Can You Fathom the Agony in God’s Heart When Jesus Was Dying on the Cross?

2 Kings 22

11 When Josiah heard what was in The Book of God’s Law, he tore his clothes in sorrow. 12 At once he called together Hilkiah, Shaphan, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, and his own servant Asaiah. He said, 13 “The Lord must be furious with me and everyone else in Judah, because our ancestors did not obey the laws written in this book. Go find out what the Lord wants us to do.”

Richard: This is a very interesting verse. The Jews had forgotten about God’s Law. This is the same as forgetting about the Eight Sacred Textbooks, which has actually happened in the current Unification movement.

1 Kings 2

36 Solomon sent for Shimei and said, “Build a house here in Jerusalem and live in it. But whatever you do, don’t leave the city! 37 If you ever cross Kidron Valley and leave Jerusalem, you will be killed. And it will be your own fault.”

Richard: Later, Shimeie leaves Jerusalem and is killed. See the above comment by me. These two verses go together.

Jesus

12. The Agony of Christ’s Passion and Crucifixion

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

When Jesus fell exhausted while carrying the cross to Golgotha, none among his disciples offered to shoulder the cross in his place. Neither did anyone from among the chosen people of Israel. Rather it was Simon of Cyrene, a Gentile, who shouldered the cross and participated in Jesus’ tribulation. For this reason, Christianity flourished among the Gentiles, not the Jews…
    How must Jesus have felt when he looked at Simon of Cyrene? His disciples, with whom he had shared all his joys and sorrows, had all disappeared, leaving this Gentile to suffer on his behalf. Jesus must have felt deeply embarrassed and sorrowful.
    If any man among the twelve disciples had stood up to shoulder the cross in his place, then by looking at him, Jesus could have forgotten the hardships of death. He would have overcome his own agony by feeling compassion for his disciple. When this did not happen, Jesus felt even greater sorrow. (2:275, June 16, 1957)
 
Although the Roman soldiers nailed him to a cross and pierced him with a spear, Jesus asked God’s forgiveness for them. He endured his pain with the attitude, “I am dying on their behalf. I am willing to be sacrificed on their behalf.” From that moment a new realm opened; a new world was born that had never before existed in history.
    Before Jesus’ time the rule was to take revenge on your enemy, based on the law, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” No one before Jesus had ever taught that we should love our enemies. Jesus demonstrated something totally new to the world when he loved his enemies on the cross. This was something amazingly great. From that single event sprouted a new era, a new world of God’s desire. (130:232-33, January 29, 1984)
 
Can you fathom the agony in God’s heart when Jesus was dying on the cross? Here, the children of the enemy were killing His only begotten Son, and yet God could not treat them as enemies. Can you imagine how difficult it was for God to swallow His pain and maintain a loving heart towards them? Jesus understood God’s painful situation; he knew that God had to maintain unconditional love even for the enemy Satan; therefore he loved the enemy soldiers who were killing him and prayed that God would forgive their sin.
    Because Jesus passed this test, Satan could be separated. Because Jesus kept God’s tradition of unconditional love even for Satan, Satan had no grounds to accuse either Jesus or God. This was the condition to make a division between good and evil, to lift up Christianity beyond Satan’s grasp.
    God’s providence can progress only on the condition of loving Satan and the individuals and families under Satan’s dominion. Even in the place of death, we should love and pray for them, as God does. Otherwise there can be no restoration. For this reason, Christian martyrs throughout the world have followed Jesus’ example and prayed for their persecutors, “Heavenly Father, please save them.”
 
This goes back to the principle that Satan was originally an archangel, who was to receive love from God, Adam and Eve. Although he fell to become Satan, we should not change our love for him. By following this principle, we can be fully restored and be qualified to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (244:154-55, February 1, 1993)
 
Why did Jesus appeal to Heaven, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27.46) The first human beings abandoned God, and Jesus had the mission to restore their betrayal through indemnity. That is why God forsook him.
    Nevertheless, although abandoned, Jesus kept a grateful heart. He prayed, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Matt. 26.39) Because Jesus wanted to become one with God and digest death and whatever hardships confronted him, no enemy could dominate him. Because Jesus did not change even in death, even when God and humankind turned their backs on him, he opened the door to resurrection.
    Likewise, even if God were to turn away from you, you must be determined to cling to the Father and attend Him to the end. That is the only way you enter the blessed realm of resurrection that Jesus Christ opened for us. (4:144-45, March 30, 1958)

They Were His Enemies Who Had Tried to Kill Him

1 Kings 13

15 “Come home with me,” the old prophet said, “and have something to eat.”

Ezekiel 48

13 I will give the other half of my sacred land to the Levites. Their share will also be eight miles long and three miles wide, 14 and they must never sell or trade any of this land—it is the best land and belongs to me.

Joseph

3. Joseph Meets His Brothers and Reconciles with Them

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, was sold into slavery in Egypt. However, it was God’s will that he suffer in Egypt, because through Joseph he planned to preserve a future for Israel. We, too, are like Joseph. Our fate is to be mistreated, even though we are striving to save the nation and the world. Therefore, we should all be determined to suffer for the sake of God’s will to restore humanity at the sacrifice of our lives and everything we own. Then our church will be aligned with God’s concept.
    Because I know this, despite all persecutions, I never complain or carry a grudge. Rather, I work tirelessly to overcome every obstacle all the way to the end. (146:124-25, June 8, 1986)
 
It must have been so painful for Joseph to see his brothers when they came to Egypt to purchase grain. They were his enemies who had tried to kill him years before. However, they were still his brothers, of the same blood; further, they loved and cared for his parents during all those years while he lived in a foreign land. Besides, his parents loved them. Thinking of all this, Joseph forgave them. (48:312, September 26, 1971)
 
Joseph’s eleven brothers persecuted him and even attempted to kill him, yet he knew that unless he won them over, he would be unable to bring his parents to Egypt and preserve their lives. God has placed me in precisely the same situation as Joseph. Joseph suffered in Egypt to lay the foundation to save his brothers. Likewise, I am working to save the declining remnants of Christianity. Joseph represented the future of the Israelites; likewise I am taking the responsibility of Joseph to provide a future for Christianity. 
 
Joseph forgave his eleven brothers when they visited him in Egypt because, despite their evil, he knew that they cared for his parents during his absence. Likewise, we cannot help but bless the Christian churches that oppose us because they served God before the Unification Church came into being. (Way of God’s Will 1.3)
 
 

I Saw Them Making Obeisance to Me

1 Kings 13

23 After the meal the old prophet got a donkey ready, 24 and the prophet from Judah left. Along the way, a lion attacked and killed him, and the donkey and the lion stood there beside his dead body.

25 Some people walked by and saw the body with the lion standing there. They ran into Bethel, telling everyone what they had seen.

26 When the old prophet heard the news, he said, “That must be the prophet from Judah. The Lord warned him, but he disobeyed. So the Lord sent a lion to kill him.”

Richard: Clearly, it is important to obey what God has said, centered on your conscience.

Matthew 7

Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about.

Joseph

Joseph, the dreamer, was hated by his brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt; yet years later when he rose to a high position and his brothers came to Egypt to buy food, he had the opportunity to help them in their distress. Joseph’s troubles with his older brothers, and their eventual reconciliation, mirrored Jacob’s life-long struggle with his older brother Esau. but Joseph is also a story of a godly man rising to a position of great power. Unlike Jacob, Joseph had the power to get revenge on his brothers, and indeed he used it to discomfit them and make them admit their former crime. Yet in the end he forgave them and helped them, because he saw some goodness in them—that they truly cared for their father Jacob.
Father Moon identifies with Joseph’s life of misfortunes and supposedly chance encounters that turned out to be part of a larger divine plan. He is particularly interested in Joseph’s motives for forgiveness, and he applies it to his own situation, as a leader who has endured persecution from his Christian “brothers.”

1. Joseph the Dreamer

When Joseph said to his father, “O my father, I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon—I saw them making obeisance to me.” He said, “O my son, do not tell this dream to your brothers, lest they devise a plan against you. The devil is indeed an open enemy to man. And thus will your Lord choose you, and teach you the interpretation of sayings, and make His favor complete to you and to the children of Jacob, as He made it complete before to your fathers, Abraham and Isaac. Surely your Lord is Knowing, Wise.”
    Verily in Joseph and his brothers there are signs for the inquiring.
    When they said, “Certainly Joseph and his brother (Benjamin) are dearer to our father than we, though we are a company. Surely our father is in plain error.” (One said), “Slay Joseph or banish him to some other land, so that your father’s regard may be exclusively for you, and that after that you may be accounted a righteous people.” Another said, “Slay not Joseph, but if you must do something, cast him into the bottom of the well. Some travelers may pick him up.
    ”They said, “O our father, why won’t you trust us with Joseph, when we are good friends to him? Send him with us tomorrow that he may enjoy himself and play, and we will take good care of him.” He said, “In truth it saddens me that you should take him with you, and I fear lest the wolf devour him while you are heedless of him.” They said, “If the would should devour him while we are so strong a band, then surely we should have already perished.”
    Then when they led him off, and were of one mind that they should place him at the bottom of the well, We inspired in him (Joseph): You will tell them of this deed of theirs when they do not know you.
    And they came to their father at nightfall, weeping and saying, “O father! We went off racing with one another and left Joseph by our goods, and a wolf devoured him. You won’t believe us, though we are truthful.” And they came with false blood on his shirt. He said, “No. Your minds have beguiled you into some matter. My course is comely patience. And God it is whose help is to be sought about that which you describe.”
    And there came travelers, and they sent their water-drawer. He let down his bucket into the well. He said, “Good news! Here is a youth.”  And they concealed him as an article of merchandise, and God was Cognizant of what they did. Then they sold him for a low price, a few pieces of silver, for they attached little value to him.
    Qur’an 12.4-20

Do Saints Live as They Wish?

My latest blog: Seek First His Kingdom

Acts 7

39 But our ancestors refused to obey Moses. They rejected him and wanted to go back to Egypt.

40 The people said to Aaron, “Make some gods to lead us! Moses led us out of Egypt, but we don’t know what’s happened to him now.” 41 Then they made an idol in the shape of a calf. They offered sacrifices to the idol and were pleased with what they had done.

1 Kings 14

14 The Lord will soon choose a new king of Israel, who will destroy Jeroboam’s family. And I mean very soon.15 The people of Israel have made the Lord angry by setting up sacred poles for worshiping the goddess Asherah. So the Lord will punish them until they shake like grass in a stream. He will take them out of the land he gave to their ancestors, then scatter them as far away as the Euphrates River. 16 Jeroboam sinned and caused the Israelites to sin. Now the Lord will desert Israel.

17 Jeroboam’s wife left and went back home to the town of Tirzah. As soon as she set foot in her house, her son died. 18 Everyone in Israel came and mourned at his funeral, just as the Lord’s servant Ahijah had said.

Richard: Sacred poles: Or “trees,” were used as symbols of Asherah, the goddess of fertility. The people here are committing sexual sins.

Founders, Prophets and Saints

1. God’s Champions and Messengers

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

When God assigns a responsibility within His providential Will to human beings, He raises up for them a central figure. He raises each central figure to be the leading light of the people of his age and link them to the thought of Heaven. In other words, at key moments in history God seeks out a single individual who can represent his age, his culture, and the whole world. God calls on His chosen one to declare His teaching to Heaven and earth. (4:192, April 20, 1958)

Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Confucius are called the great saints of history. They left their traditions to posterity, which became organized as the time-honored religions and gave birth to the great civilizations of humankind.
    Did these saints live as they wished, enjoying themselves every day? No, from an earthly point of view they lived miserable lives, far more difficult than the lives of ordinary people.
    Why did they live that kind of life? The saints did not live according to their own desires, but instead lived obedient to the divine Will and for the sake of the world God desired to build through them.
    Although they had individual desires, the saints lived always thinking about God and how they could inherit His tradition. They were concerned to train their character and to conform their life to God’s Will. When they looked at their families, they thought about what would be the authentic family in the sight of God. They thought about how their society could be acceptable to God. They sought to understand what traditions their nation should have in the sight of God. (95:271, December 11, 1977)

What did these founders of religion teach? They taught centered on God. They taught according to God’s teachings and guided their people to do God’s Will. They did not teach their own will. They did not boast of their greatness. They passed away while proclaiming a God-centered worldview, a God-centered way of life, and a God-centered understanding of the universe. (41:329-30, February 18, 1971)

God is the Source of the principle that governs the universe. While creating the universe, God invested Himself totally for the sake of His creation. Throughout history, God has continually sacrificed Himself to save fallen human beings, who have been living just as they desire.
    The prophets, saints, and sages who knew God’s Will followed God’s principle in their own lives. Furthermore, they were not content to keep the truth to themselves, but walked the way of sacrifice to teach others. Moses, Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, Socrates and Jesus suffered hardships and persecution for their efforts to teach the people. They dedicated their lives to enlighten and liberate humanity. (234:222, August 20, 1992)

The Chinese character for “saint” (聖) has three parts, representing ears (耳), mouth (口), and king (王). The combination of these three elements signifies a saint. If you link the meanings, a saint is the “king of the mouth” and “king of the ears.” What does this mean? As the king of the ears, he comprehends and interprets what he hears like a king. He does not simply repeat what he hears, for if he did it could cause many troubles. As a king of the mouth, he is careful about the words he speaks. He knows that whatever he says could become the law; it could sway the destiny of his nation. (118:44, May 2, 1982)

What is the definition of a saint? A saint is someone who transcends national boundaries. The saints of history did not live merely for their own people or for their own tribe. They transcended national boundaries to live for the sake of all humanity. They could say, “I will die for the sake of all humanity. I transcend all the boundaries that separate the thousands of ethnic groups and nations. I am beyond nations, beyond religions, and beyond races.” Before they went to their deaths, these saints forged a connection to all humanity on a worldwide level. (38:350, January 8, 1971)

You Who Believe; Remember the Grace of God on You

Luke 9

14 There were about five thousand men in the crowd.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Have the people sit in groups of fifty.” 15 They did this, and all the people sat down. 16 Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and blessed the food. Then he broke the bread and fish and handed them to his disciples to give to the people.

17 Everyone ate all they wanted. What was left over filled twelve baskets.

1 Kings 22

48 Jehoshaphat had seagoing ships built to sail to Ophir for gold. But they were wrecked at Ezion-Geber and never sailed. 49 Ahaziah son of Ahab offered to let his sailors go with Jehoshaphat’s sailors, but Jehoshaphat refused.

50 Jehoshaphat died and was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Jehoram became king.

51 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat’s rule in Judah, and he ruled two years from Samaria.

52 Ahaziah disobeyed the Lord, just as his father, his mother, and Jeroboam had done. They all led Israel to sin. 53 Ahaziah worshiped Baal and made the Lord God of Israel very angry, just as his father had done.

Richard: Jehoshaphat obeyed God, while Ahaziah did not. The main battle is not right vs left, but God vs no God.

Help and Deliverance

2. Deliverance from Danger and Death

O you who believe! Remember the grace of God on you, when there came down on you hosts; but We sent against them a hurricane and forces you could not see: but God sees clearly all that you do. Behold! They came on you from above you and from below you, and behold, the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and you imagined various vain thoughts about God! In that situation were the believers tried; they were shaken as by a tremendous shaking…
    And God turned back the unbelievers, for all their fury; no advantage did they gain; and enough is God for the believers in their fight. And God is full of Strength, Able to enforce His will.29
    Qur’an 33.9-11, 25

Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord :
I will sing to the Lord , for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a man of war;
The Lord is his name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea;
and his picked officers are sunk in the Red Sea.
The floods cover them;
they went down into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord , glorious in power,
your right hand, O Lord , shatters the enemy.
In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries;
you send forth your fury, it consumes them like stubble.
At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up,
the floods stood up in a heap;
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.

The enemy said, “I will pursue,
I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil,
my desire shall have its fill of them.
I will draw my sword,
my hand shall destroy them.”
You blew them away with your wind,
the sea covered them;
they sank as lead
in the mighty waters.

Who is like thee, O Lord , among the gods?
Who is like thee, majestic in holiness,
terrible in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
Exodus 15.1-11

They threw them [Paul and Silas] into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s fetters were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?”
    Acts 16.23-30

Arms pinioned, was I thrown down in a heap.
The elephant violently was goaded in the head.
The elephant ran away trumpeting,
Declaring, “To this prostrate figure am I a sacrifice;
Lord, in you alone lies my strength.”
The Kazi urged the mahout to goad on the elephant,
Threatening, “Mahout! I shall cut you to pieces!
Goad and drive the elephant!”
But the elephant, meditating on God, would not move:
In his heart was lodged the Lord.
The people queried, “What offense has this
holy man committed,
That in bonds he is thrown to be trampled by an elephant?”
The elephant bowed again and again to the heap before it.
The benighted Kazi did not realize this;
Three times he ordered this trial
But his hard heart still was not softened.
Says Kabir, The Lord is my guardian.
In absorption in Him lies His servant’s life.
    Adi Granth, Gaund, Kabir, p. 870 (Sikhism)

World-honored Lord and Perfect One,
I pray thee now declare
Wherefore this holy Bodhisat
Is known as Kuan Shih Yin [Hearer of the Cries of the World]?
To this the Perfect One replied
By uttering this song:
The echoes of her holy deeds
Resound throughout the world.
So vast and deep the vows she made
When, after countless eons
Of serving hosts of Perfect Ones,
She voiced her pure desire
[To liberate afflicted beings].
Now hearken to what came of it—
To hear her name or see her form,
Or fervently recite her name
Delivers beings from every woe.
Were you with murderous intent
Thrust within a fiery furnace,
One thought of Kuan Yin’s saving power
Would turn those flames to water!
Were you adrift upon the sea
With dragon-fish and fiends around you,
One thought of Kuan Yin’s saving power
Would spare you from the hungry waves…
Were you amidst a band of thieves,
Their cruel knives now raised to slay,
One thought of Kuan Yin’s saving power
And pity must restrain their blows.
Suppose the king now wroth with you,
The headsman’s sword upraised to strike,
One thought of Kuan Yin’s saving power
Would dash the sword to pieces.
Were you close pent by prison walls,
Your wrists and ankles bound by chains,
One thought of Kuan Yin’s saving power
Would instantly procure release…
True Kuan Yin! Pure Kuan Yin!
Immeasurably wise Kuan Yin!
Merciful and filled with pity,
Ever longed-for and revered!
O Radiance spotless and effulgent!
O night-dispelling Sun of Wisdom!
O Vanquisher of storm and flame!
Your glory fills the world!
    Lotus Sutra 25 (Buddhism)