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Meaning of suffering

“Why did this misfortune happen to me when I spent my whole life serving, loving, and being good to everyone?” This is a million dollar question that each one of us would have asked at one or the other point of time.

delhi Updated: Apr 09, 2010 00:15 IST

“Why did this misfortune happen to me when I spent my whole life serving, loving, and being good to everyone?”

This is a million dollar question that each one of us would have asked at one or the other point of time. Christians believe the world was in perfect harmony in the garden of Eden when God created them as man and woman as the crown of all creations with free and independent will. He gave man authority over all His creations. However, he broke the cycle of perfect harmony by disobeying the commandment of God. Thus, he was asked to earn his daily bread by the sweat of his forehead.

Over the years, mankind repeated the same mistake and misused the tremendous power of his free will given to him as a gift. Ruthlessly he lived to satisfy the desires of his mortal body, forgetting to fulfill the needs of the noble soul trapped within the body. The disharmony in the world widened. The bliss gradually disappeared and disharmony, pain, grit and suffering increased. It got spread all around in many material and non- material manifestations.

Correlating the sufferings, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus, Christianity reiterates the two dimensions of suffering---the suffering as a consequence of wrong doings and redemptive suffering. The first one is easy to comprehend --- one has to endure the consequences of one's actions. What we don’t understand is that in spite of a noble living, people undergo suffering. Why? This is redemptive suffering, which has amazing power to redeem the world.

Christians believe that Jesus wholeheartedly accepted the pain, agony and grit from His Father, the Creator of the universe to balance the bigger equation of disharmony in the non-material planes. The mission of redemption of Christ is still continued. He also chooses some people whom he loves more to share this brunt of sins of mankind so that the equation of cause and effect, at a bigger plane, is balanced. And this makes the death anniversary of Jesus Christ as the Good Friday.