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The Mission Of Jesus

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The life and death of Jesus have presented profound and unfathomable  questions. 
Did he reveal to mankind everything he intended?  Was his crucifixion the consummation
of his mission?  For what purpose is the Second Coming, and how will that be accomplished? 
   

If his teaching was the ultimate revelation and his mission was completed, why do Christians
still pray:  
"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".

Let us examine Jesus' life and teachings in the light of new insights. This will be new and
challenging for many of you, but I know it will help you understand the Heart and Will of
God and Jesus more clearly. 

 

John the Baptist


Malachi, the last prophet of the Old Testament, prophesied: "Behold, I will
send you
Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes." (Mal. 4:5)


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The prophet Elijah was a most powerful spiritual champion. His mission was to subjugate
Satan and drive evil out of Israel in preparations for the advent of the Messiah. Elijah
defeated all the false prophets in his
great battle on Mount Carmel. But after he passed on,
the Israelites united with Satan by
again worshiping idols. Therefore, Elijah's work had to
be redone. In order to prepare for
the Messiah, another Elijah was needed, as Malachi 
prophesied. Hence, the people
expected Elijah to come prior to the coming of the Messiah.

According to Jesus' explanation, John the Baptist was the anticipated Elijah.  That is,
Malachi's prophecy concerning Elijah was fulfilled in John the Baptist.  He came to complete
Elijah's mission of subjugating Satan and to make preparation for the Messiah. 


John had been chosen even in the womb. The angel Gabriel had announced to Zechariah
that his wife, Elizabeth, would bear a son who would prepare his people for the Messiah.

And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him
in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the
disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.

(Luke 1:16-17)

 God sent special people to pave the way for the coming of the Messiah. Patriarchs, judges,
kings, and prophets exhorted, guided, and prophesied-all to this end. John the
Baptist was
the last and greatest of these forerunners. It was he who was to read the signs
and point out
the promised one to the Israelites.


Everything in John's life was directed to prepare him for this mission. His period in the
wilderness, his course of study and
meditation, his life of asceticism, and his understanding
of the plan of God-these were
essential to the success of his mission as the forerunner of the
Messiah.          

 As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John,
whether perhaps he were the Christ, John answered them all, "I baptize you with
water;
but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not 
worthy to untie;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." (Luke 3:15-16)        

The people were so struck by John's dynamic message that they considered him the greatest
prophet, and even wondered if he were the Christ.


The Pharisees, upon hearing that Jesus was the Messiah, immediately wondered where the
prophesied Elijah was. Jesus' disciples brought the question to him, and Jesus replied
that
John was Elijah.
(Matt. 17:10-13) Then the priests and Levites came to John to find
out by
his own words whether he was Elijah, as Jesus had declared. Contradicting what
his father
had received about him, John denied that he was Elijah.
  

 Now this was John's testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask
him who he was.  He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely,  "I am not the Christ".
They asked him, "Then who are you?  Are you Elijah?  He said, "I am not." "Are you the
Prophet?"  He answered, "No". ( John 1:19-21)
   

 Whatever John uttered the people deemed very important, and he became exceedingly influential. 
His voice had far more authority than that of Jesus, who was only a humble
carpenter and was
unknown to most people. The people could have accepted Jesus as the Messiah much more
readily if John had proclaimed himself to be Elijah, thus bearing 
witness to Jesus. By denying
that he was Elijah, however, John made Jesus appear as an imposter to those looking for validation
from Elijah, and finding none. 
John made it difficult for the people to follow Jesus.  That was not 
John's mission. 

  When Jesus asked John to baptize him, John immediately sensed that he should be baptized by
Jesus. John later told his disciples that he had seen the spirit of God descend
and remain on Jesus,
and that Jesus was the Lamb of God who would take away the sin
of the world. (John 1:29) It is
therefore apparent that John knew the identity of Jesus.         

John's mission apart from Jesus should have culminated with his baptism of Jesus.  He thereupon
should have joined Jesus, become his disciple, and served him as his Master,
thus drawing people
to Jesus, not to himself. But apparently John was not convinced, for
he took a position apart from
Jesus. John said,
"He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30) Why should John decrease
while Jesus was increasing?

If John had truly followed Jesus, he would have been with Jesus in his triumph
and glory. However, doubts came to John's mind as he compared his life with that
of Jesus. It seemed to him as if Jesus were abolishing the Mosaic Law. Jesus' disciples
were simple fishermen and his friends were tax collectors, harlots, and sinners. Jesus
and his disciples ate and drank, whereas John and his followers were ascetic. John
might have even expected the Messiah to come in glory on the throne of David.
But Jesus was a man of
humble background.
 
In prison, however, having heard of Jesus' miracles, John again wondered about
him.
John sent two of his disciples to inquire. Their question, "Are you he who
is to come, or
shall we look for another?" offended Jesus. Jesus answered them,
saying:

  Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight,
the lame 
walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the
poor have good 
news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense
at me. (Luke 7:22-23)          

John should have recognized Jesus at least by his works. John was the greatest
prophet of all, in terms of his mission, for he was the very one to give direct witness
to the Messiah.

Jesus said:

I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is
least in the
kingdom of God is greater than he. (Luke 7:28)

 

John The Baptist was untimately beheaded by Herod, and did not:  "make the way
straight for the Lord".

 In terms of serving Jesus, John was the smallest of all because he did not follow or
attend Jesus as the Lord although he had been chosen for that very purpose. Had John
followed
him after baptizing him, and testified to Jesus ardently enough, the whole of 
Israel would 
have turned to Jesus. But John, the principal forerunner of Jesus, failed
in his mission
of preparing the way. Because John did not lay a foundation for Jesus,
Jesus himself had
to withstand the attacks of Satan throughout his forty days of fasting
and prayer in the
wilderness.


Luke 4:16: And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up:
and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the Sabbath day.
And he stood up to read;

17: and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened
the book and found the place where it was written,

18: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to
preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the
captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are
oppressed,

19: to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."

20: And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat
down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.

21: And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled
in your hearing."


In the mind of Jesus, and in the heart of God, that time was to be the fulfillment of
Isaiah 61, and all the other passages in Hebrew scripture that articulate the promises
of a glorious Kingdom in Israel.  Dual Messianic prophesy, as it’s been understood,
has explained that the Glorious Israel, and the Glorious Kingdom prophesies are
meant for the Second Coming, and that the Suffering Servant prophesies were
meant to be fulfilled first in Jesus’ time 2000 years ago.  But according to Jesus
own words, Isaiah 61 was meant to be fulfilled in that time, that day, in Nazareth and
throughout Israel.

There is no conflict in dual prophecy if you understand the context, and the position
of mankind, in possessing his own portion of responsibility.  The Law Covenant
always spoke of two possibilities based on the response of faith, or of no faith.
Blessings and glory, or suffering Curses.  So the fate of Messianic providence is
likewise determined by the extent of human participation, or the lack of it.


The Kingdom of Heaven   

Jesus had come in Adam's place to restore the lost Garden of Eden, to establish the kingdom
of heaven on earth. He chose twelve disciples and seventy men, with whom he undertook this
task. From the beginning of his ministry Jesus proclaimed,
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven
is at hand." (Matt. 4:17)


As Luke reported, "He went on through
cities and villages, preaching and bringing
the good news of the kingdom of God." (8:1)  

 

Jesus gave many parables pertaining to the kingdom of heaven. He compared
it to sowing good seeds in various soils; to a tiny grain of mustard seed which
would grow into a large tree; to leaven hidden in meal; to a treasure hidden
in a field, which a man found with joy and then bought at the cost of everything
he had; to a merchant who, finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had
and bought it; and to a net thrown into the sea.

He compared the kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son and
invited all people, but they would not come; to ten virgins, five wise and five foolish, who
took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom; to a man who called his servants to
account for the talents which he had entrusted to them. In the Beatitudes, Jesus described
the nature of those who would enter the kingdom of heaven.

To his disciples Jesus partially revealed the secrets of the kingdom, but to the
public he spoke always in parables. (Mark 4:11) Jesus said that it was not easy
to enter the
kingdom. One must be like a child, showing that quality of obedient
acceptance. For a rich man it was particularly difficult, so that Jesus compared a rich
man entering the kingdom to a camel going through a needle's eye.

Jesus came to bring a physical kingdom into the world, and not merely a spiritual
kingdom in the hearts of his followers. Because the kingdom's foundation had to
be laid during Jesus' lifetime, its establishment was imminent and urgent. Therefore 
Jesus directed his followers to seek his kingdom and righteousness first, without giving
undue thought to what to eat or wear.

Jesus sent out his disciples, urging them to preach that the kingdom was at hand.
In fact, the time was so urgent that Jesus commanded: "Leave the dead to bury
their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:60)


At another time he said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is
fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)
In teaching his disciples how to pray,
Jesus' first petition to God was
"Thy kingdom come." Jesus proclaimed the arrival
of the kingdom of heaven because he
was the one by whom the kingdom was to
be established. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven was the entire theme of his
message.

To enter the kingdom, one must be perfect. As Jesus said, "You, therefore, must
be perfect
as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt. 5:48)  After man
attains perfection, he comes under God's Direct Dominion in marriage
blessed by Him. Perfected men and women have no need for forgiveness
because they have in themselves no sin.

Jesus came to subjugate Satan, thereby freeing men from evil and from original sin.
He came to raise them to perfection-to establish the kingdom of heaven on earth.
This kingdom was to be much more than the reign of God in peoples' hearts. He
meant to establish a tangible, visible kingdom. It was to be built by the efforts of
men filled with divine love and truth. It was to be a Garden of Eden in which true
families of perfected parents would live with God in a full relationship of reciprocal
love.  This world, it's creatures and beautiful landscapes was meant to exist as the
Kingdom of Heaven with humanity, man, woman and all their offspring, taking
their places as divine beings, living in the direct dominion of God's Heart.  This
would all have happened had Jesus been accepted in Israel 2000 years ago. 


Glorious Prophecy for the Messiah

 

God's purpose in sending the Messiah was to establish His kingdom on earth,
beginning with Israel.  Isaiah prophesied the Messiah's role in God's kingdom.

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.
(9:6-7)

From the throne of David, the Messiah was to govern his people with justice and
righteousness. He was to reign with wisdom, as Wonderful Counselor; with power,
as Mighty God; with love, as the Everlasting Father. And the peace of his kingdom
was to last forever. Not only his human followers, but all nature was to dwell in his
peace, as Isaiah foretold.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and
the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion
shall eat straw like
the ox. The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall
put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or
destroy in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the
Lord as the waters cover the sea. (11:6-
9)

Isaiah further prophesied the glorious days the Israelites would see in the kingdom of
the Messiah.

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you ...
Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons
shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms.
Then you shall see
and be radiant, your heart shall thrill and rejoice; because the
abundance of the sea shall
be turned to you .... Your gates shall be open continually;
day and night they shall not be
shut; that men may bring to you the wealth of the
nations, with their kings led in
procession. For the nation and kingdom that will not
serve you shall perish; those nations
shall be utterly laid waste. The glory of Lebanon
shall come to you, the cypress, the
plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my
sanctuary; and I will make the place of
my feet glorious. The sons of those who
oppressed you shall come bending low to you;
and all who despised you shall bow
down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the
Lord, the Zion of the Holy One
of Israel .... Violence shall no more be heard in your land,
devastation or destruction
within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and
your gates Praise ....
The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty
nation; I am the
Lord; in its time I will hasten it. (Isaiah 60)

This is the glory and joy that the Israelites were to share upon the establishment of
the Messianic kingdom. Their long suffering and sorrow would be ended. Their
blessing would reach throughout the whole world, and earth would be the Garden
of Eden.

Such glorious prophecy is found also in the Gospels.

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his
name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the
Lord God
will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the
house of Jacob
forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)

 

The angel Gabriel informed Mary that her son would be the Messiah, fulfilling the
long cherished hope of Israel; that he would rule a kingdom of eternal peace. The
wise men of the East came to pay homage to the newborn Jesus as the prophesied
King of the Jews.

Shepherds in the fields heard from angels that the Messiah was born in Bethlehem.
Simeon and Anna were in the temple at Jerusalem when the baby Jesus was brought
there. Through the Holy Spirit they immediately recognized him as the promised
King and Messiah. Upon hearing of Jesus' birth, King Herod was afraid of losing his
position, and sought to have him killed. At last, John the Baptist was sent to prepare
the people by his direct witness to the Messiah.

 

God painstakingly prepared the people of Israel for the Messiah by sending prophets,
angels, and witnesses. Thus He sought to assure Israel's recognition and wholehearted
acceptance of the Messiah, which the establishment of His kingdom required.

How Was He Received?
   

When the Messiah finally came to the people, he was most sadly treated. Even though 
at one point John had conclusively realized Jesus was the Messiah, he didn't follow through
in witnessing to him, but continued on his separate way. Thus he as a forerunner failed in his
mission. The populace listened to Jesus and the masses marveled at him, primarily
because
of his miracles and healing, not the truth he brought. Some fanatics, excited by
his
demonstrations of power, tried to make him a king in their own way, without knowing
the
whole implication of Jesus' role. A few came to recognize him by the truth of his
words, but
the stubborn and arrogant priests, scribes, and Pharisees united with Satan and
criticized his
teaching as being contrary to the law of Moses. They viewed his miracles as
coming from
Beelzebub, the devil; they denied his Messiahship by saying that he
blasphemed in referring
to himself as the Son of God. By constant condemnation of
Jesus, they alienated the people
from him. Finally, they bribed one of his disciples to 
betray him.

 

We speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not
receive our testimony.  If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how
will you
 believe if I tell you heavenly things? (John 3:l1-12)
         

The heavenly things Jesus wished to speak concerned the establishment of the kingdom
of heaven. However, he could not convey them to the people, because they did no believe 
in him. Jesus had done everything possible with the desire that the Jewish people
recognize 
and believe in him. He had preached about the kingdom of heaven he had come to establish. 
He had performed mighty works in the hope that they might see who he was.

Nevertheless, the stubborn and faithless people refused to accept him as the Messiah, and 
repudiated his words and works. Finally, brokenhearted, he rebuked them for their unbelief.

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)


You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. (John 8:44)

Jerusalem, the city of the temple, had rejected Jesus, the true temple. He wept:

 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! Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate.
(Matt. 23:37-38


Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they
are hid
from your eyes . . . because you did not know the time of your visitation.
(Luke 19: 42-44)

 

Jesus endeavored to make the Jews recognize him by his words, his works, and
his
prayers, but it was all in vain. When he saw that it was impossible to establish
the kingdom of God during his lifetime, he began to speak about the return of the
"Son of
man." Jesus did not mention the Second Advent from the beginning of his
ministry, but
only after he realized the impossibility of fulfilling his mission.

The Original Course Changed

To receive guidance concerning his destiny, Jesus went up on a mountain to pray.
Peter, John and James accompanied him. During his prayer Moses and Elijah
appeared to Jesus,
and his inevitable suffering was revealed to him. "And behold,
two men talked with him,
Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of
his departure, which he was to 
accomplish at Jerusalem." (Luke 9:30-31)

 

However, Peter and the other disciples were heavy with sleep and did not know
what had
transpired. Peter said, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make
three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah." (Luke 9:33)
At
the spiritual
manifestation of two great figures of history, Moses and Elijah, Peter
was overwhelmed
and excited. However, he had missed the whole point.

 

Also about this time Jesus began to intimate to his disciples that he would have
to go to
Jerusalem, there to suffer much from the elders, chief priests, and scribes,
and finally to be killed. Peter took him by the arm and began to remonstrate with
him over this, saying,
"God bless you, Master. Nothing like this must happen to you."

 

Peter, the chief disciple, was surprised and even shocked to hear that Jesus would
suffer. Why should Peter be so
surprised at this if Jesus had been teaching his
mission as the suffering Lord? Jesus'
remarks concerning his suffering were
shocking and upsetting to Peter because such
suffering was in complete contrast
to everything Jesus had taught up to then.

 

By this time Jesus saw no way of fulfilling his original intention, and therefore
resolved
to endure suffering to salvage what he could. Although to the outer circle
of followers
Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God only in parables, to his intimate
disciples he revealed 
more. (Luke 8:10) Therefore, his close followers knew that
Jesus was working to
establish the kingdom of heaven during his lifetime. With
this knowledge, James and
John once asked Jesus: "Grant us to sit, one at your
right hand and one at your left, in your glory." (Mark 10:37)
They were not wrong
in expecting him to reign in glory upon
the throne of David. What the disciples
did not know, however, was that on the mountain
with Moses and Elijah, Jesus
had resolved to confront the imminent crisis. Rejected by
the Jews, he was forced
to take an alternate course. Thus he was tragically diverted from
the victorious
way of the Lord of glory prophesied by Isaiah.


Prediction of Suffering

If Jesus did not come to be crucified, why then did Isaiah predict his suffering?

 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord
been
revealed? . . . He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and
acquainted
with grief; . . . Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed
him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. (53:1-4)       

We must understand that the purpose of God is fully accomplished only when men
cooperate with Him. Therefore, if man does not wholeheartedly obey Him, God's
will cannot be fulfilled. God's will is not automatically fulfilled by the coming of the
Messiah. His purpose can be
accomplished or delayed, depending upon the attitude
of the people to whom the Messiah
is sent. If the Jews unequivocally received the
Messiah, God's will could be fulfilled and
His kingdom established on earth. On the
other hand, if the people rejected the Messiah
in disbelief, Jesus could only suffer
at their hands.

 

God foresaw these two possible responses to the Messiah. The prophecy of the Lord
of
glory recorded in Isaiah 9 and 60 would have been fulfilled if the Jews had responded
to the Messiah wholeheartedly. God desired the fulfillment of this prophecy. The
prediction
of the suffering servant recorded in Isaiah 53 was one which God never
wanted to see
fulfilled. He gave this prediction only to warn the Jews not to despise him,
in which case
he would have to suffer.

Jesus' parable clearly shows that he did not come to die:

There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into
another country.
 

When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit;
and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
Again he
sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them.
Afterward he sent
his son to them, saying, "They will respect my son." But when the
tenants saw the son,
they said to themselves, "This is the heir; come, let us kill him
and have his inheritance."

And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore
the
owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? They said to him,
"He will
put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other
tenants who
will give him the fruits in their season." . . . Therefore I tell you, the
kingdom of God will
be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the
fruits of it. (Matt. 21: 33-43)      

In this parable the householder is God. The son He sent is Jesus. God expected the
Jews -
- the tenants in the parable -- to receive His son with respect and love. Killing 
him was an outrageous transgression. Jesus' death certainly was not predetermined!
If Jesus had not
been crucified, he would have fulfilled his mission and restored man
in both spirit and
body. Despite God's preparation and warning, the Jews frustrated
His primary intent.

 

The Cross: A Secondary Choice

Since Jesus could not establish the physical kingdom, the realization of God's will
was
delayed. Since the fall of man, the heart of God has been filled with grief. Jesus
came to relieve the divine sorrow, thus comforting the Father. Unable to succeed
completely in
this mission, Jesus must have been sorrowful. 

The patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament Age had laid the foundation for the 
Messiah. These forefathers in the spirit world were eager to see the completion of the 
works they had started and the glorious fulfillment of God's will. Israel had undergone 
repeated trials and had suffered long in preparation for the Messiah.
 

By rejecting him, she lost God's blessing and her long suffering became meaningless.

Jesus, who deeply loved his people, felt heartbroken at their bleak destiny. He foresaw 
that his followers would suffer as he had suffered. Their suffering must continue until 
the Lord comes again. Furthermore, since the establishment of God's
kingdom was 
postponed, humanity's suffering in this Satanic world must also continue.
Filled with
thoughts of these things, Jesus must have felt desperate anguish.
 

 

 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and
troubled.  Then he said to them, "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. 26:37-39)

 

If the crucifixion were God's predetermined course of saving mankind, why was Jesus so
sorrowful in accepting it?   Why did he pray that the cup of suffering pass from him?

Numerous martyrs courageously persevered through severe suffering, praising God.
Could Jesus, the Savior of mankind, have less faith than others when he prayed to have
the cup taken from him? Certainly not. He desperately prayed, even three times, because
he knew his death on the cross was not God's will.  In his agony he sought some possible
way to fulfill His original divine mandate. 

If Jesus' crucifixion had been God's predetermined plan, the role of Judas Iscariot, who 
betrayed Jesus, should have been vital in God's sight. If Judas' action had helped to accomplish 
God's will, why did he hang himself afterwards? The action of Judas was
rebellious, and Jesus 
clearly displayed his anger at Judas' treachery:

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)

It is now clear that the crucifixion was imposed by man; that it was intended neither by God 
nor by Jesus. Even St. Paul didn't recognize the Messiah and vowed to persecute this
new 
religious sect, but he was dramatically arrested in his path.

 Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed  about
him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why
do you persecute
me?" And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus,
whom you are persecuting."
(Acts 9:3-5)

How shocked and grieved Paul must have been when he discovered the truth! The Messiah, for
whose coming Paul had prayed daily, had been crucified. Although Paul had lived at the same time
and in the same region as Jesus, he had missed the precious
opportunity of serving him directly.
Having discovered the truth and realizing what he
had done against the Messiah,  Paul cried out
in self-denunciation and declared himself
the chief sinner. Paul expressed his deep regret at the
blindness of the people, which he
had shared: 

None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the
Lord of glory. (I Cor. 2:8)

 

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