Unification News for June 2003
Overview: Pilgrimage to Israel
One hundred thirty-one ACLC Christian pastors visited Israel from May 15 to 19. They performed a ceremony to bury the cross, and had a conference with 120 Jewish leaders. After the ceremony, both sides of Christianity and Judaism equally repented, and adopted and proclaimed the "Jerusalem Declaration" which states they receive Jesus who was sent by God. The providential purpose of this Pilgrimage is the liberation of Jesus, the reconciliation of Christianity and Judaism, and the final settlement of the problem of the Middle East.
Burying the Cross
All ACLC pastors who participated in this Pilgrimage had taken off the crosses from their churches on Good Friday, which is the day Jesus was crucified.
Jesus, originally did not come to die on the cross. Jesus had to realize God's Kingdom living on the earth and attain God's will. However, human beings did not accept Jesus, the Messiah, and crucified him. In order to restore it and liberate Jesus and bring real resurrection, they took off the crosses out of their churches. This time, they buried the cross at the place of the crucifix ion in Jerusalem. Before this Pilgrimage, Jesus appeared to him and said, "This trip is not just a sightseeing tour. Be serious because you have a mission."
ACLC pastors left their hotel to bury the cross at 5:30am of May 18. Concerning the place to bury it. Father said, "Bury the cross in Golgotha where Jesus was crucified." However, there is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Golgotha, and the floor is all made of marble. It is impossible to dig there. They offer a symbolical service for about 30 minutes at the tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. They put a small cross there and covered it with the FFWPU flag. It is meant to comfort Jesus who came to attain a true family, and fulfill His hope with one more try.
About one mile from there, there is the place "Potters' Field". They buried the real cross, which is about 2/3 of an average person's height. The "Potters' Field" is the place where the chief priests bought as a grave to bury foreigners by using 30 pieces of silver which Judas got when he betrayed Jesus. The field had been called the "Field of Blood." (Matthew 27:3-8) The ministers put the cross in the hole previously dug, and covered it by the FFWPU flag. Then, they dedicated a service. After the Bible reading, 3 people - a Jewish rabbi, a Christian pastor, and Dr. Yang who is Korean - prayed as representatives of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Israelis respectively. After the prayer, the participants put soil on the cross one by one, repenting for the false faith for 1700 years and preventing Christianity and Judaism from bringing reconciliation. Then, the historical ceremony finally finished.
On that day, a suicide bombing happened near the hotel where the pastors stayed while they were having a service to symbolically bury the cross at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Seven people died, and 22 were injured. All the traffic was stopped. The bombing occurred at about 6am. If the pastors had left the hotel a little later, they could not have moved. This bombing affected some Jewish rabbis who were coming to the conference. Even having the conference was once in doubt. Satan attempted to stop this historical conference desperately. Also, It seemed that the Cain side paid the indemnity condition to atone for their mistakes in history. Moreover, There happened such an accident that Dr. Johnson, co-convener of the Executive Committee of the ACLC, fell down and an ambulance brought him to the hospital.
The Jerusalem Declaration
After the clergies came back to the hotel and had breakfast, the conference was held at 10 am. It was named the "Conference for Jewish and Christian Reconciliation and Harmony." Christians historically persecuted Jewish people. Therefore, when Jewish people hear the name of Jesus, anger welled up in their hearts. So, it was very difficult to have them repent of killing Jesus. Nevertheless, Father said, "Have Jewish people repent for the sin of killing Jesus."
The purpose of this conference was for Jewish rabbis and Christian pastors to sign the Jerusalem Declaration. Since the sentence "We, Jews repent of killing Jesus" is clearly incorporated into the Jerusalem Declaration, the main rabbi strongly rejected to signing his name. He obstinately insisted that Christians should repent.
Archbishop Stallings stepped out of the box and said, "We, as Christians, had not understood the meaning of the cross. Therefore, to set a condition for reconciliation, we took our crosses down and came to Israel with a humble heart seeking our elder brother." He also said, "We, Christians must repent for the Holocaust and for all the anti-Semitism that have taken place throughout history." He called upon the rabbis there for their forgiveness.
At the same time, he even cried out and said, "Please understand that Jesus really wanted to be loved by his people. He was sent by God to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, and if He had been understood at that time, the heavenly kingdom would have already come. If understanding can be fostered at this time concerning Jesus and Christianity and Israel, then the Kingdom of God can be expanded upon the earth."
Eventually, he replied, "I will sign it if my Moslem brother will sign it with me." This was the moment when the stubborn Jewish rabbi confessed their historical sin of crucifying Jesus. This is the first time in the history of Judaism, and the historical moment that God, Jesus, and True Parents have dreamed of
The concluding banquet had an overwhelming feeling of victory and joy. Christians and Jewish people became united completely. They toasted to the reconciliation with the Holy Wine first.
The main rabbi stood up and asked Christian ministers to be serious about and understand the suffering that was going on today. He brought a family from his synagogue. They had just recently lost their 19-year-old son for a suicide bombing. The father came up and told us that his family was at the hospital when his son was dying, and the doctor came to him and said, "If you sign this paper, then your son's organs can be used to save an 8-year old Palestinian girl . Will you do so?" The father took a moment and prayed, and said, "Yes, I want my son's life to help someone else's life." He signed the paper, and this 19-year-old Jewish boy's organs were donated to a Palestinian girl to save her. That rabbi was the one who has been leading that family. The people and the religious leaders do not want the conflict which is still lasting now. But with no deep work or healing of the Holy Spirit, they are rushing into the way of the battle. Political leaders cannot solve this problem. The solution can come only from the religious side.
After the Christian pastors came back to America, Father signed on the Jerusalem Declaration, and wrote in Korean, "Victory of Israel." This Pilgrimage will be held 2 more times before September. From now on, we will try to bring the reconciliation between Christianity, Judaism and Islam as the sons of Abraham, and finally bring the final settlement of the problem of the Middle East.
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