Jesus has died the night before, and his body hastily laid a borrowed tomb just as the night of Sabbath descended. His family, friends and followers are in utter shock and despair. The scriptures are also fairly silent about this day, as if symbolically honoring the day for mourning, as we are all left to contemplate the tremendous loss and ultimate sacrifice of the Savior of the World.
While Jesus’ body laid in the tomb, where was his spirit?
I cannot contemplate the final hours of Jesus’ life, and the gift of his suffering without hearing the beloved poem and hymn by Isaac Watts – a piece that I have performed countless times over the past 30 years, first with the Mormon Youth Chorus, and now with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
This song expresses so much better than I can possibly put into words how I feel about the divine sacrifice made for me, and for you.
When I Survey the wondrous cross,
On which the prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.
See from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a tribute far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all!
To sacrifice is to give up something most valuable or precious, often with the intent of accomplishing a greater purpose or goal. Sacrifice has always been a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a reminder of the ultimate atoning sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
In addition to remembering the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, he asks us to offer our own sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Consider what that means for you personally.- MoSop
“Ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away. … And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost”
– 3 Nephi 9:19-20 , The Book of Mormon