Skinner Concludes Museum of Art Lecture Series
On March 21 Andrew C. Skinner, executive director of the Maxwell Institute and professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, addressed the topic of "Crucifixion and Resurrection" in the Museum of Art lecture series on the life of Christ. Skinner began by saying that "the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth are the lynchpin of everything we believe and everything we do in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
First, Skinner carefully detailed and expounded upon the events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection. For example, Skinner noted that Pilate's act of washing his hands at the trial of Christ was actually an ancient custom, "a symbolic demonstration of absolving oneself of guilt or responsibility for the shedding of another person's blood," but it was also a prescription of the Mosaic law "performed over the carcass of a sacrificed heifer as a sign that their city was not responsible for the death of a slain man" (see Deuteronomy 21:6—8). Thus, Skinner instructed, even in the trial before his death, Christ's life fulfilled all statutes of the law of Moses.
Skinner also explored several possible meanings of the tearing of the temple veil after the crucifixion of Christ, as recorded in the Gospels. For example, this event signified and symbolized the end of the Mosaic dispensation of animal sacrifices. Instead, with the opening of the new dispensation, Christ's atonement would provide a way for all to enter into the presence of God, and "not just the high priests on the Day of Atonement" in the Holy of Holies in the temple.
Describing it as "the most dramatic and remarkable moment in the history of Creation," Skinner also expounded upon the extreme significance of Christ's resurrection. "It is true that He inherited the power to take up His body again from His Father (Elohim) at the time of His mortal birth. But He received the keys of resurrection only after His own resurrection." The angels rolled away the stones to reveal the miracle of Christ's empty tomb; likewise, Skinner concluded, through his resurrection Christ could open the spirit world so "all the righteous [could] enter the presence of God."
The Museum of Art's display of Beholding Salvation: Images of Christ concluded on June 16.