Christ suffered through ‘perfected pain’

The next four days are the best time of year to consider what Christ's actions did for humanity.

This week, believers in Jesus Christ go to churches and houses worldwide to remember and celebrate what is considered Holy Week. It begins with Palm Sunday and ends Easter Sunday, when Christ rose from the grave and proved he was the mighty sacrifice for all mankind.

Many say Christ did not exist, or say what he went through as depicted in “The Passion of the Christ,” was nothing more than “a particularly bloody medieval crucifixion scene set to film” (Nick Woomer, “The real ‘culture of death,’ ” Feb. 21).

In that column, Woomer gave no overarching reason as to why Jesus was being beaten and tortured to death. There is blood and gore; therefore, along with the book “Glorious Appearing,” Christianity is a culture of death.

But Christians do not believe Christ was beaten and crucified simply to fulfill Roman guards’ sadistic pleasures. We contend he went through it all so he could take the ultimate punishment and be worthy of being the sacrifice for mankind. Every whip, hit, thorn and nail was put on him so we might be made righteous before God. That is what believers somberly remember on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

His life and death was foretold hundreds of years before in the books of Jeremiah, Isaiah and Malachi and was fulfilled as told in the Gospels. He went through perfected pain, where he took the physical, and more importantly, spiritual punishment on a cross, so that he might atone for mankind.

All God wants is a broken heart that accepts what Jesus did for him or her and a firm commitment to turn away from sin and seek God’s plan for his or her life. As always, it is much easier to say these things than do them. As a Christian, I know even with this amazing grace, I still stumble into temptation and choose my will above God’s. But I turn to Christ and ask for help because as it says in Hebrews 2:18, “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

I can understand where people like Woomer come from as he wrote, “The only thing that ultimately matters to these people is the salvation of themselves and (maybe) others Ö (and) the only thing worth caring about is what an invisible man in the sky thinks about them.” Some might hold those thoughts, but Jesus does care, and he died for all mankind so that many may be saved through his actions. Until you take your last breath here on earth, the gift of the cross is still being offered to you as a gift. But you have to receive it.

Let this be an open invitation to all who read this: if you’re of the notion, visit the services taking place today, Friday and Sunday. Listen and you may realize that what Jesus went through was not some nihilistic torture scene, but perfected pain so that the burden of guilt or sin you carry around may be lifted. If you believe in Jesus as it says in Romans 6:22, “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result leads to eternal life.”

Erik Tisthammer is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]