Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: Episode 105
Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: A Selection of True Parents’ Speeches
Book 3: The Mission of Religion in Achieving God’s Ideal
Speech 2: The New Future of Christianity, pg 363-366
The Biblical background of the crucifixion of Jesus
Then the question at hand concerns how the Lord is going to come, and we need to clearly know the answer. The Bible tells us that, with regard to the Last Days, neither Jesus himself, that is, the Son of Man, nor the angels, will know anything. Only the Heavenly Father will know. That is why there are two ways of answering the question of how he is going to come. One is to find out by discussing with God, and the other is to find out through our own human wisdom. By the latter, we can positively deduce the answer by examining the way the Messiah, the Lord, came and departed in the past. You must know that there are only these two ways to find the answer.
If I found the answer by discussing with God, going to the spirit world to receive revelations, would you believe it? If Reverend Moon standing right here, were to speak on that foundation, you would not believe him.
Therefore, I need to present my answer based upon clear evidence. This being the case, by clearly learning about the Messiah who came before, you can draw conclusions about the future. This is the normal method by which we draw conclusions.
The yearning of today’s Christianity for the coming of the Messiah is exactly the same as the yearning of Judaism two thousand years ago for the Messiah. In the case of today’s Christianity, it has continued down its path for two thousand years in its longing for the coming of the Messiah, whereas in the case of Judaism, Heaven sent many prophets for four thousand years and sacrificed them to convey God’s promise to send the Messiah. For four thousand years God promised them the Messiah, and people believed devoutly for four thousand years, so that when the Messiah came, they would unite completely as one and fulfill the Will of God.
God sent Jesus Christ, the Messiah, to that people as promised. According to His plan, the people were in the position of having the responsibility to receive him. However, the people who had yearned for the coming of the Messiah did not receive him. Rather, they watched their leaders persecute him, seize him and have him killed. Ladies and gentlemen, is this not confusing?
To give an example to illustrate this, let’s say that when the Lord returns, today’s Christians who are waiting for him stand by as the highest leaders of Christianity, such as the pope, cardinals, bishops, and pastors, seize and kill him. What happened back then can be said to be the same. Simply saying Jesus came to die is insufficient. It is logically wrong. If you came to die, why would you ask God to forgive those who killed you? There is no reason for the death of innumerable prophets for four thousand years and the suffering of the people of Israel if their role were to reject the Messiah. If the purpose of his coming were rejection, God could have sent him to a group of uncivilized savages. How easily they would have killed him. How would you answer that?
This being the case, we need to examine how the chosen people came to seize and kill the Messiah, in spite of the fact that they had long yearned for God to send him. I hope you will not find this too serious if you are hearing such a thing for the first time. We need to find the answer to the question of why they seized and killed him.
They did so because, first of all, the Old Testament persuaded them to do so. The Book of Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, corresponds to the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. Malachi 4:5-6 states, “I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents.” We need to know that such a return of Elijah was definitely prophesied.
Who was the prophet Elijah? He was the man who ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire nine hundred years before the coming of Jesus. Because God loved this people and had foretold that He would send Elijah again, the people knew that Elijah, who had ascended, would come down again, for the Bible definitely said that he would return. But Elijah himself actually did not come. Now, the Bible is a book that traces the identity of Israel for four thousand years. It was the center of Jewish faith and devotion. Could the mere words of Jesus drive such a people to abandon their Bible?
Ladies and gentlemen, would you yourself do such a thing? It would be as if you were yearning for the Lord to come down from heaven upon clouds, and then someone came up to you and said, “I am the Lord.” Could you, a Christian of today, believe that person?
Let us now find out, from Jesus’ own words, if he had troubles like this or not. I refer you to the Gospel of Matthew 17:10. The disciples did not know much about the Bible. So we had people who were relatively ignorant of scripture believing that Jesus was the Savior and going out to witness, crying out, “People! The Messiah has come, so believe!” Then the scribes answered, “Hey! If your teacher is indeed the Messiah, don’t you know that the Book of Malachi says that God will send Elijah before the coming of the Messiah? So where is Elijah?” The disciples did not know about this, and the Bible records that they asked Jesus about it, and his response.
Now, if Elijah had come, it would not have mattered even if Jesus had been blind, deaf, or lame. The problem was that, as far as the scribes were concerned, Elijah had not come.
So, it is written in the Bible, “And the disciples asked him, ‘Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ Jesus replied, ‘Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased.’ Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.”
Was John the Baptist Elijah? If you had been there, would you have believed Jesus’ words? Elijah had not come from the sky, and here was Jesus, attaching the name of Elijah to John the Baptist. So the religious authorities decided that Jesus was attaching the name of Elijah to John the Baptist because he was a fraud pretending to be the Messiah. Thus Jesus was called a blasphemer who brought ruin to the Judaism of Israel and the chosen people of Israel, established by God for four thousand years, and they determined him to be empowered by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons. They concluded that he was, without a doubt, the son of Satan, the devil. They would not believe that this man, who seemed to claim that Elijah had come when he actually had not, was the Savior.