailed it. Let’s keep going.
[00:17:45] Jason: All right, let’s move into this then.
All right, let’s talk about should we talk about where we left off? So last week we were talking about Peter denying Christ three times, and we kind of finished this at the end. John’s talking about another disciple who also happened to be there that had connections to let him in. And we kind of went off that cool little sideshow and talking about Peter, James, and John. Right. And as we pick up off right there, I think we get into the trial of think I think you can sum this up, probably, yeah.
[00:18:29] Nate: I wanted so badly to be able to articulate this as well as James E. Talmage does in Jesus the Christ. But as I read it again today and got just as upset as I ever have been at, like, Caiaphas and some of these knuckleheads, I was just like, honestly, I will never be able to do this justice. So what I will say is this.
Everything about this trial is illegitimate.
Everything about the questioning that they put Christ through, he just still finds ways to confound them when they’re trying to get him to answer for things that are just illegitimate claims, and they get so upset at him for just not giving them what they want to. Just needless to say, the Sanhedrin knew that this was going to be their only chance to kill him, and so they were not going to miss out on this opportunity, no matter if they had to do it completely, illegally, completely in the shadows, as backhanded and as illegitimate as possible, they weren’t missing this chance. What I would suggest is everybody that’s listening to this, even if you’ve read this before, even if you’ve read Jesus the Christ before, pull out your phones. Go on to the LDS tools or the library. LDS Library search. Jesus the Christ. It’ll pop up for free. It’s in there. Skip down to the trial.
The Sanhedrin chapters, read it through so that it’s even more articulated and clear that they could never get Jesus legally.
They tried. They tried his entire ministry. And one of the most profound things that Jesus reminds them while they’re just still trying to find a way to get them is, you’ve been here this whole time.
Everything I’ve said, you’ve heard, and you’ve tried to get me on it before, but you can’t.
[00:20:39] Jason: And saying, I did it in public, right? I caught in public. If this was a problem, why didn’t you arrest me when I did it?
[00:20:46] Nate: Not only that, but it’s like, hey, I haven’t said anything in secret.
All of this I have said as open as possible, you’ve tried to get me, and you can’t.
Nothing about what happens from here on out is going to change that. And nothing did, by the way. And the little drama queen that is Caiaphas tearing up his clothes, oh, we got him just making a scene. It’s just like, I’m so happy that history will always look at that dude as a coward and as a baby, and history will, unfortunately for a lot of the characters, kind of in the next few chapters, never let these people be unknown for being complete cowards and losers.
And I love that about the way that they are still going to have to be remembered basically throughout the history of the universe. And these next few chapters, again, go read Jesus the Christ. It’s worth it. That’s all I have to say about it.
[00:21:55] Jason: Thank you.
[00:21:55] Nate: Or else it would just take too long.
[00:21:57] Jason: Yeah.
[00:21:58] Nate: And I wouldn’t articulate it nearly as well as James E. Talmudge does, because he’s the man.
[00:22:02] Jason: So we have this trial, definitely a legal trial. As Christ, one shouldn’t be having to testify against himself, right? And like you say, I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of everything in here, but the outcome of the trial is they’re going to crucify Christ, they decide they’re going to kill him, and now they need to go get Roman permission to do that. And that’s where we’re going to introduce Pontius Pilate into the story.
And here’s where things take an interesting twist for me.
Judas wanting to betray Christ and get his 30 pieces of silver. What was he expecting to happen? Because when he finds out that they’re going to crucify Christ, he loses it.
And maybe the question to ask, right, is who dies first, Christ or Judas? And here you would think, judas turns in the Savior, gets his 30 pieces of silver, and he doesn’t even have a chance to enjoy this, right? He’s going to go and commit suicide and die even before Christ, who he betrayed, which I think is interesting. And he goes back to the temple and he says, I can’t have this. This is an innocent man that you’re going to kill.
Which is interesting, right?
He’s an innocent man. He’s not worthy of death. What was he expecting to have happen if he knew that Christ was innocent? Was he expecting that by putting Christ and this is where people that argue that maybe Judas didn’t mean to kill Christ, I feel like they have at least some footing to stand on this. Was he expecting that if he could get Christ to sit down with the Sanhedrin in a reasonable situation, that obviously the Sanhedrin would be converted as well? And that this was how he was going to show the world that this was the Son of God, that he was the Messiah? I don’t know what he was expecting. I don’t know why this came as such a shock to him, but he’s really torn up about the decision to crucify Christ. And he brings the money back and he says, I’m not interested.
And the rulers won’t take it. They say, this is blood money. We can’t take this money. That’s on you. If you condemned an innocent man, that’s on.
So Judas throws the money on the ground, leaves, and then he commits suicide. And the details on how he commits that, I don’t think we need to go into a lot of this. Was he hung on a tree? Did he jump off a cliff or whatever he does, but he kills himself in the field and doesn’t take the money. And now the Jews are talking among themselves and they say, we can’t say that this is Corbin, and put it into the treasury because this was paid for the life. It’s a blood money.
So they go and they buy the field. But they buy the field in Judas’s name because they can’t spend the money themselves. They’re saying, Judas bought this field. This is his money. We’re buying this for Judas on his behalf.
And the potter’s field that they buy, they use to bury unknown people, strangers and people that don’t have family, that aren’t established. And so I find it so fascinating that Judas, as close as he was to the Savior, who must have had family, who must have been very well known, is being buried, erased in the unknown field, the graveyard of strangers. I find some irony in that.
But according to Matthew, this gets really interesting because he says, and thus they fulfill the words of the prophet Jeremiah.
And you go back and you read Jeremiah. It’s not in there.
And I don’t know if this is something that Jeremiah said that just didn’t make it into the record that there’s another scripture out there, or if he’s confusing the words with Zechariah because Zechariah says something very similar, although it’s not a direct quote. And you can see some influence between Zechariah and Jeremiah, so who knows? But the saying is that they’ll take the 30 pieces of silver that they sold my life with to go and to buy the Potter’s field. And I find it interesting that they’re quoting this and saying, this fulfills prophecy. Because here you have the actions of the man that betrayed Christ and the rulers of the people that were seeking to kill him, that were acting under the direction you would think of the adversary trying to kill Christ was not.
I don’t know. What can you say? Not a Christ like thing to do to try to kill an innocent man?
[00:26:45] Nate: Yeah, I think you could probably safely say that, yes.
[00:26:50] Jason: I don’t know the best way to put that, but as they’re working to tear down the work of God, yet they’re fulfilling scripture and how they do it. And I find that so fascinating.
And Christ says that, go back to the words of Isaiah. I will tell you everything that’s going to happen, lest you say, I did this by myself, I will tell you before it even happens, and you have every chance to try to stop it and frustrate my work or do anything different. And here they are trying to frustrate God’s work and fulfilling every jot and tittle of what was said by prophets of old.
[00:27:28] Nate: Let me ask you a question, okay?
Did Satan know what he was doing when he was influencing people to kill Jesus?
Because had Christ not died, would that have not frustrated the plan more than Satan? You know what I mean? This is like, did Satan just shoot himself in the foot again?
[00:27:53] Jason: And we go right back to the same question with the Garden of Eden. When he’s asking them to partake of.
[00:27:57] Nate: The fruit, does he just keep shooting himself in the foot? Or you know what? Like like, we all accept that he’s really clever and smart and stuff. Like I mean, he’s kind of blown it twice now then, right?
[00:28:10] Jason: In a big sort of is a I think this is an interesting question that we could debate.
Is he fulfilling God’s? And I think going back to Tolkien’s Cimmerillion, when he talks about his creation narrative. And all the gods are gathered together singing the song to bring everything out. And you have that one God that’s angry, that’s discontent and trying to rebel, and he’s trying to pull all the other gods with him. While they’re singing, he starts introducing a new song of discord. And then the one God tries to bring everyone back in and get them all on the same, and then he goes again, dissenting and singing his opposing song. And then when they finish and they take a look at the creation and they think, man, we blew it. We were singing the song and all this discord kept coming in. And the one God says, no, let me show you what happened when he brought in the cold and the freezing to try to ruin the life and the creation. Then look at the snowflake and the beauty that was created from this. And when he tries to bring in the heat and the anger and you look at the lava and look at the life and the birth and everything, and God says as much as he tries to frustrate it, there’s nothing he can do that doesn’t beautify or at the end, all things end up working to my glory. I’m just that much greater than that. I take that into account.
[00:29:36] Nate: I don’t know, I guess somebody that wishes so bad to frustrate the whole thing and in a lot of ways does a very good job of like, he made two massive like, you have to have Adam and Eve partake of this fruit eventually, right, but that’s exactly what needed to happen. And then Christ needing to suffer and eventually die for our sins had to also happen. So it’s just like, does Satan just not know that this is part of the plan?
[00:30:10] Jason: Were they mistakes, though, or were there some lives lost in the cause?
[00:30:15] Nate: I’m not saying that there aren’t lives lost in the cause. I guess I’m just saying what is Satan’s bigger?
Like, what’s his bigger argue? Not argue. I discuss this with people a lot when they have certain causes that they’re fighting for, social causes and things, I always just go, cool, do you want to win a Facebook debate or would you rather have culture change to make the world a better place? Because you attack those two things very just. It just makes me wonder, is Satan just trying to win the Facebook debate or is he trying to change the way that the universe is functioning fundamentally? Right. And I think that we kind of deep down think, well, there’s an answer to that question. Satan would love nothing more than to disrupt the plan in a way that nobody can ever be saved and we all have to be miserable, right?
[00:31:17] Jason: Yeah.
[00:31:18] Nate: But then why on earth does he keep making decisions that give him short term victories?
Possibly the way that we look at eternity, like, yes, there’s. Been lives lost and yes, there’s been souls lost along the way. But again, why is he just taking the short term small victories on his part instead of going?
I could just win this whole thing by being like cool, we’re not going to let you die for this cause we’re not going to hey, cool. Adam and Eve. Well, I’m going to let you hang out in the garden as long as you want to. I’m never even going to tempt you about taking this. I guess I’m just saying, like, it just doesn’t make sense that he continues unless I just maybe we underestimate what he doesn’t know or we don’t understand, maybe what his big picture goal is. I don’t know.
[00:32:14] Jason: That’s a great question.
And as you’re saying that, what if what we attribute to Satan should more appropriately be attributed to the same feelings that Satan was feeling when he fell?
What if, for example, when we feel anger and hatred and pride that that blinds us to seeing what we should be seeing. Maybe it’s not so much Satan in our ear telling us, go and do this and we attribute it to Satan, but really what we’re doing is following Satan in a sense that we’re following the same mistake that he made. Interesting, because you look at their motive, right?
And here’s an interesting point for me.
I’ve heard so many times that the reason why the Jews missed it is because they were looking for a messiah to save them from Rome, right? They were looking for someone that liberate them politically and give them autonomy. And Christ was coming to liberate them from their sins. But go back and look at Caiaphas, who was appointed, by the way, by the Roman governor. They did not want to be free from Rome. Rome gave him the right to rule.
Rome gave the Sanhedrin, you’re saying the.
[00:33:40] Nate: Leadership, the Sanhedrin didn’t they weren’t looking for somebody to come and give them.
[00:33:45] Jason: Political freedom necessarily because they derived all of their power from Rome. They didn’t want to upset the hand that feeds. In fact, when Pilate and we can get into this, but when Pilate is getting involved with Christ, first you have the warning from his wife saying, I dreamed about this man have nothing to do with know. He’s coming into this a little bit like, what am I getting into? And then when he meets Christ and he’s like, wait a minute, who are you really? And he’s starting to fear because he’s wondering if this isn’t the Son of God. And he comes back and says, if you want this is not on me, you take care of this business. But then he comes to them and says, this is your king.
And the Jews’response to him is, we have no king but Caesar.
So tell me, did they want to be liberated from Rome? When the rulers of the people say, now compare that back to daniel and Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego, and the Jews under Babylonian captivity that refused to kneel and worship the king and said, I won’t. I only kneel to God. He is my only king. And here you literally have that same God in front of them, and you have a Gentile presenting God to the Jews saying, here is your king. And they’re saying, no, we only have one king and it’s Caesar.
And so are they blinded? It’s not so much that maybe Satan’s telling them, do this or do that or do this, but maybe they’re following Satan in their own sense of pride, my ability to rule, and he’s challenging that. And I am angry and I am mad because he’s threatening what comfort and peace I have. And I’m blinded by hatred, I’m blinded by anger that’s causing, like you said earlier, these theatrics and the tearing of the garment and this holy anger.
[00:35:55] Nate: That’s interesting.
We don’t read a lot about Satan’s influence through a lot of these things. Right.
We have whole chapters dedicated on the temptations. Right, and we have it in the Old Testament. We have very direct stories about Satan’s involvement in a lot of the proceedings of various things. Right, right. But it’s interesting to your point, we don’t really have a lot of that here. It’s not like, and Satan came and said this, and Satan came and said this.
There’s a world in which Satan might be going, no, don’t do that.
But he can’t even change it because like you said, anger and hatred and pride and all of these things have taken a hold at this point. And no matter how shady and dark and illegal, you know what I mean? Like completely immoral the decisions that this quote, unquote righteous leadership is doing at the time. They’re doing it out of hatred and anger and pride and all these things, right, to where it probably wouldn’t even matter if Satan was there. No, don’t do this.
This is part of the plan that he no, you don’t realize it wouldn’t even matter if he was there doing it because like you said, these other emotions have just completely taken hold at this point.
[00:37:34] Jason: Yeah, I really like that you brought that up because you do have Satan in the temptations of the wilderness, physically present talking and whatever, but he’s absent here. Absolutely. But here’s one instance in which I do see him referenced in a weird sort of way, okay? And I think most of us understand, like when Christ says Simon Bar, Jonah, and Simon his first name, Bar, meaning son Jonah, son of Jonah. Right. So when we get to Barabbas, and when Christ is on the cross and says, abba, abba la mak Sabathani like my father, my father, why have you forsaken me? Abba’s Father? Right? So Bar abba Barabbas is the son of the father. And so here you have Pilate, and he can’t convince them to give up on crucifying Christ. So he gets it in his head, which I think is fascinating, by the way, that here you have Passover. And I think so many times we think of Passover as just this lamb and this dinner or whatnot, but we have to remember the context of this. It’s the freedom of the people going out of Egypt and being set free. And in good faith on this, pilate’s got this tradition that I am going to set a slave free and kind of honor their tradition. And by the way, it’s kind of pacifying the people a little bit like you would see revolts at this time.
This is why you have a band of men ready to go and take Christ, because, you know, if they’re wanting to be liberated from Rome, rome is very easily going to be connected to Egypt. And so Pilate here is trying to no, no, we’ll set this person free from prison like we’re Israel, just like I don’t know, I think there’s something interesting in this tradition, this custom that he has to try to pacify the people and get them to think we’re all on the same page here. We’ll take this person from prison, we’ll set them free. And here he cooks up this idea, I can set Christ free.
And he doesn’t just set up Christ, but he says, I’ve got to give them this option. And he goes with Barabbas. And by the way, Barabbas is a robber and he’s presenting the people with this plan, with this option. And he says, whom shall I release? I almost want to take that and just change it to whom shall I send?
Who do you want? Who are you going to choose?
I’ve got one who’s a robber. And it’s interesting that it’s a robber, not a thief. And the difference between a robber and a thief, a thief is going to take something when you’re not noticing. He’s going to sneak it away and try to come in at the night when you’re not prepared. A robber is going to take it by force, right? That’s the kind of man that Barabbas was, someone who’s going to take by force.
Look at the plan.
And Pilate says, whom shall I give you? Whom shall I send? Who are you choosing? You have one here who’s going to try to take from you by force.
And he’s the son of the father versus another son of the father who’s going to give you by choice. Who do you choose?
And it’s interesting because they all made that decision a long time ago, but for whatever reason, this time they make a very different decision than what they’d already made.
And that’s where I see him pop up. And it’s not even necessarily that he’s there, but it’s interesting that they deliberately choose someone who’s going to try to steal their freedom by force, their ability to whatever. He’s going to rob them by force as opposed to Christ, who’s going to set them free?
[00:41:17] Nate: What do you think Barabba’s thought throughout this whole it’s? Again, I know I’ve said this a thousand times at this point, but as I’ve been reading through the New Testament, this I’ve there’s so many of these types of questions because, again, the more real you start reading these stories and the more like human beings you start reading. Dude, the stuff with Peter last week shook.
I mean, really? I got to teach a teenager the teenage class today in Sunday school. And just talking about it again is just like, what a swing for Peter From can’t stay awake, willing to chop off a dude’s ears knowing that there’s, what, 600 dudes ready to chop him down. To won’t even admit that he’s associated with Jesus. To willing to die on a cross.
I guess I’m wild swings. It’s just these swings. But the thing is and even in talking to the class about it, I was like, is there anything more human being than this? And they were all like, yeah, it’s like they even got it like when you spell it out in a weird sort of a way, you go, yeah, actually that kind of makes sense as a human being to a human being.
[00:42:27] Jason: That’s me too.
[00:42:27] Nate: That’s me too. That’s exactly right. But it’s like I’ve had so many of these just these little questions pop up of just like, hey, Barabbas is still a human being in this too. There’s a part of me that’s wondering if he’s even just like, no, dudes, no, look, no, it’s like you just wonder or if he was just like, sweet, I’m out.
I wonder what on earth was going on in that dude’s head during this whole situation.
[00:42:59] Jason: I laughed so hard when you asked me that because I don’t know, maybe it’s just I’ve got something wrong with my head, right? But I have pictured this moment, and I’ve pictured it in a comical sort of way that is by no way realistic, but I almost see him like, what in the world?
[00:43:14] Nate: Yes, that’s what I mean.
[00:43:16] Jason: Right? And I almost see him, like, celebrate, like, woohoo. And then run out and then immediately rob someone and get thrown right back.
[00:43:22] Nate: Okay, see, to me, it’s just like it’s strange, but I almost see him.
This is where you’re starting, where he’s just going, what the heck is going on? You know what I mean?
Where even he’s just going out there having no idea of why he’s being drugged out of prison, first of all, probably. And then pilate in front of all these people being like, hey, do you want this knucklehead who’s a terrible person or the savior of the world? And the people being like, give us Barabbas and him just being like, what?
No, come on. You know what I mean? And then just being it’s like I don’t know, and maybe it has nothing to do with anything. All I know is that that is a question that has now popped in my head.
[00:44:10] Jason: Well, and you have to wonder maybe on a more serious side on that question, was this what Barabbas needed to turn his life around and save?
[00:44:21] Nate: That’s that’s what I’m saying. Is that’s also a possibility? Like, I just wish so badly that I knew because in a weird sort of way, that was the most immediate saving that Christ did. You know what I mean? Like, Christ freed this dude from prison, quite literally on the be, even though.
[00:44:41] Jason: He wasn’t worthy to be freed.
And what’s the penalty for a robber, right? He’s going to be killed and Christ is going to take his place, I mean, before we even get to the crucifixion. This is spelling out the crucifixion, but it’s also showing what side people are listening to, right? When you’ve given these options and you’re saying, I am being influenced by this as opposed to love, it’s hatred, it’s anger, it’s the same pride, and I’m choosing Satan over Christ.
But it typifies the talked we started this podcast off and we talked about pagan traditions. There’s one other pagan tradition that I feel fits in this conversation pretty good. If you unless there’s something else you want to talk about on Barabbas before I do this. Okay.
The substitute king ritual. This one was always very interesting to me and what happens in a lot of these different near Eastern cultures. You see it in Egypt, you’d see it in Babylon, you’d see it all over this time period in the side of the world when there was an eclipse in the sky and they would look and say, is it a partial eclipse? What part of the sun got eclipsed? Okay, well, that corresponds to this land in this region or this one corresponds here. And it would signify like this light is this ruling presence in the sky is supposed to typify the king who rules over the people. And if he’s been eclipsed, then the astronomer tells the king, like, the heavens are angry with you and you are going to die. That is the sign. That is the omen. And the king obviously does not want to die.
They do this ritual called the substitute king ritual, where they’ll pull somebody, usually a prisoner that’s already on death row anyways, and they will put him in the spot of the king, and they’ll make him king for the day. And they’ll have the coronation ceremony and they’ll do whatever and even some traditions, they do it once a year. Anyways, just to make sure they cover any mistakes the king made. Right.
[00:46:51] Nate: Is that where the saying king for a day comes from?
[00:46:54] Jason: It might be.
[00:46:55] Nate: All right, let’s keep going.
[00:46:56] Jason: It might be. And your prince and your popper type situation, right? Because sometimes the substitute might end up being there for a little bit longer than temporary, but typically he’s the lightning rod. If anything’s going to happen, it’s going to happen to him.
In some traditions at the end of the day or the allotted period or whatever it was, and the God’s anger has passed and it’s okay and it’s safe, they recoronate the original king and its life back as usual. In other cases, they actually take the substitute and they kill him to try to make God happy and say, here was the king that you’re angry with, and we’re going to kill him and punish him so that the king can go free. Dang yeah, but I see some of this substitute king ritual played out in the atonement in the idea that here is somebody who’s worthy of death and Christ is going to take his place so that he can go free. And the substitute king ritual becomes all the more significant when you consider that they take Christ and they put the robe on him and the crown over his head, and that Pontius Pilate has them inscribe king of the Jews on the nameplate that goes above his head on the cross. Here we are, we’re going to take this man and we’re going to make him a king for the day, and we’re going to have him pay the price so that the actual kings can go free. And it’s interesting, right? So God tells Israel, I have a nation of kings and priests, and here he is coming to pay the price of the king and be that substitute king because all of them, like sheep, have gone astray, and I am going to make this right. So I see the substitute king ritual and all these other cultures and traditions kind of played out here initially on this spot with Barabbas, but even him being coronated and going to the cross and everything right up there to the finish. Well, Pilate’s such an interesting one. While we’re on the subject of him, let’s just talk about him for a little bit.
How do we know that his wife had a vision? How do we know what Pilate was thinking, right? What was the end of Pilate?
And did we get some of that inside information because he later joined Christianity?
Is that a possibility? I don’t know what happens with Pilate. And you got two splits in the tradition, the Eastern Orthodox Church, you get Pilate as this saint like character. His wife joins the church, pilate joins the church and he becomes this really good guy where in the Western church it splits and they say, no, Pilate was like the devil. And it’s just two opposite extremes. I don’t think anyone knows. In Pilate’s case, he was a governor for a very long period of time, and he did things to rub the Jews wrong. And because he did over and over again, the Jews were able to kind of hold this over the barrel on him. He was at the will of the Jews because he hadn’t done a super good job being governor up to this point.
He’d brought in, I can’t remember, gold shields with inscriptions on it that was almost similar to idol worship that really angered a lot of people. And they went back to Caesar and told on him. And Caesar kind of has to slap his hand a little bit. And so he’s got to balance. The Jews still have a lot of power and influence. And because he’s pushed that button too many times, he gets stuck in this situation where if he doesn’t handle it right, he loses his okay, but interesting, all this talk if I can change the subject a little bit and talk about why Christ is the one that’s paying this price. I think that’s a question that needs to be answered.
And I think the answer to this question will actually go back to and I find this kind of fascinating.
Remember when Abraham is promised seed from the Lord and he’s going to enter this covenant relationship with God regarding his posterity, which he doesn’t even have yet, but it’s all about this posterity, right? The Abrahamic covenant.
And as you remember how this plays out and we’ve talked about this a little bit in ancient times, whenever a ruling country came through and dominated and won another country in war. And so the country they defeated would have to pay tribute to the larger power. And the larger power was the one that set the stipulations and the conditions. And the smaller one, the understanding was, you’re bigger than us, you’re stronger than us, and if you’re not happy, you can destroy us at any time because you’ve demonstrated that by beating us in power. And so they would take an animal and sacrifice it. And what they do is they cut it in half and they would lie the two pieces on opposite ends and create a path that goes between the two pieces of the animals. And the weaker country was always required, the ruler, the representative of the nation, to walk between the pieces on behalf of the people.
The idea behind it was just as I can kill this animal and split it, I can kill you and split it, and if you don’t live up to these terms that we’ve set this day, then I will kill you just like this animal.
That’s just how it worked. That was covenants. In the ancient world, it was very common.
When Israel goes into the Holy Land, they do this on a kind of a broader scale. They actually put six of the blessings on one mountain and cursings on the other mountain. And they have six tribes on one, six tribes on the other, and split them in half. And then they have Israel pass between the two mountains and enter into the covenant relationship with God. And the idea was, you are our God and we are your people, and if we leave you and we break this covenant. Then just as these mountains are divided, just as you had the power to create the earth and pull aside and move, we will be scattered and pulled to the different corners of the world, which is what happens when they forsake God. So we’ve talked about these covenants and it’s very interesting. I won’t say much more than just mentioning it here. When you look at Moroni Rending, the coat in the title of liberty, or you look at the sacrament and the breaking of the bread and the covenant that we’re making with that all in terms of these ancient covenants back to Abraham.
He’s prepared this sacrifice and he’s waiting for the Lord to covenant with Him regarding his posterity. So he has all of the animals divided out and he’s waiting all the day long until the sun sets. And you can just imagine Him out there trying to keep the flies away and keep this place holy and ready for the Lord to show up and ready to walk between these pieces of animal. And as the night falls, the Lord appears, but Abraham doesn’t go through the pieces. The Lord Himself walks between the pieces of the animals.
And in terms of the atonement, I find this so powerful because this is like we said regarding Abraham’s seed.
So if Abraham’s seed breaks their covenant, who just subjected themselves to the terms, who said that they will be torn and ripped apart and killed to pay the price of disobedience?
God Himself, he’s coming to fulfill a promise that he made to Abraham almost 2000 years earlier.
I walk between the meat and when your children go astray and don’t live up to the covenant and don’t keep my commandments, I will be torn, I will be bruised, I will die to pay the price for them.
And so what we have here in this time with the crucifixion of Christ is a fulfillment to his covenant with Abraham and Abraham’s seed. Now look at what the Jews, when they’re saying we claim Abraham as our Father and what that meant.
It should have meant that Christ would be covering their sins and God Himself was coming to pay that price.
[00:55:20] Nate: Really good stuff. Let’s keep going.
[00:55:22] Jason: Let’s get into I’m going to read this. I’ll post this link on our website. If you go to add on education, you go to this.
If you want to read this for yourself, just a fair warning. So this is a professor, PhD in the department of biology and chemistry, Kahleen Shriyer, and she presents a lecture on what Christ went through and the atonement and just a fair warning to anyone listening. And she even says it right in the article. It says it right here. Please be aware that the following is of a realistic and graphic nature. I’m just going to read this. I know I don’t typically read a lot here on the podcast and reading who knows, but I feel like it’s just important enough.
[00:56:04] Nate: But what we’re saying, though, is it is sensitive. So if you’re listening to this with young people, or if you don’t want to hear a lot of very real human details of what the crucifixion really entailed, please feel free to kind of skip forward.
[00:56:23] Jason: Yeah, probably be about 60 seconds would be my guess.
[00:56:26] Nate: It’ll probably be more than that, but.
[00:56:28] Jason: Let’S just I’ll try to keep it 60 seconds. Here we go. Each year, Kathleen Shrier, PhD, associate professor of the Department of Biology and Chemistry, presents a special lecture on the science of Christ’s crucifixion. She details the physiological processes a typical crucified victim underwent and teaches her students to see Christ’s death on the cross with new understanding. The exact events in this scenario may not have happened in Jesus’case, but the account is based on historical documentation of crucifixion procedures used during that time period. Please be aware that the following is of a realistic and graphical nature. Here we go. It is important to understand from the beginning that Jesus would have been in excellent physical condition. As a carpenter by trade, he participated in physical labor. In addition, he spent much of his ministry traveling on foot across the countryside. His stamina and strength were most likely very well developed. With that in mind, it is clear just how much he suffered.
How much he suffered. If this torture could break a man in good shape, it must have been a horrific experience.
After the Passover celebration, Jesus takes his disciples to gethsemane to pray. During his anxious prayer about the events to come, jesus sweats drops of Blood there is a rare medical condition called hemotohedrosis, during which the capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands break down. Blood released from the vessels mixes with the sweat. Therefore, the body sweats drops of blood. This condition results from mental anguish or high anxiety, a state Jesus expresses by praying. My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death. Hematohydrosis makes the skin tender, so Jesus’physical condition worsens. Slightly traveling from Pilate to Herod and back again, jesus walks approximately two and a half miles. He has not slept, and he has been mocked and beaten. In addition, his skin remains tender from the hemotohydrosis. His physical condition worsens.
Pilate orders Jesus to be flogged as required by Roman law. Before crucifixion, traditionally, the accused stood naked, and the flogging covered the area from the shoulders down to the upper legs. The whip consisted of several strips of leather. In the middle of the strips were metal balls that hit the skin, causing deep bruising. In addition, sheep bone was attached to the tips of each strip. When the bone makes contact with Jesus’skin, it digs into his muscles, tearing out chunks of flesh and exposing the bone beneath. The flogging leaves the skin on Jesus’back in long ribbons. By this point, he has lost a great volume of blood, which causes his blood pressure to fall and puts him into shock. The human body attempts to remedy imbalances, such as decreased blood volume. So Jesus’thirst is his body’s natural response to his suffering. If he would have drank water, his blood volume would have increased.
Roman soldiers place a crown of thorns on Jesus’head and a robe on his back. The robe helps the blood clot, similar to putting a piece of tissue on a cup from shaving to prevent Jesus from sustaining more blood loss. As they hit Jesus in the head, the thorns from the crown push into the skin and he begins bleeding profusely. The thorns also cause damage to the nerve that supplies the face, causing intense pain down his face and neck. As they mock him, the soldier also belittled Jesus by spitting on him. They rip the robe off Jesus’back and the bleeding starts afresh. Jesus’physical condition becomes critical due to the severe blood loss without replacement, Jesus is undoubtedly in shock. As such, he is unable to carry the cross and Simon of Cyrene executes the task. Crucifixion was invented by the Persians between 300 400 BC. It is quite possibly the most painful death ever invented by humankind. The English language derives the word excruciating from crucifixion, acknowledging in it as a form of slow, painful suffering. Its punishment was reserved for slaves, foreigners, revolutionaries and the vilest of criminals. Victims were nailed to a cross. However, Jesus’cross was probably not the Latin cross, but rather a Tau cross. The vertical piece, the stipes, remain in the ground permanently. The accused carries only the horizontal piece, the patabellum. Up the hill atop the patabellum lies a sign, the Titulus, indicating that a formal trial occurred for a violation of the law. In Jesus’case this reads, this is the king of the Jews.
The accused need to be nailed to the pantobellum while lying down. So Jesus is thrown to the ground, reopening his wounds, grinding in dirt and causing bleeding. They nail his hands to the pantobellum. The Greek meaning of hands includes the wrist. It is more likely that the nails went through Jesus’wrist. If the nails were driven into the hand, the weight of the arms would cause the nail to rip through the soft flesh. Therefore, the upper body would not be held to the cross. If placed in the wrist, the bones in the lower portion of the hand support the weight of the arms and the body remains nailed to the cross. The huge nail, seven to nine inches long, damages or severs the major nerve to the hand, the median nerve. Upon impact, this causes continuous agonizing pain up both of Jesus’arms. Once the victim is secured, the guard lift the pentabellum and place it on the stipes already in the ground. As it is lifted, Jesus’full weight pulls down on his nailed wrist and his shoulders and elbows dislocate. In this position, Jesus’s arms stretch to a minimum of six inches longer than the original. Length. It is highly likely that Jesus’s feet were nailed through the tops, as often pictured in this position, with the knees flexed approximately 90 degrees. Although I do have to comment, I’ve seen they’ve recovered bones, feet, bones of people who are crucified, and they have nails going through the heel bone, nailing them to the side of the cross, so it could have gone either from the top or from the hill. The weight of the body pushes down on the nails and the ankles support the weight. The nails would not rip through the soft tissue as would have occurred with the hands. Again, the nail would cause severe nerve damage. It severs the dorsal pedal artery of the foot and acute pain.
Normally to breathe in the diaphragm, the large muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity must move down. This enlarges the chest cavity and air automatically moves into the lungs. Inhalation to exhale. The diaphragm raises up, which compresses the air in the lungs and forces the air out. Exhalation. As Jesus hangs on the cross, the weight of his body pulls down on the diaphragm and the air moves into his lungs and remains there. Jesus must push up on his nailed feet, causing more pain to exhale. In order to speak, air must pass through their vocal cords during exhalation. The Gospels note that Jesus spoke seven times from the cross. It’s amazing that despite his pain, he pushes up to say forgive them.
The difficulty surrounding exhalation leads to a slow form of suffocation. Carbon dioxide builds up in the blood, resulting in a high level of carbonic acid in the blood. The body responds instinctively, triggering the desire to breathe. At the same time, the heart beats faster to circulate available oxygen. The decreased oxygen due to the difficulty in exhaling causes damage to the tissues, and the capillaries begin leaking watery fluid from the blood into the tissues. This results in a buildup of fluid around the heart, pericardial effusion and lungs. Pleural effusion, the collapsing lungs, failing heart dehydration and the inability to get sufficient oxygen to the tissue, essentially suffocate the victim. The decreased oxygen also damages the heart itself, myocardial infarction, which leads to cardiac arrest. In severe cases of cardiac stress, the heart can even burst the process known as cardiac rupture. Jesus most likely died of a heart attack.
After Jesus’death, the soldier breaks the legs of the two criminals crucified along him, causing suffocation. Death would then occur quickly or quicker. When they came to Jesus, he was already dead, so they did not break his legs. Instead, the soldiers pierced his side to assure that he was dead. And doing this, it is reported that blood and water came out, referring to the watery fluids surrounding the heart and lungs.
It’s quite a bit of detail.
[01:05:07] Nate: Yep.
[01:05:10] Jason: Thinking about what he went through and that what’s going to kill the victims on the cross, is this slow suffocation and ultimately, it’s not even the suffocating that gets Christ, right? The fact that his heart bursts and we have the water and the blood that comes out.
And I want to talk about that, but let’s get back to the water and the blood here in a second. But I wanted to talk about as I was reading this process and trying to understand what the Savior went through, it seemed very similar to me of that mill that’s slowly grinding the olives with the pits to create the pulp.
And as I thought about that right at the flogging and then it’s bruising and tearing chunks out of the skin and that this process is so slow, it takes an entire day to suffocate. Somebody reminded me of how that mill can’t go too fast or else it’ll heats up the pulp and it ruins the oil, right? It has to be a slow grind.
And I think of gethsemane as the pressing of the grapes, but it just seemed like things were out of order. Why would you be pressing and I said, grapes, but why would you be pressing the olives before you’re grinding?
So I started thinking about this Nate, and I realized the atonement is really kind of special.
Anyone can produce oil from olives by squeezing the olives and creating the oil. But only Christ can create olives from the oil, restore it, and back it up. And I looked at this process and I looked at what’s the very first thing you need to do to create oil and is it not pluck the fruit off of the tree? You’ve got to harvest it. What’s the very last thing that happened was it not removing Christ from the cross, like taking the fruit down from the tree. And as you’re taking the fruit down from the tree, you notice that there are a lot of leaves that cover up the fruit, kind of get mixed in. You’ve got to separate the leaves from the fruit. And as you back up in the process of the crucifixion before they take Christ off the cross, were they not parting his garments like the leaves that would cover Him? Were they not dividing those out among them and separating them from Him?
And then you take it back to the next step, right? Then you’ve got to get to the milling and this slow process so that you don’t burn the olives. And you look at the crucifixion and how this slow agony and the grinding and the flogging and everything that he went through, and then you take it back to gethsemane when you’re pressing and the blood’s coming out from every pore as the final step. And I looked at this and I said, this is the process of making oil in reverse.
He’s not making oil. He’s restoring the fruit. And so you look at the fall as something in one direction, and the atonement is really something that is reversing the natural course, only Christ could produce fruit from oil, whereas in the rest of us can only produce oil from fruit. And that hit me as I was looking through that process.
There’s some other symbolism here and maybe this is a good place to jump off on this unless you have something else you want to hit.
Go back to the Garden of Eden and when Adam and Eve get cast out and remember, we’re looking at the atonement as a restorative, as putting things back, they’re cast out of Eden. And you put cherubim in a flaming sword and you look at the temple. And the temple was a trip back into Eden to the point that even the curtains had cherubim stitched into the curtains and you could only pass through the cherubim if you were worthy. And then you had the menorah, this Tree of Life and the candles that were burning, the light being that fruit of this tree. And ultimately it led on the Day of Atonement into the Holy of Holies, where God himself was there and God was in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. So if we were in the presence of God in the beginning, in the Garden of Eden and we were cast out, then the temple was always meant as this trip to return men back into paradise, back into the presence of God.
And as you look at Eden as this prototype of what a temple is and what a temple represents, and this trip back and Christ is coming to reverse that fall.
I almost see here at this moment when he’s on the cross, another temple, and he’s up on a hill, just as Eden was a hill with Golgotha. And you have the tree being the cross, and then you have Christ as the Tree of Life. These two trees, one causing death and the other one bringing life and being life is affixed to the Tree of Death to reverse its consequences.
And in the Garden of Eden, you have cherubim guarding the way to the body of Christ excuse me, to the Tree of Life in Golgotha you have the Roman soldiers who are guarding Christ and making sure nobody takes him off the cross before he suffers. And so I look at the Garden of Eden as a prototype of the temple, but I look at Golgotha as a recreation of the temple and we’re going back into paradise and we’re reversing the effects of the Fall and we’re restoring mankind. And so when Christ is on the cross and when he’s crucified and he dies, you have the veil of the temple being rent and this veil which separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the world is being torn apart that now we have access to God because of what Christ did. And it’s all about the temple. And the temple is all about the Fall and all about the Atonement and bringing us back a restoration into the presence of God any?
[01:11:32] Nate: No, that’s great.
There’s always clothing being rented. I’ve always noticed. There’s always a lot of and it makes sense when you again talked about the covenant that was made with Abraham, about the animal being rent of. There’s a lot of unity by separation or oneness by separation.
We’ve talked a lot about the word cleave unto.
It’s interesting that just once again the veil or the thing separating us from God has to be torn into so that we can walk through the two sides of whatever the veil we can pass through the two sides of the veil back into become one unified with God.
[01:12:25] Jason: There’s a rending that happens.
[01:12:27] Nate: There has to be a rending. There has to be a separating. But it’s funny because if you look at the veil almost as the animal that’s rent into too, then it does then I feel like put the natural order of the power structure back in place. Like we are the ones that need to make a covenant. And when we go to the temple, we make a lot of covenants before passing through a veil. Right. And we are then on the needing end of the power struggle, right. So where God came and fulfilled his covenant with Abraham, we make new covenants. When we pass through the veil know, keep certain standards of living and the various promises that we make when we go through the temple so that we can then come back into the presence of God again.
[01:13:23] Jason: And does that animal not symbolize Christ as we talked about animals as a symbol of Christ being sacrificed? And is that animals torn in half as that veil is separated and we’re going through those pieces.
[01:13:37] Nate: Well, then think of the sacrament each week. Had a really good conversation today with my dad kind of about this again. And think of what you just said now with the veil covering a body that has to be separated each week when we partake of the sacrament. Right.
There is symbolically a body of flesh and blood that has to be torn apart each week underneath that veil that has to be removed so that we can then partake of it and become one with God again has to be parted.
And what does God ask of us to do other than to come to him broken?
[01:14:17] Jason: And does he not ask us to have our hearts broken? Broken heart.
[01:14:22] Nate: That’s exactly right.
What we’re being asked to is not to come to Christ with it altogether.
We’re asked to come broken as well.
As part of that, are we not asked to separate? Right. Separate our light from darkness, separate the things in our lives that are holding us back, separate the impurities and imperfections to not remove those things. Put those things on the altar.
Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of depth in it. And it’s the reason why for me at least, I’ve really found a new, deeper connection with partaking of the sacrament each week that goes way beyond kind of like the cultural reciting of renewing our baptismal covenants each week. I don’t think that that’s what we’re doing.
And I have yet to find anywhere doctrinally that says that when we take the sacrament, we’re quote, unquote, renewing our baptismal covenants. For me. And this isn’t just semantics and would be always happy to go as in depth as anybody that would ever want to discuss it. But that’s a chance to make anew each week a very specific covenant that actually has a lot more to do with, I feel like, the covenants that we make in the temple than it does the covenant that we make when we’re baptized.
And by separating a little bit of the cultural verbiage around the ordinance of the sacrament each week, I’ve been able to make personally a lot of deeper connections with that and really have found so much deeper personal meaning in that ordinance each week, way beyond the idea that, well, when you take the sacrament, it’s like getting baptized each week.
We’ve just said it long enough that I think that we’ve started thinking that that’s doctrine right. For me, I’ve always believed that it’s the Holy Ghost that cleanses us.
It’s like if somebody’s on their deathbed repenting, I don’t see the bishop being, wait, you got to make it to Sunday. You got to at least make it to Sunday so that you can take the sacrament one more time and then you’ll be like you’re being baptized again.
I think we’ve associated all these things to try to understand it and maybe explain it to various classes in church. But for me, it removes away the profound covenant that’s being made each week and and how really heavy and profound that covenant is that we’re making each week that goes way beyond the things that we covenant in when we’re baptized.
And again, when you see the separation, when you see the veil rending, when you get to almost watch this each week, what an incredible gift that God has given us, that we can make those promises knowing that we’re going to blow it, but that next week he has enough love and mercy for us that we get to make that again.
[01:17:48] Jason: I think sometimes we come at that, maybe oversimplifying it or not really appreciating or understanding it, but I do like that you brought up baptism in this, because I go back to Nicodemus when he asked Christ, what do I need to do? And Christ says, you need to be born again, right? And then you’re like, well, how am I ever going to be born again? And I go to Isaiah 53 when it says, who shall declare his generation, for he was cut off from the land of the living.
But when you make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see the travail of his soul and he will be happy. Now. He sees his seed because you become his seed. And this moment on the cross is the opportunity for us to be born again.
In Moses, chapter five, they talk about how we were born with the water, the blood and the spirit that we need to be born again by the water, the blood and the spirit. And you bring this up really well, Nate. As we were talking about this, the spear thrusting his side is, ironically enough, almost like a Caesarean section, which is named after Kaiser Caesar, a Roman thing, right.
That you have blood and water coming out, and here you have this opportunity for this birth that’s all encompassed in this moment of atonement. And so when we mix up baptism and sacrament, I almost look at it and say, you know what?
I also kind of like that. I mean, is it not also an opportunity to be born again? It is different.
We are taking his likeness and we are being like him. But in the sense, is it not also the same that because we can be born of Him, we have that ability to be like Him?
[01:19:43] Nate: Sure.
Again, it’s like if that’s where people make their deep association with it, I’m not going to condemn anybody’s way of thinking for this. I think to me when I think of the sacrament now, I just think so much of the passover now and I think of that Last supper and where I see baptism representing again the beginning of a path, right like the beginning of a new life as a disciple, as a representative, as somebody that is taking upon themselves the name of Christ. I see personally the sacrament ordinance so much more in association with the Passover and with the idea that it’s the continual reminder and recoveranting of so much more than just, I’m going to start on a path where baptism is so much a starting place.
I just look at the sacrament so much more as the realization or the continuing.
Again, I associate it for me a lot more with a lot of the covenants that we make in the temple about keeping commandments, like where when we get baptized, really the covenant we’re making when we baptize is to take upon ourselves the name of Christ, right?
And when I read through the sacrament prayer and I think back at that Last Supper when Christ was instituting this and the promises that he made associated with that, that I will leave with you my comforter.
It’s not the same as baptism. I’m sorry. For me, it’s just not the is the question that I should be getting asked by anybody listening is like, well, isn’t it just semantics? And for me, the answer is, no, it’s not.
I think that sometimes culturally, it wasn’t until my mission that I even, I guess, really realized that baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost were two separate ordinances because at eight we do it right then, right? And I think we kind of do again. But it wasn’t until my mission where we didn’t confirm and give the gift of the Holy Ghost till the next Sunday. We did a baptism on a Saturday, we did the gift of the Holy Ghost and confirmation on a Sunday that I think for the first time, I went, oh, my goodness.
Why have I always just kind of grouped these two things together and not realized the symbolic beauty in both things individually and with the sacrament? For me, I think that we culturally have just kind of grouped that so much together that it makes it, I don’t know, not as special, but maybe just like casual.
And because we do it so often, I feel like it makes it more casual. When I look at that, I now think of that last supper. I now think of the things that Christ was promising them in association with that first sacrament. I think of the just it’s so much more to me than baptism when I really start to dig into this, that I go, I think it’s important that we just be really careful which things we kind of group together. And you ask a class, a primary class and it’s like, oh, well, it’s just being baptized again each week and it’s like it’s not I’m sorry, it’s not again, I don’t want to spend a gazillion years on this. But I guess all I’m saying is that as we’ve been going through and talking about these different things and I’m glad that you again brought a lot of these things up when we partake of the sacrament each week. That’s all I’m saying, is I guess that’s the only reason I don’t even remember how we got on this subject.
[01:23:57] Jason: No, I’m super glad you brought this up because I think fundamentally we misinterpret even baptism to begin with, and maybe that’s where some of this confusion comes, right? I think so many times we look at baptism like a bath.
This is what makes you clean.
[01:24:12] Nate: Yes.
[01:24:12] Jason: And you’re clean right at the beginning. And so now you have to take the sacrament to reclean yourself every week, and you have to do this to be clean or you’re not going to be clean.
[01:24:18] Nate: See, I don’t like that.
[01:24:19] Jason: I don’t either. I don’t think that’s what it’s about. Right. Baptism was a promise that you will die. You’re going under that water, but when you were raised from the dead, you will come up clean because of the covenant that you’re making with Christ.
[01:24:34] Nate: Thank you.
[01:24:35] Jason: And it’s not this cleansing moment that right now you’re the cleanest member of the whole church and that you have to take of the sacrament to be clean. Right. It’s not that. It’s like you say, the beginning of a path. I have been born and I will resurrect based off of these covenants, and I am going to continue that relationship with God each Sunday as I partake of this sacrament, and think of what he and I love this oneness with Christ and how many times we see that he takes our role and we take his role. Right. Who’s? The shepherd. Well, Christ is the shepherd. Didn’t he ask us to be the shepherd? Who’s the lamb? All of us, like sheep, have gone astray. Yes, but he was the lamb that went before the shears dumb and to the slaughter.
[01:25:21] Nate: Yes.
[01:25:22] Jason: By the way, the bowl of Jacob is the bowl not a symbol of God? But then again, go look at that baptismal font and you have twelve bowls, one representing each of the tribes of Israel. Are we not also the bowl?
[01:25:34] Nate: There you go. And I do remember how we got on this, but the idea of being broken to become one again, or being separated become one again. I guess all I’m saying is I’m hoping that as we’ve kind of gone through this, if nothing else, again, I’ve become the biggest.
One of my flags that I carried now at this point is appreciate the ordinance of the sacrament appreciate, think, even if it’s just for a little bit longer, about what you’re actually covenanting to do and the incredible promises that you’re promised at the end when you can always have his spirit to be with you. A god. The Holy Ghost. A member of the godhead. A god to be with you. And I think that was I do now remember how we caught on it. But again, the veil renting, I know that we’ve already told people we’re going over and we are crazy over, but I know that there was some really great stuff with clothing.
[01:26:33] Jason: The clothing, as I’m looking through my nose, I think that’s the last thing.
[01:26:38] Nate: Let’s hit it. I need to hit stick the dismount and then let’s get out of here.
[01:26:41] Jason: Okay? Yeah. Thanks for still being here. If you’re still being here and if you checked out, I get you.
[01:26:46] Nate: I don’t get you because I think that you’ve been firing on all cylinders tonight. So let’s stick the dismount and let’s let people get on with their day.
[01:26:55] Jason: This is something that we’ve praised from Christ for a while, his attention to detail. And you talk about how he was aware of a single little fish and the coins that he ate at the moment they needed to pay the tax or the home, the man that was carrying the pitcher of water and where it was going to be. And these little things that sometimes go unnoticed, but are so fundamental. And Nate, you’ve brought this back to our testimony so well and how oftentimes our testimonies are built on these little things that maybe seem insignificant to others. But for Christ, this little thing, I think, that gets missed or swept under the rug is extremely significant. And that’s the clothing that he wears when he gets crucified. And you could think, here he is having his last supper with his disciples the night before, and he’s got to deal with Judas, and he’s got the washing of the feet and he’s going to go out and he’s got all of these things, and not least of all, he’s terrified.
Father, if it be thy will to.
[01:27:58] Nate: Remove this cup to remind you that he’s still a human being.
[01:28:01] Jason: He’s still a human being.
And how easy would it be for a human being to not wear a clothing that you decided that you needed to wear?
Where does that sit on your list of priorities? How am I going to dress before I go into this?
And yet he brings this garment with him and they take it off of him and they flog him and they put it back on him, and they take him to the cross. And when he gets to the cross, they’re parting his garments and they make a special note and say that this garment had no hems, no seams, it was all woven together in one piece. And this special garment that they didn’t divide, they divided some other stuff, but they said, we got to keep this one whole. It reminded me of another special garment that a father made for a son that he loved so much. And I think that was the point, right? We look at Joseph, the son of Jacob, as a type of Christ, because Jacob makes this special garment for him. And when he goes out to check on his brothers and I don’t think it’s a coincidence, right, that there’s twelve of them, and his brothers throw him into a pit and sell him for dead and take his garment and cover it in blood and bring it back to his dad to say he has been slain.
And that’s the end of him, right? He goes away and he’s gone, as if he’s dead, only to come back and save them in the end. And not only is Joseph a type of Christ in this story, but I think Christ is referencing this story as a type of comfort for his followers.
Yes, I’m going to go away. Yes, I’m going to die. And by the way, pit, that’s what you call the underworld, sheol. It’s the spirit world. That’s where you go. It’s a reference to death. Throwing Joseph into a pit and then selling him.
Interesting enough, did they not sell him for 30 pieces of silver? The same as Christ, the price of a slave.
So he thrown in the pit, sold as a slave, and yet at the end, and I think this is another interesting detail, the brothers don’t recognize him.
[01:30:16] Nate: That’s what I was going to say. That was a big thing when we were talking about this earlier. How interesting is that? When he comes back, they don’t recognize, they can’t see who he is.
[01:30:25] Jason: Yeah. And so I look at this, and I see that when Christ comes again, and the Jews look at Him and they accept Him because he’s saving them.
[01:30:35] Nate: But even then, Joseph had to reveal Himself to his brothers and almost in full glory, say it’s.
[01:30:43] Jason: So when Christ comes again to save his people, and they rejoice, and they look and they say, wait a second.
What are these wounds in your hands? And he says, I received them in the house of my friends, and then they realized that they had sold their brother.
[01:31:00] Nate: That’s right. But remember, they came to Him twice when they didn’t recognize Him the first time. Didn’t Jesus come to save Him the first time that he came came jesus came to save his people once already, and they didn’t recognize Him. And now he’s putting them through a lot of tests and trials. And you know what?
At the look at the things that Joseph made his brothers do before he then when they came again a second time, then he revealed Himself too. So I don’t even think it’s a coincidence that it was almost like the first time they came needing to be saved, they didn’t recognize Him. And then the second time is when he revealed and said, here’s who I am. And that’s when they were rejoiced and felt all of the heavy feelings and hopefully made some changes.
[01:32:03] Jason: I think it was tough. I think it was really tough.
[01:32:06] Nate: But also, look at what Joseph’s life was. He had to also go to prison to save his people. Like, he had to go to the depths. He had to descend below all and also had to ask God the same question of, have you forgotten about, like, Joseph had to go through the same thing to be in a position to save to save his people too.
[01:32:30] Jason: Yeah. And do we not look at prison spirit world type?
[01:32:36] Nate: Exactly. So I’m just saying there’s so many amazing I didn’t mean to cut you off. No, there was anything else that you.
[01:32:41] Jason: Were no, this is perfect.
[01:32:43] Nate: When you sent me that text, it got my brain racing this morning, and I was just like, oh, my goodness. There’s a whole new list of similarities. There parallels there.
[01:32:54] Jason: And that little detail, what kind of comfort is that to his followers that, hey, remember, Joseph, I am going to prepare salvation for you. If I don’t go, you’re going to die.
[01:33:08] Nate: That’s right.
[01:33:09] Jason: I’m going so that you can be fed, so that you can be saved, and we will be reunited. It’s a comforting promise. We will be. It might seem like I’m dead, because that’s what Jacob believed. He believed he was gone. He believed he’d lost him. He believed he was dead, but in the end, he wasn’t. He’s always been alive. He continues to live, and he continues to care, and I find that little detail is just a powerful message.
[01:33:34] Nate: It’s awesome.
[01:33:36] Jason: I remembered I got. Something else name. Okay, I’m sorry.
[01:33:39] Nate: We’re only 90 minutes into this at this point.
[01:33:42] Jason: Okay, that’s not bad.
[01:33:44] Nate: If you’ve listed 90 minutes, you’ve got five more, I guess, right?
[01:33:47] Jason: Yeah. This will be short, but I do want to point out, going back to the process of being crucified and the diaphragm being pulled down and how hard it is to exhale, and just think again when we speak, it’s because we’re exhaling. We’re pushing that air out of our lungs, across our vocal cords. It cost Christ a lot physically to speak.
And so think about the things that he said.
And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there are seven times that he spoke. And maybe I’ll leave you to do some research where we’ve talked a lot about that. But the one thing I wanted to bring up is, why did Christ say it is finished?
And to me, that’s his testimony, right?
And testimony is such a powerful thing, how do we know that it worked? Right? Christ goes on the cross and he dies, and then we just what? How do we know that he accomplished what he came to do, that he was worthy, that the sacrifice worked, that he paid the price and he dies and he resurrects. But for him to be on there and hang to that last moment until it’s done, and then announce to the world as much pain as it must have cost him to try to pull himself up on dislocated arms, or raise up on feet that are just excruciating pain. To announce not for his benefit, as nothing to this point has ever been for his benefit, but for ours.
It is finished.
So that we could know that it worked.
We could know that it was enough.
And I think there’s a lot of significance in testimony, but I love hearing the Savior himself bear testimony. And sometimes our testimonies, sometimes we get caught up in a lot of details or a lot of stories or a lot of things that are going on. And Christ’s testimony in this case was three words, but boy, those three words hit me hard.
[01:36:04] Nate: I’m with you.
We appreciate you listening.
Again, we can never tell you how much we appreciate the overwhelming positive feedback and comments that we get in the emails.
It always makes our day to get them. We do read them. Thank you. We try to respond to everything that we get.
It’s nice knowing that we’re having a moment together, not just me and Jason, but with those of you that are listening. It means a lot to us.
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Thank you again for listening. Thank you, Jason, for all the prep that you put into the discussion tonight? It was really great.
I don’t know. We’re talking about resurrection next week. I can only assume.
[01:37:07] Jason: Yeah, I haven’t looked that far.
[01:37:08] Nate: All right, well, until next week.
[01:37:10] Jason: See you.