To the people of God who trust in the words of God in the bible and who wait for the Savior to come to save them, how important is the coming of the Christ? It is the fulfillment of all the prophecies of the bible, and it is the true goal of their faith to find the Christ. But 2000 years ago when the Christ came to fulfill the prophecies of the bible, people rejected him and lost their chance for salvation. They mocked him, persecuted him, and crucified him in the end. How could this happen? How could people waiting for their Savior rejected him when he actually came?
Christ’s Coming As Stone in Zion
The reason they could not accept the Christ was because they could not recognize his true identity. When he came, the Christ hid his spiritual glory behind his body of flesh so throroughly that people only could see a man just like them, not the God or Christ.
John 10:30 I and the Father are one.” 31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
For this reason the Christ in the bible is describe as stone and his coming in the flesh is prophesied as coming as stone in Zion. Apostle Peter who correctly understood the true identity of the Christ testified that Christ came as stone in Zion to fulfill the prophecies.
1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him (Christ), the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—
Why is Peter calling Christ as stone? It was because of the prophecies of the bible. There are many prophecies of the bible which described Christ’s coming as coming as stone in Zion.
Isaiah 8:14 He will be a holy place;
for both Israel and Judah he will be
a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem he will be
a trap and a snare.
15 Many of them will stumble;
they will fall and be broken,
they will be snared and captured.”
When Christ came to fulfill this prophecy of the bible, he became a stumbling block to many of the Jews who fell down and destroyed because they stumbled and captured and snared by him. But to those who accepted him he became a foundation stone for their faith so that they would not fall even in the time of hardship and extreme persecutions.
Isaiah 28:16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.
The Meaning of the Parable
Then why is Christ’s coming compared to a stone? The Christ–who cannot be compared to any gemstone because he is more precious than any silver or gold, diamond or sapphire–is coming as stone which is most common objects which we do not consider as something precious or valuable. We have to understand the meaning behind it. Then why is his coming compared to a stone?
Even though he was a Christ or the God of heaven who appeared as man in the flesh, when he came, he looked exactly like one of us, a common man or a stone. Just as a stone is no more precious than the other, when he came as man, he was no better than any of us in his appearance. His glory and power, his authority and divinity was completely hidden in the body of flesh. Therefore, people only could see a man standing in front of them: a man who gets hungry, thirsty, weak and tired, a man who was silent and seemingly powerless when persecuted, a man who could not save even himself and died on the cross.
That is why to the Jews he was a mere or common man just like a stone that lay around them but was not cherished by anybody. His appearance as man in the flesh was represented as stone. Just as a stone is not much different from another, in the same way his appearance as man was not different from another who lived around him. Just as the bible says, when he came, God made him to be “like his brothers in every way.” (Hebrews 3:17) About his appearance, Prophet Isaiah wrote:
Isaiah 53:2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
According to this prophecy, Christ should be rejected and persecuted by his people because he did not have anything beautiful or majestic in his appearance. Even though he was coming to take up their sins and transgression to give them the forgiveness of sins, people did not recognize his true identity because of his outward appearance. He came exactly like one of them as stone.
Those who Accepted Christ
Because of his appearance, he became a stumbling block, trap, and snare just as the prophecies said. And people fell, captured, snared, and destroyed because they thought that he was just a man in the flesh like one of them. But there were also a group of people–even though small in number, –who accpeted Jesus and could receive the salvation.
John 1:9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Even though many people rejected him and persecuted him, there were others who accepted him as their Savior and followed him even to the point of death. How could be possible? What was the difference between them? Those who rejected did not accept him because they saw the physical appearance of Jesus. Physically he came as stone and he was not different from any of them and therefore Jesus was just a man in their eyes. Whatever he did was a stone that made them stumble and fall. How could he feel thirsty and hungry? How could he be mocked and be silent? How could he be crucified and did not do anything to save him? With this in mind, they could say: “Prophesy who hit you! Come down from the cross if you are the Christ! Let his blood be upon our head and our children’s head.” They were so sure that he was not Christ.
But how could the disciples accept Jesus as their savior and followed him even to the end? It was because they knew the true identity of Christ that he was God who came down to this earth as man in the flesh. And even though his divinity was veiled by his flesh, they could see the hidden divinity of Jesus.
Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Peter knew that Jesus was Messiah. Even though people understood Jesus as man just like one of the prophets before him, but Peter said correctly that he was the Messiah, the Christ. Then how could he know the true identity of Christ?
John 6:66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
At this moment all the people who had followed Jesus about 5000 of them deserted Jesus and fell away from him. Only the twelve disciples left behind. They believed him to be Christ even though he looked like a man, a stone. Even though many got stumbled because of his appearance, they could stand firm and testify that he was the Christ, the Son of God. Where did their faith come from? The difference was in the faith in the words of God. Even though 5000 people looked at Jesus and judged him with his outward appearance, the disciples held on to the words of God fulfilled through Jesus. Through the fulfillment of the words of God they could confidently say that he was the Christ, God who came as man in the flesh.
According to the same words of God in the bible, it already prophesied that the Christ would come again as man in the flesh.
Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
The bible already prophesies that he would appear for the second time. Then how? As a man in the flesh just as he appeared for the first time. He would come as stone in Zion and as a result he would become a stumbling block and trap to many. They would fall, be captured and snared and ultimately get destroyed. But only those who trust in the words of God in the bible would correctly recognize him and remain faithful to him.
|Who is this man to you?|
To fulfill the prophecies of the bible God came down as man in the flesh again for the second time for our salvation. He came in the name of Christ Ahnsahnghong just like one of us. As the bible says he has no beauty or majesty to attract us to him. But he is the Messiah testified in the bible. What should we do? Should we look at his physical appearance and reject him? Or should we look at the words of God? We must not look at the outward appearance of Christ Ahnsahnghong and Heavenly Mother New Jerusalem. We must accept them by looking at and believing in the prophecies of the bible, calling them, “You are the Christ. You are the ones who have the words of the bible.”