And they crucified him.
Simon Of Cyrene
As they were going out, they met a man front Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
A black man played an important role at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. When Jesus stumbled while carrying his cross to Calvary, a black person, Simon of Cyrene, took up Jesus’ burden. That act was very significant; when the Last Days come; black people will be burdened with an important mission from God and will contribute greatly, to God’s overall dispensation.
Corruption has come primarily from white society. Because of this I feel that some dynamic black spiritual leaders will be the hope of America in the future.
February 20, 1977
Jesus hoped to hear of someone who could bear the cross in his place, take the beatings on his behalf, and on the road of death of Golgotha suffer hardships and desperately call out in his place, “God! Father!” Although for 30 years he hoped to hear this kind of voice, when his hopes were dashed, how would he have felt?
We have to understand this heart of Jesus. We have to experience this pain of Jesus and be able to sympathize with his pain. Moreover, we should have the mindset that it is perfectly natural for us to go this path of death on which we will die many thousands of times for the sake of the humanity of the world.
When Jesus became fatigued while carrying the cross to Golgotha, there was none among his disciples who, like Simon of Cyrene, shouldered the cross in his place. There was not even one person like this among the people of Israel. This foreigner, Simon of Cyrene, participated in the tribulation of Jesus. Eventually Christianity emerged not as the religion of the Israelites. It became a religion of foreigners.
Today, we who have determined to believe in Jesus and go in search of God should be determined to carry out the same actions as Simon of Cyrene, even in our dreams. Although Simon of Cyrene could have made an excuse or rebelled, he silently obeyed and bore the cross in Jesus’ place. We have to become this kind of person today
How did Jesus feel when he was looking at him? When the apostles with whom he had shared all his joys and sorrows had all disappeared, a foreigner named Simon of Cyrene suffered misery on his behalf. Looking at the situation, Jesus must have felt deeply embarrassed and sorrowful.
If among the twelve apostles there was just one person who had shouldered the cross in his place, then by looking at him, Jesus could have forgotten the hardships of death. He would have overcome his own agony by feeling sympathy for him. Nevertheless, because this did not take place, Jesus felt greater sorrow You should understand this situation.
In the Christian world of today, there should emerge a denomination in the position of Simon of Cyrene. Yet, which denomination will take on that responsibility? Christians today should realize that Jesus could not become the Messiah of the apostles who had followed. He became the Messiah of a foreigner, Simon of Cyrene. They should build a church in honor of the position of Simon of Cyrene.
Let Us Become People Who Participate in the Glory of the Lord
June 16, 1957
The Two Thieves
Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Who received the blessing of Jesus? It was not the twelve disciples who had followed him nor the religious leaders, who had believed in heaven, nor the people of Israel, who had been chosen through blessing. The right-hand thief, who shed blood with Jesus and died on the cross with him, received the historical blessing and went to paradise before the chief disciple.
Who Will Become the Friend of Golgotha?
October 19, 1958
The free world has been referred to as right wing, and the communist world has been referred to as left wing. This terminology has its origins in Jesus. At the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, there was one thief on his left and one on his right. The thief on the right represented God’s side and the thief on the left represented Satan. From here the world began to fight.
The View of Cosmic History and I
April 28, 1996
The mind is on God’s side and the body is on Satan’s side. The struggle expands from the individual to the family, clan, nation, and world, and the world will divide into religious and non-religious spheres. This is symbolized by the two thieves at Jesus’ crucifixion. They represent the left and right wings, which fight against each other. Also, Barabbas, who escaped crucifixion, represents Islam, which fights against Christianity. Christianity lined up with the right wing and Islam lined up with the left wing; so this great separation takes place in the Last Days. We see the division of left and right wings in Korea and the division between religions in the Middle East. The world-level task is how to solve these divisions and unite the two sides.
Reappearance of the Second Coming and the Completed Testament Age
January 10, 1993
It Is Finished
A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said. “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19: 29-30
While he took his last breath on the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) Until he could say that, he cast out of his mind all his sorrow and bitter grief and suffered in an attempt to accomplish the will of heaven. Because the mission of claiming back the universal life through his one self was on the verge of total collapse, Jesus forgot even his own agony and affliction and overcame all kinds of ordeals. Therefore, the life of Jesus was not a life lived to save only himself; it was lived for the sake of building the nation and people of God.
Jesus Is the Hero of the Universal Revolution
November 11. 1956
My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” — which
means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus prayed, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) He did not offer this prayer because he was concerned about himself. You should understand that he offered this prayer out of concern for the people and innumerable future generations.
Let Us Climb over the Hill of Historical Misfortune
January 19, 1958
The reason that Jesus died on the cross saying, “‘My God, why have you forsaken me?” was to indemnify the sin of humankind, who had betrayed and acted against God for 4,000 years from the time of our ancestors, Adam and Eve. Because humankind had abandoned God, based on the principle of indemnity, God had to abandon Jesus ‘who represented humankind. However, Jesus did not abandon God.
Those Who Will Possess the Kingdom of Heaven of Hope
December 16, 1956
Similarly, when you try to offer yourself for the task of bearing responsibility for the whole sinful history, at some point God will deny any knowledge of you. If that happens, you have to have the same immutable faith as that of Jesus on the cross. You should have the mindset that you are already a dead person. It is the mission of Christians to advocate this somewhat revolutionary faith.
Behold the Little Lamb of God Who Is Bearing the Sins of the World
November 25, 1956
What should we possess? We should possess the garden of rest, the garden of happiness, the garden of goodness, the garden of love and the ideal. However, before we possess these, we will have to be struck by Satan, as well as by heaven. Jesus was hit by Satan and by heaven. The Pharisees chased Jesus out, and at the same time, the Romans chased him out. From the fact that Jesus desperately prayed at the crucifixion, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) we can see that God had abandoned him too.
Therefore, he who will possess and be possessed by the kingdom of heaven is one who will be put in a most miserable situation in the course of seeking God. Among the races of the world, which will be the one that will own God? The most miserable race will possess God. The closer a race is to such misery the nearer it is to God.
God’s Possession and Our Possession
November 9, 1958
In the end, even God said to Jesus who hung on the cross, “I do not know him.” At that moment, Jesus cried out, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” but he did not cry out because he feared that the hope would be shattered and all of his life would be in vain. He cried out because he was concerned that, due to his death, he would have to leave without being able to complete the will of the Father. He was not concerned about whether God sent him to heaven or hell, because he fulfilled his personal responsibility Jesus, who had to become a friend of death, tried to be content with his own situation of death and tried to accomplish his mission through his death.
Let Us Become the Ones Who Attend the Lord Who Has Come for the Sake of All Humankind
December 23, 1956
Do you think God is always sweet to me? I knew that God was sweet to everyone except me. Sometimes, he was cold and unappreciative even when I worked hard. I know how God trained me, and that’s the way I want to train you. You have to set a record under the most adverse conditions that other people are overwhelmed by. Jesus was the Son of God, but God allowed him to be nailed up on the cross. Even Jesus himself cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” But God gave him that suffering so that Jesus could establish the ultimate example. In that moment true love can be born. Under incredible circumstances, Jesus passed the test, and no one can go beyond his record. Satan has no way to accuse Jesus.
Let Us Set the Record
October 12, 1980
Father, Forgive Them
Jesus said, “Father; forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Jesus Christ has endured the pain and has walked this path full of grievance and suffering for 6,000 years until now in order to find us, and he has put his life at stake and walked the road of the cross. We should hold onto Jesus! Even when he was facing death on the cross, which put an end to the thirty years of his life, he earnestly appealed to God, “Oh Father, forgive them.”
Jesus Is Searching for Us in This Way
May 20, 1956
The path of Jesus suffering on the cross was the same path of tribulations that God himself walked. In such a situation of trial and tribulation Jesus desperately prayed, “Please forgive them for they know not what they do.” Even in the place of death, he forgave Rome and the group of people who opposed him, waiting for victory in the future. Therefore, the life of Jesus did not end at the age of 33. With God’s help, Christianity inherited his spirit.
The Path for America and Humanity in the Last Days
January 22, 2000
Jesus Christ did not hold grudges against anyone when he stood before the Israelite people, even when he was dying on the cross. The reason is that he knew that by practicing this way the door to the salvation of the world would open, even though it might come after his death.
As he suffered immeasurable agony Jesus could have been resentful towards the Israelite people. Instead, what Jesus felt from the people who opposed him was the toil of God, who had led the dispensation for 4,000 long years. When he was dying on the cross, he could have appealed to heaven, calling judgment upon the Israelite people who had put him to the cross. Instead, he agonized over the history of the dispensation during which God had greatly exerted himself, and seeing how God forgave even the people who opposed those whom he had sent, Jesus had the magnanimity to forgive them. Even though there might have been times in history when those who opposed God avoided judgment and rejoiced, the reason that God did not judge them was not because they themselves were valuable, but because he was able to generate magnanimity by looking at the prophets who had forgiven them. In this way with the heart of sorrow on behalf of heaven, Jesus forgave them as representing all of history and God’s dispensation.
Let Us Become People Who Participate in the Glory of the Lord
June 16, 1957
If Jesus, as he hung dying on the cross, had held any feelings of malice toward his enemy, God’s providence would have been turned completely upside-down. It is because Jesus overcame death with a heart of praying for and loving his enemies that Satan surrendered in that instance.
World Unification Will Be Accomplished by True Love
February 10, 2000
Last week was an incredible week. I’m sure you heard about it. During this past week, I was dragged into the courtroom under judicial “gun point.’ and all kinds of fundamental questions were asked of me, including whether I am the Messiah. What is the difference between the situation 2,000 years ago and the one today? The day after Jesus was questioned, he was crucified. However, God has worked for 2,000 years to establish the foundation of democracy grounded, on religious freedom. Therefore, even after my recent interrogation I am able to come to Belvedere this morning and give this sermon to you.
As I sat in that hostile courtroom last week, there were many different attitudes that I could have chosen to adopt. On the one hand I could have been thinking, “God, I wish you would bring down fire and brimstone on this judge’s head! And I don’t like those lawyers at all; kick them out!” I might have thought in such a fashion, but I certainly did not. On the contrary, I practiced God’s principle in that extremely hostile judicial environment, and I had compassion on my enemies and forgave them. Inside, I was thinking, “God, please forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing. Eventually the time will come when they will understand who I am.”
During the tax trial the prosecutor, Mr. Flumenbaum, was incredibly vicious toward me. It’s natural to have an urge to knock down such a person. Imagine Mother’s feelings during all this; she was suffering so much for my sake, and here was Mr. Flumenbaum behaving in such a hateful way, not knowing me at all. Mother couldn’t restrain her feelings and kept protesting to me. However, I always comforted her and said, “Mother, I understand how you feel, but please forgive him.”
The Road of God’s Will
May 30, 1982
However, Jesus did not come for his own sake. First, he came for the sake of history for the sake of the Jewish faith and the Israelite people. He came for the sake of the disciples who were to follow him. On a larger scale, he came for the sake of the people, the nation, the world, and the universe. This is how he lived his life. Even his death was not for his own sake.
…With a heart of compassion, even in the moment of death on the cross, he prayed for the sake of the Jewish people who betrayed him, the disciples, and humanity who betrayed him. Because he was a man of sorrow, he could become their friend. He could pray for the sake of the people who opposed him and the enemies who struck him. Such a thing had never even been heard of in the 4,000 years of human history. This was the work of universal adventure done to dismantle the wall of sin rooted deeply in heaven and earth.
The Providence of God and the Nature of the Adventure that Transcends Reality
December 2, 1956
The Victory Of Jesus On The Cross
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
Ladies and gentlemen: for whom has God been sacrificing himself? It is not for America, nor is it for Christianity. But it is for each of us, for “you” and for “me.” Likewise the reason why Jesus was crucified was also not to save himself, but to save us, “you” and “me.”
The Path for America and Humanity in the Last Days
January 22, 2000
First and last, Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice of undefiled matter. This is how he introduced his nature, heart, and mind to human beings on this earth. Jesus was the man whom God could consider worthy, whom God could call righteous, and whom God could he happy with and love as the representative of all people in history and for all things.
Jesus Who Is to Establish Heaven’s Love
February 24, 1957
The path of the cross fulfilled eternal faith. The cross enabled Jesus to experience the eternal hope of God. The cross advises us also to possess the eternal life and love of God. You should understand that by virtue of the cross, the history of atonement resulted in opening the way of salvation for us. It became the condition that bequeaths to us the eternal faith, the eternal hope, the eternal life, and the eternal love of Jesus.
Let Us Claim Back the Eternal Ideal of God
October 7, 1956
In the eyes of those around him, Jesus was a miserable failure who was crucified. But God came down to Jesus, saying. “My son, do not worry. I will take over your mission.” That promise became God’s work of Christianity.
Day of the Victory of Heaven
October 4, 1976
Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
God’s highest love is received when one surpasses the point of death. Therefore, in order to receive the love of Jesus, we have to have the mindset to even cross the point of death. At that moment, Satan will surely submit. For 4,000 years, God looked down on the world with sorrow and worry by himself, but when Jesus stood on the earth, centering on him, a new battle with Satan unfolded. Jesus forgot everything about himself and fought on for the sake of God. Not only that, because he did not have any selfish desire even when he faced death, he could manifest the power of resurrection. Today, we should also pass through the same course of victors’ as Jesus….
Based on the victory of the cross that testified to his love, Jesus could forge an immutable link with God who had been carrying on the dispensation for 4,000 years. Jesus became the embodiment of unchanging victory and love. Jesus representing heaven, earth, and humankind, became one with God; and since God remains unchanging, he also will not change.
Like Jesus, Let Us Return the Glory of Resurrection to God
May 27, 1956
Satan… has a certain conscience, and he realizes that he cannot be loved to the same degree as God. He knows he does not deserve such love, yet that is the love that Jesus Christ demonstrated on the cross. Even wounded and dying, Jesus forgot about himself and loved his enemies and asked forgiveness for them. Under such circumstances, however vicious the enemy may be, as long as even one ounce of conscience remains in his heart he cannot help but bow down and surrender.
By practicing this same love you can completely separate yourself from your enemy — and you will discover that you have no enemy. When you reach that level of perfection of love, you can enter a new era, the age of ideal love.
The Road of God’s Will
May 30, 1982
He humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.
Jesus died for the liberation of God and mankind, not his own salvation. If today’s Christians are thinking people, should they believe in Jesus and God for their own salvation, or for mankind and the liberation of Jesus and God? Many prayers offered today by Christians are self-centered, full of requests for money and health and comfort. Compared to Jesus’ tradition, these people have the mind of a thief or robber; they don’t think at all about giving but only about taking. There is no way for such people to avoid declining.
If Jesus, knowing he had to die on the cross, had tried to get out of it, would he have been the Messiah? Would he have been fulfilling his part of the mission courageously? He would have been a betrayer of God, and when he eventually died it would have been a dishonorable death. If that had happened it would have been the greatest tragedy, for mankind would have had to pay the indemnity for it. There would have been no Christianity then.
The road of God’s dispensation always involves going beyond death. Jesus truly proved he was the Son of God because he willingly accepted the role of death honorably. He died in such a way that Satan had to surrender to him. Satan could make no accusation that Jesus did not deserve to be called the Son of God. Satan had to bow down and say that Jesus loved God more than Satan could ever do. Like a lamb, Jesus became a sacrifice on the altar so that others might live.
Children’s Day and Tradition
November 20, 1979
Think about it: even though Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross 2,000 years ago, his power and influence have spread all over the world. But suppose Jesus had not died. Suppose he had [found sufficient foundation to] establish his family; and his children had started multiplying from that time. How long do you think it would have taken to restore the entire world? Not more than 600 years. Jesus’ descendants would have formed the mainstream family for all the families of the world, the true olive tree into which all the wild olive trees of the fallen world would have been engrafted. The spreading influence of that true olive tree would have transformed the world into an orchard of true olive trees. In that true olive orchard God would be able to unify all humankind completely and take dominion.
The 43rd Anniversary of Foundation Day
May 1, 1997
The Curtain Of The Temple Is Split
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the socks split.
The Tabernacle was divided into two parts: the holy place (sanctuary) and the most holy place (holy of holes). Only the high priest could enter the most holy place, and only once a year when making the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. The most holy place was where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. Here was the place where God made himself present. It symbolized the spirit of Jesus. The holy place contained a lamp stand, an incense altar, and a table for the bread of the Presence, which were tended daily by the priests. It symbolized the body of Jesus.
Furthermore, the most holy place symbolized the spiritual world, while the holy place symbolized the physical world. When Jesus was crucified, the curtain between the holy place and the most holy place was torn in two, from top to bottom. This meant that Jesus’ crucifixion laid the basis for spiritual salvation, when the gate was opened between spirit and flesh, or between heaven and earth.
Exposition of the Divine Principle
Moses and Jesus 126.96.36.199.1
The Saints Rise Out Of The Tombs
The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to may people.
It is written in the Bible that in the last Days the dead will rise from their graves:
With the archangel’s call and with the sound of the trumpet of God … the dead in Christ will rise first.
2 Thess. 4:16
We can understand the meaning of this prophecy by examining a similar event, when the dead rose from their tombs at the time of Jesus’ death.
Matthew 27:52-53 does not mean that the decomposed bodies of the saints literally rose up from their graves. If the physical bodies of the saints of the Old Testament Age had actually risen from their tombs and appeared before many people in Jerusalem, they would certainly have testified to the people about Jesus, since they already knew that he was the Messiah. After hearing such testimony, who among the inhabitants of Jerusalem would not have believed in the crucified Jesus? Additionally, if the saints really had risen from their tombs in the flesh, then surely their deeds would have been recorded in the Bible. However, we find no such records.
What does the Scripture mean when it says that the bodies of the saints rose from their tombs? This record was made by people who could perceive the spirits of the past saints being resurrected spiritually and appearing on the earth. This is much like Moses and Elijah who, as spirits, briefly appeared before Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. (Matt. 17:3)
Exposition of the Divine Principle
Descent Into Hell
He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day….”
In the world of love there is no boundary because love is the most powerful force in the universe. It can go beyond any boundary. Even hell has no boundary that can withstand the power of love. According to Scripture, after the Crucifixion, Jesus Christ spent three days in darkness. Where did he go? He went to the dungeons of hell and preached the gospel for three days.
Satan, the master of men, might have said, “Jesus, you strayed into our cage. I’m going to lock the door; you are my prisoner.” But that is impossible: Satan had no power to bind Jesus there. Jesus Christ, the complete manifestation of the love of God, said, “Love your enemy.” Therefore, he can even turn hell into heaven, so going in and out of hell is no problem for him. Let’s say there is a boundary in the kingdom of God. If there is a person who truly loves God with his heart and mind and soul, would God say to him, “You cannot come in here; you have to have a passport, or you must bring a gift. You cannot come to the throne of God”? Would he be stopped at that point? No.
December 5. 1976
How could Jesus take charge of hell? If Jesus had assumed the responsibility for the will of God only in its good aspect and died for the sake of God only in its good aspect, then he would have been able to manage the heavenly kingdom, but not hell. Therefore, because Jesus established the heavenly standard by keeping his integrity even in hell, he set the standard of being able to manage hell too.
God’s Possession and Our Possession
November 9, 1958
A good man may go to the dungeons of hell for God’s purpose, but his quality and value will not be changed by doing so. The important thing is whether he goes down there to bring the people up. He may look the same as people in the evil world, but his motivation is to influence the world of evil to come back to God.
The Bible says that after the Crucifixion, Jesus spent three days in hell before he ascended into heaven. Was he still the Savior during those three days? Yes. Did he go there because he was attracted by life there? No. He went there to bring hell into his realm, which is heaven.
Our Present Position
October 7, 1979
Bible quote links: New International Version (NIV) Bible Gateway
Sun Myung Moon Sermon (pre-1960) links & images courtesy of Tparents.org
Sun Myung Moon Sermon (1960-) links Sunhak Institute of History (USA)
Get your own copy of the book for $US16 at HSA Books
Read/download whole book online at Sunhak Institute of History (USA)
Another online version at tparents.org includes illustrations from the book