The Book of Mormon prophet who probably thought about scriptural symbolism and taught it more effectively than any other is Abinadi. Very early he warned King Noah that whatever he would do to Abinadi would be "a type and a shadow of things which are to come" —and indeed it was.
Abinadi also stressed that the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses "were types of things to come" and shadows "of those things which are to come." But the most striking symbolic statement Abinadi ever made was his own living prefiguration of Christ.
Consider these foreshadowing links and parallel possibilities between Abinadi, the first Book of Mormon martyr, and Christ, the great and last sacrifice.
|Mosiah 11:20||Called to preach repentance to those sinning||Matthew 9:13|
|Mosiah 11:21-23; 12:1-8||To deny message was to be afflicted by the hand of enemies and brought into bondage||Matthew 23:37-38; 24:3-51|
|Mosiah 11:20-25||Denounced unbelievers in public discourse||Matthew 23:9|
|Mosiah 12:9||Stood alone against accusers||Matthew 26:56|
|Mosiah 12:17-18||Bound and taken before religious priests and political ruler||John 18:12-40|
|Mosiah 12:19||Cross-examined||Matthew 26:59-60|
|Mosiah 13:1||Dismissed as mad||John 10:20|
|Mosiah 13:6||Spoke with power and authority||Matthew 7:28-29|
|Mosiah 13:7||Could not be slain until message/mission was completed||John 10:17-18|
|Mosiah 17:6||Three-day imprisonment (entombment)||Luke 24:4-8, 46|
|Mosiah 17:8||Condemned for blasphemy||Matthew 26:63-66|
|Mosiah 17:9||Would not recall words||Matthew 27:12-14|
|Mosiah 17:10||Innocent blood||Matthew 27:24|
|Mosiah 17:11-12||Leader tempted to release him but yielded to detractors and delivered him to be slain||John 18:4-25|
Abinadi is the most extensively developed prophetic prefiguration of Christ in the Book of Mormon and one of the most conspicuously developed types in any of the scriptures. And it is yet another conspicuous irony that he, like Christ, died lamenting those who claimed a belief in the law of Moses could not recognize the Messianic teachings—to say nothing of the Messiah himself—toward which that law in its purity had always been directed.