Sense of Life. Articles in English. The God Who Loves and Suffers.
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The God Who Loves and Suffers

But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).

The shocking Gospel account of Christ’s passion and death, so graphically portrayed in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, should convince us that the man Jesus, who underwent this appalling suffering, was truly God. True God of true God… who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was made incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary… suffered (The Nicene Creed). The historical person of Jesus Christ is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. He suffered and died in his humanity, but he was always a divine person, the Son of God. The suffering of Jesus was the suffering of a man who is God.

Here we touch the great mystery of the part played by all three persons of the Blessed Trinity in the drama of salvation enacted on Golgotha. God the Father and God the Holy Spirit participated in the human death of a divine person, the Son of God. God the Father, who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all (Rom 8:32), is the source of salvific love. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The symbolic scene in the film showing God the Father’s teardrop falling on Golgotha at the moment of Christ’s death points poignantly to the participation of the divine persons of the Father and Holy Spirit in the redemptive act. On contemplating the face of the dying Jesus, we should also see in Him the compassionate Father and Holy Spirit (cf. John 14:9).

 Besides depicting the dramatic course of events of the passion and death of Jesus with striking realism, The Passion of the Christ brings home to the viewer its profound religious and theological significance. Contemplating the suffering of Jesus, we should come to know the supremely important truth that it is God Himself who suffers these appalling torments, which we cause Him by our own sins.

Thus, in Christ we have the fullest revelation of the love of the One Triune God, Who, in His love of sinners, submits Himself willingly to suffering, since men reject His love with great hate and cruelty. The Council of Ephesus expressed this shocking truth in the words: The Word of God suffered in the flesh. The tormented humanity of Jesus testifies to the degree to which our loving God takes upon Himself the weight of human sin and suffering. He does this freely, out of pure, unconditional love for man, whose sins cause Him cruel suffering and death. In the suffering and death of the Son of God, we have the fullest revelation of the unbounded Mercy of God. Only by accepting the gift of Divine Mercy, and extending this mercy to others, can we share in Christ’s victory over sin and death.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed (Is 53:5).

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The article was published with the permission from "Love One Another!"

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