When does Suffering reach its Final State?
A question that has no absolute conclusion since suffering doesn’t come in a status quo scenario. Look at one patient with a diagnosis of terminal cancer and just the prediction of certain death will bring about hours of agonizing grief. The suffering for that person as well as his/her family members is almost too hard to ascertain the consequences.
Sometimes, the announcement of an employment termination for any reason may become too difficult for most people to accept and the results upon their determination to live or die may place untold decisions with disastrous outcomes.
Then there is the rhetorical statement that suffering can be a means to eliminating pain for others through prayer. We have seen this occurrence more than once and for most persons it is too much of an adherence to accept. Why should I want to grasp the opportunity to give my painless existence the path for your freedom from pain and misery?
Yer, here we are in the 21st century, a period with great strides in technology, medical science with untold results, education levels beginning with pre-adolescents rising above anything even imagined, and a future never before thought possible. Who would've thought that under the auspices of such growth that there could be suffering? Compare the giants of the past who have moved human living from a degree of self sufficiency through personal struggle to where we are today. Suffering? What’s that?
Jesus told us that if we wish to be his disciples we must first pick up our cross and follow in his footsteps. How many will decide to completely do his bidding as if to allow ourselves to be nailed to a cross? However, to answer the above question as to when suffering reaches a conclusion, the answer is not in this lifetime.
Was the intense suffering Jesus went through necessary? In order for his mission to completely redeem us from our sins the answer is yes. The rejection of mankind towards our God was so severe that a slap on the wrist did nothing for repayment. Only a divine person could erase the damage to God; and so God took upon himself to become the ransom paid for our sin. The final state of suffering was left on the cross covered with the Blood of Christ.
Ralph B. Hathaway, May 2022