[Editor’s note: This article was published online on August 2, 2005.]
Some reflection on the long history leading to the birth of the Messiah, his preparation for and the events which, made his work successful, his ability to endure pain was an evitable and a necessary factor in that success.
Pain was not the aim in the birth of the Messiah. But why should the Messiah’s effort through which the greatest good for humanity, on a permanent basis, require that he should have to endure the greatest pain? What, in the natural order of Allah’s creation, requires that he endure this and why is this a major factor in the process of the salvation for the redeemed?
It seems to me that the more intelligent one is; the more moral and sensitive and aware one is; the more mentally healthy, sound and balanced one is; the more constitutionally stronger and the healthier one physically is; the greater is that person’s capacity for the performance of the greatest good for others, a critical factor in that performance must also be one’s capacity to endure pain.
Now, suppose this same person is without even the least trace of delusions, is certain–beyond the slightest doubt–that he has met God Himself; The Divine Supreme Being. Furthermore, he asserts that he was informed by Him that he was given the assignment of uplifting first his people and then the whole of humanity; was then educated and guided by Him, in all aspects of his assignment, and was backed throughout the entire process of the fulfillment of the purpose for which he was chosen.
If everyone, the world over, could be presented with the ideas of the previous two paragraphs and asked who comes to their minds as they consider them, who would they think of?
No doubt, at the present time, the man who lived on earth 2,000 years ago, under the name “Jesus” would come into the minds of about a billion people on this earth–even if not exactly in the terms described in the above three paragraphs.
Most Black people in America would probably think of Jesus. By the millions we were raised to think that because of his complete agreement with the divine plan he willingly suffered extreme humiliation and excruciating pain on the cross to accomplish that which was most permanently and beneficial for everyone–according to God’s plan.
Imagine such a man, Jesus, suffering extreme degree of humiliation and pain at the hands of his angry and bitter enemies. Added to his pain would be when even some of his friends or others who claimed to love him, see in that which they misunderstand and they ignorantly and hypocritically takes sides with his vicious enemies, in this painful, agonizing, all but unbearable circumstance.
It’s often written that he had the power to sidestep, or to prevent such torture. But he refused because he knew that was the best way to achieve God’s objective. He knew that what he was suffering was part of the perfect plan of salvation for his people and for countless others. So he deliberately, knowingly, and willingly underwent this extraordinary and painful hardship–for the sake of others.
There are two places in the Bible that Christian scholars referred to as contributing to the deeper explanation of this problem. The first is in Isaiah Chapter 8 vs. 14 and the second is 1st Peter 2:8.
Let’s consider two verses from the King James Version containing a strange description: “a stumbling stone” and “a rock of offence.”
In The Old testament we read in Isaiah 8:14: “And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
In The New Testament we read in 1 Peter 2:8 that “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”
Isaiah’s words are prophetic and the verse in the book of Peter is a statement, seemingly, about a man we were told lived 2,000 years ago.
What if you learned, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that these words do not refer to any great teacher and his prize student of the past, but instead refers to two men in the present, and to their people’s great value? What would prevent you from accepting the truth of this subject, after all of the relevant facts were presented, especially if that truth means your salvation?
In the Holy Qur’an 15:45-49 we read this excerpt: “Surely those who keep their duty are in Gardens and fountains. Enter them in peace, secure. And we shall root out whatever of rancor is in their breasts … . … nor will they be ejected there from. Inform My servants that I am the Forgiving, the Merciful … .”
On the grounds of a church not far from my home is this sign: “No amount of nourishment will make a grudge better.”
Words that are close to or similar in meaning to the meaning of “grudge” are: feeling of resentment, complaint, ill will, chip on your shoulder, rancor, bitterness, hostility, acrimony sullenness anger, hatred, unpleasantness, animosity, resentment, dislike, hatred, bile, antagonism.
Close to or similar in the meaning to “rancor” are: spite, ill feeling, malice, venom, ill will, animosity, loathing, bitterness, poison, enmity, bad feeling, hard feelings, unfriendliness, coldness, frostiness, surliness, coldness.
This prevailing state of affairs is in the process of being changed to the opposite minute-by-minute, day-by-day even though it will get darker than dark very soon. But as it is in nature, the darkest hour is just before dawn! Then it will be fulfilled: “Those who endure to the end will be saved.”
The wicked and their flunkies think they can now succeed in doing worse evils to the Nation of Islam than they did from the 1930’s to February 1975 when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s departure was mistaken for his death.
In the “Church Report” that came out in the mid 70s it’s reported that the same dirty tricks that America successful used to destabilized nations they practiced full force on the Nation of Islam. They failed. However, this time they fully believe, convince in their arrogance, that they will definitely succeed in their efforts to destroy Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
They don’t know that they already been out-thought and the worse that they have already conceived will come back to them by the power of God like a powerful boomerang, but with greater force than they sent it. They cannot see that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and we who follow him are really the best blessings America has.
What do these terms, “a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence” mean today? We’ll have to get into Hebrew and in Greek later, but Caucasians scholars claim that these words as applied to Jesus Christ, teach that his person and career were so contrary to the expectation of the Jews concerning the Messiah, that they rejected him and thereby earned hell fire. They greatly modify this now. They show that the scriptures meant something else.
More next issue, Allah willing.