Jesus wanted to live and fulfill his mission. It is a tragic misunderstanding to believe that Jesus prayed for a little more earthy life out of the frailness of his human soul. Young Nathan Hale, in the American struggle for independence, was able to say at the time of his execution, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country!” Do you think Jesus Christ was a lesser soul than Nathan Hale? No! Nathan Hale was a great patriot. But Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Think this over. If Jesus came to die on the cross, would he not need a man to deliver him up? You know that Judas Iscariot is the disciple who betrayed Jesus. If Jesus fulfilled God’s will with his death on the cross, then Judas. should be glorified as the man who made the crucifixion possible. Judas would have been aiding God’s dispensation. But Jesus said of Judas,
‘The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.’ (Matt. 26:24)
Judas killed himself.
Furthermore, if God had wanted His son to be crucified, He did not need 4,000 years to prepare the chosen people. He would have done better to send Jesus to a tribe of barbarians, where he could have been killed even faster, and the will of God would have been realized more rapidly.
I must tell you again, it was the will of God to have Jesus Christ accepted by his people. That is why God labored in hope and anguish to prepare fertile soil for the heavenly seed of the Messiah. That is why God established His chosen people of Israel. That is why God sent prophet after prophet to awaken the people of Israel to ready themselves for the Lord.
God warned them and chastised them; He persuaded them and scolded them, pushed them and punished them because He wanted His people to accept His Son. One day the disciples asked Jesus,
‘”What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent”‘ (John 6:28-29)
The chosen people of Israel did the very thing God had labored to prevent. They rejected the one He had sent.
Jesus had one purpose throughout the three years of his public ministry: acceptance. He could not fulfill his mission otherwise. From the very first day, he preached the gospel without equivocation, so that the people could hear the truth and accept him as the Son of God. The word of God should have led them to accept him. However, when Jesus saw that the people were not likely to receive him by the words of God alone, he began to perform mighty works. He hoped that people could recognize him through his miracles.
‘Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.’ (John 20:30-31)
Jesus gave sight to the blind and made the lepers clean. He healed the lame and blessed the deaf with hearing. Jesus raised the dead. He did these things only because he wanted to be accepted. Yet the people said of him,
‘It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.’ (Matt. 12:24)
What a heartbreaking situation! Jesus soon saw the hopelessness of gaining the acceptance of the people. In anger and desperation he chastised them: ‘You brood of vipers! . . . ‘ (Matt. 12:34)
He did not hide his wrath, but exploded in anger.
‘Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.’ (Matt. 11:21)
And he wept when he drew near the city of Jerusalem.
‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!’ (Matt. 23:37)
(from the book: God’s Will and the World by Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon)