Abinadi

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(This is an excerpt from the book Christ and the New Covenant.)

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.

AbinadiType/ShadowChrist
Mosiah 11:20Called to preach repentance to those sinningMatthew 9:13
Mosiah 11:21-23; 12:1-8To deny message was to be afflicted by the hand of enemies and brought into bondageMatthew 23:37-38; 24:3-51
Mosiah 11:20-25Denounced unbelievers in public discourseMatthew 23:9
Mosiah 12:9Stood alone against accusersMatthew 26:56
Mosiah 12:17-18Bound and taken before religious priests and political rulerJohn 18:12-40
Mosiah 12:19Cross-examinedMatthew 26:59-60
Mosiah 13:1Dismissed as madJohn 10:20
Mosiah 13:6Spoke with power and authorityMatthew 7:28-29
Mosiah 13:7Could not be slain until message/mission was completedJohn 10:17-18
Mosiah 17:6Three-day imprisonment (entombment)Luke 24:4-8, 46
Mosiah 17:8Condemned for blasphemyMatthew 26:63-66
Mosiah 17:9Would not recall wordsMatthew 27:12-14
Mosiah 17:10Innocent bloodMatthew 27:24
Mosiah 17:11-12Leader tempted to release him but yielded to detractors and delivered him to be slainJohn 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.

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