God sent John as a forerunner to the Messiah. His mission was clearly defined,
‘. . .to make ready for the Lord a people prepared’ (Luke 1:17)
But because of John’s betrayal, Jesus Christ had no ground upon which to start his ministry. The people had not been prepared to receive Jesus. Therefore, he had to go out from his home and work all by himself, trying to create a foundation on which the people could believe in him. There can be no doubt that John the Baptist was a man of failure. He was directly responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
You may again want to ask me, “With what authority do you say these things?” I spoke with Jesus Christ in the spirit world. And I spoke also with John the Baptist. This is my authority. If you cannot at this time determine that my words are the truth, you will surely discover that they are in the course of time. These are hidden truths presented to you as new revelations. You have heard me speak from the Bible. If you believe the Bible you must believe what I am saying.
We must therefore come to this solemn conclusion: The crucifixion of Jesus was a result of the rejection by the Jewish people. The major cause of their rejection was the betrayal of John. Thus we have learned that Jesus did not come to die on the cross. If Jesus had come to die, then he would not have offered that tragic and anguished prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus said to his disciples:
‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here and watch with me’ And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt. 26: 38-39)
Jesus prayed this way not just once, but three times. If death on the cross had been the fulfillment of God’s will, Jesus would certainly have prayed instead, “Father, I am honored to die on the cross for Your will.”
But Jesus prayed asking that this cup pass from him. If his prayer came out of his fear of death, such weakness would disqualify him as the Son of God. We have witnessed the courageous death of many martyrs throughout Christian history and even elsewhere people who not only overcame their fear of death, but made their final sacrifice a great victory. Out of so many martyrs, how could Jesus alone be the one to show his fear and weakness, particularly if his crucifixion was the glorious moment of his fulfillment of the will of God? Jesus did not pray this way from weakness. To believe such a thing is an outrage to Jesus Christ.
The prayer of Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane did not come from his fear of death or suffering. Jesus would have been willing and ready to die a thousand times over if that could have achieved the will of God. He agonized right up to the moment of death, and he made one final plea to God, because he knew his death would only cause the prolongation of God’s dispensation.
(from the book: God’s Will and the World by Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon)