No hope of avoiding death

Who has ever understood the broken heart of Jesus? He said, ‘Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.’ (Luke 19:42)

By that time Jesus knew there was absolutely no hope of avoiding death. Yet he pleaded with God in Gethsemane, and he pleaded with God on the cross: ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46)

Thus Jesus died on the cross, not of his own will, not of the will of God, but by the will of men. Christ was destined to return from that moment on. He will return to consummate his mission on earth. Mankind must await his Second Coming for the complete salvation of the world.

Many people may now ask, “What about the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the death of Jesus on the cross?” I am aware of those prophecies, such as Isaiah, Chapter 53. We must know that there are dual lines of prophecy in the Bible. One group prophesies Jesus’ rejection and death; the others, such as Isaiah, Chapters 9, 11 and 60, prophesy the glorious ministry of Jesus when the people accepted him as the Son of God, as the king of kings. For example:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. . . (Is. 9:6-7)

This is the prophecy of the Lord of glory, Jesus as the king of kings, and prince of peace. On the other hand, we can read:

‘Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.’ (Is. 53 4-5)

This is the prophecy of the suffering Christ. It is indeed the prophecy of the crucifixion.

Then, once again, why did God prophesy in two contradictory ways in the Bible?

It is because God has to deal with men – fallen men – in His dispensation. And fallen man is wicked and untrustworthy and possesses the capacity of betrayal.

(from the book: God’s Will and the World by Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon)

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