Jesus Endured Hardships for Us

Leviticus 1

14 If you offer a bird for this kind of sacrifice, it must be a dove or a pigeon. 15 A priest will take the bird to the bronze altar, where he will wring its neck and put its head on the fire. Then he will drain out its blood on one side of the altar, 16 remove the bird’s craw with what is in it,[e] and throw them on the ash heap at the east side of the altar.[f]17 Finally, he will take the bird by its wings, tear it partially open,[g] and send it up in smoke with a smell that pleases me.

Richard:  We should not be afraid to sacrifice ourselves and do unpleasant tasks to help others.

I live among lions,
    who gobble down people!
They have spears and arrows
    instead of teeth,
    and they have sharp swords
    instead of tongues.

May you, my God, be honored
    above the heavens;
    may your glory be seen
    everywhere on earth.

The Ideal Kingdom of Heaven, Our Hope

Rev. Sun Myung Moon
February 22, 1959

Matthew 3: 1-17

Jesus was supposed to walk the road of the providence in front. Yet, he could not go in front. Instead, he stood behind everyone and said to each, “You go the easy way. I will walk the most difficult path.” He shouldered the difficulties of the nation and the world alone. He carried the cross of hardship, which humankind repels, by himself and lived for the sake of humankind. Jesus had to walk the road, even though it was one of historical sadness, entangled with evil conditions. Thus, with a thirty-year period of preparation and a three-year period of public life, he walked that road with intense, internal determination. The more intense that conviction became, the more he became a friend to sorrowful humankind. Moreover, he was mortified over the fact that human beings were suffering a life of fear and that Satan ruled humankind. In the humblest place in history, in the humblest place of the age, he fought with Satan.

He walked the road with a mind to say, “If humankind is in sorrow, I will take responsibility for its sadness. If humankind is in difficulty, I will take responsibility for that difficulty. If humankind lives in death, I will take responsibility for death.” His footsteps were those of an individual, but his mission was a historical mission, a mission of the age, a mission for the future.

If there is a Shim Jung God felt after the creation, if there is a Shim Jung of humankind and of all things, then Jesus had the responsibility to know all that and liberate them. Where did his path lead? His path did not lead to a luxurious palace nor did it lead in glory to the house of some high official or authority. Jesus knew that he was placed in a position to do God’s will in a time when all the conditions had not been fulfilled for the age. He went the opposite way.

Jesus knew that the path of Israel, which Heaven had trusted for 4,000 years, the path of hope for connecting to Heaven, was blocked. Therefore, he attempted to go forward to break open that path of hope. The people did not believe, however. Hence, Jesus had to go to the lowest echelon of the Israelites.

Jesus was to go toward the Kingdom of Heaven of hope. He was to go over the individual level, over the family level, his nation, over his race, and lead the world to Heaven, the ideal world. He stood at the forefront of his race, but the race drove him away. Religion chased him out. His family drove him away. His disciples rejected him, even a robber rejected him. How sorrowful do you think Jesus’ heart would have been at that time?

Jesus was supposed to march forward with the ideology of God. He was to introduce the garden of happiness to humankind, yet he had to go the opposite way. What do you think Jesus’ appearance and his Shim Jung would have been like? If Jesus could not go to the destination the right way, he still had to go, even if he had to go backward. Since 4,000 years had passed, he had to go, even if he had to go back through the 4,000-year history. Because this was the mission and responsibility of Jesus, he repeatedly prayed to God. He prayed, “Even if there are obstacles that block the Father’s will, I will still go the way, even if I have to walk the road of several thousand years. I will march toward that garden of hope. Father, please do not despair. I am here.”

The race that God established, the religion that God established, the family that God established, and the party of John the Baptist that God had established obstructed Jesus’ way and betrayed him. How could God even face this situation? His will and dignity were completely compromised.

When all the conditions that had been set up over 4,000 years for the attendance of the Messiah collapsed in a short moment, Jesus comforted God, instead of moaning over his own situation. Since God was sad, Jesus must have been sad also, but he had to deny his situation and comfort God. Jesus was treated as an enemy by his people. He was driven out as a heretic by the religious. His family criticized him as a traitor, even criminals ridiculed him. Later, nailed on the cross at Golgotha, he blessed and prayed for his enemies, those who had killed him: “Father, please forgive them.”

Jesus stepped forward, pledging to go toward God’s ideal garden, even if his path did not end in glory, happiness and joy, but in sadness, agony and mortification. He had to go toward that garden of ideology which is the goal of God. The fact that Jesus traveled toward that ideal garden means that he went in place of humankind, in place of history and in place of all things. Therefore, we who are following him are fated to go that way, too. If we cannot go there while we are alive, we must go even after death. That is our fate.

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