Imagine every hideous and vile deed committed from the beginning of time until Christ’s future return-heaped upon the pure and perfect Son of God. Bearing the sin of many, he drank the very cup of wrath he prayed would be taken from him. No other pain can compare to Christ’s separation from his Father.

Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands. In Christ we see God suffering – for us. And calling us to share in God’s suffering love for a hurting world. The small and even overpowering pains of our lives are intimately connected with the greater pains of Christ. Our daily sorrows are anchored in a greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.

These are difficulties which you must settle for yourself. Choose your own degree of crossness. I shall press you no more.

The merciful precepts of Christ will at last suffuse the Code and it will glow with their radiance. Crime will be considered an illness with its own doctors to replace your judges and its hospitals to replace your prisons. Liberty shall be equated with health. Ointments and oil shall be applied to limbs that were once shackled and branded. Infirmities that once were scourged with anger shall now be bathed with love. The cross in place of the gallows: sublime and yet so simple.

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