Christianity has had a deep connection with mountains throughout history. I will speak to you on the topic of “The Sorrowful Heart of Jesus as He Went to the Mountain.”
You must know well the scene of the Transfiguration from the text of the Bible. Please re-imagine the figure of Jesus as he went up to the Mount of Transfiguration. Going to the top of the mountain, Jesus represented the whole providence of history, his own contemporary age, and all the descendants of the future. I would like you to remember, however, that he climbed the mountain with a mournful, sad and lonesome heart, rather than a joyful one. We should know that this event did not affect only that moment. It was a time when a crucial decision was made that had implications for the age before Jesus, the age of Jesus, and the age after Jesus.
We know well that Jesus visited high mountains whenever he was faced with serious matters. Jesus, who received the three tests from Satan after fasting for forty days, had to discriminate clearly between front and rear, left and right, with worry and concern for Heaven, humankind and all things. For Jesus, who bore such a responsibility, that scene was an important and tragic one in which he had to distinguish between Heaven and Satan, heavenly affairs and satanic affairs. Jesus was led away by Satan to a mountain top for the test.
Mountains figuring in Jesus’ life were: the mountain Satan led him to climb in the wilderness, the Mount of Transfiguration, which he climbed in order to decide in front of Heaven the matter of carrying the cross, and the garden of Gethsemane near the slopes of the Mount of Olives, where he offered a decisive prayer to go over the deadly path of Golgotha. We should remember this.
We will have to consider how Jesus moved, how woeful his heart was, and with what countenance Jesus appeared as he went to the mountain. We will have to reflect deeply on the figure of Jesus as he went into the wilderness 2,000 years ago. Otherwise, we will not be able to understand his desperate heart as he walked the course of struggle against Satan.
Jesus defeated Satan in the three temptations in the wilderness and achieved the final victory on a mountain. We should realize that the steps of Jesus in going to the wilderness, after being rejected by the chosen John the Baptist and his followers and the Jewish nation, were walked with a heart of sorrow the like of which no one on the earth has ever experienced.
Jesus appeared as the only son of Heaven, the one to resolve the 4,000 years, and the hallmark of victory God could boast about before the age and the descendants of countless generations. We must remember the sad heart of Jesus as he went into the wilderness alone, without a friend, leaving behind the people, the church, the chosen John the Baptist, and Joseph’s family.
Jesus had come forward with the determination and sense of mission to establish the historical conditions of indemnity. What did he think about during the forty days of fasting? He felt an acute sense of responsibility to restore through indemnity, by himself, the rueful course of the ancestors. We must realize this.
In the process of the three temptations, what must Jesus have thought about as he was led to the mountain top by Satan? He went up the mountain with a serious heart, worried about the entire historical course of 4,000 years, struggling whether he could subjugate Satan by holding up the final shield of victory. As he was walking through the wilderness, Jesus must have thought about how, after the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and their loss, their descendants had to roam around in search of the garden. As he thought about the historical ancestors who had lived in a garden of grief after the expulsion of Adam and Eve, he had to think seriously about the mountain.
Jesus must have remembered the loyalty of Noah, who appeared 1,600 years after Adam and Eve and built the ark on Mount Ararat, enduring all hardships for 120 years to restore the expulsion of Adam and Eve. Jesus thought about how it was for the sake of the Messiah, Jesus himself, that Noah had lived such a life. Jesus must have thought about how hard Noah worked on the mountain, yearning for Jesus himself.
The Sorrowful Heart of Jesus as He Went to the Mountain
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
January 25, 1959