Bar Kochba provides a major insight into the Jewish concept of the Messiah as the person who restores God's Kingdom on Earth rather than a spiritual savior per se. Unificationism's concept of the Messiah stands midway between the Jewish and Christian view. It accepts the Christian attitude that Jesus of Nazareth was intended to be the Messiah, but it also accepts the Jewish view that the purpose of God's sending the Messiah is not to die for our sins, but to restore the sovereignty of God on earth.
Bar Kochba's course also helps understand why Judaism later turned against the messianic message so strongly. The Bar Kochba revolt ended so disastrously as to prevent any serious Jewish claimant to the role of the Messiah for 1500 years, when Shabbetai Zevi would emerge with a more mystical interpretation of the messianic mission. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many Jews would turn to communism and Zionism with messianic fervor. More than a few Jews interpreted the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 as a fulfillment of messianic prophecy, and David Ben Gurion took the surname of one of Bar Kochba's precursor's in commemoration of the last time Jews had shed blood in Palestine to successfully create a Jewish state, albeit a short-lived one.
Bar Kochba and his rabbinical "Elijah
," Rabbi Akiva
might be surprised to learn that today, many thousands of people around the world have rallied around the person of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon
as a new Messiah for this age. Unlike Bar Kochba, however, Reverend Moon eschews violence in the furtherance of his messianic task. Instead, he teaches that the Ideal Family is the basis of Kingdom of Heaven
, and that the sovereignty of God is established first among families, and only later among societies and nations. Indeed, the Messiah
is not a military leader, but a couple, the True Parents.