The Importance of Suffering, Death and Resurrection for Christians Today

The Importance of Suffering, Death and Resurrection for Christians Today

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The Importance of Suffering, Death and Resurrection for Christians Today


The Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus holds many values for
Christians today. They are central areas of Christian faith and
worship as Jesus gave up his life for us and through the Resurrection
he has triumphed over evil. They offer us strength and hope in our
everyday lives and have given new hope and meaning to the lives of
many people.

We can see the evidence of the importance of the Suffering, Death and
Resurrection around us today. Christian faith is based on the
Suffering, Death and Resurrection and this is reflected in Christian
practices and feasts today. The most important feast in the Christian
calendar is Easter, when we celebrate Jesus' resurrection. Every week
at Mass we as Catholics share in the Eucharist and commemorate Jesus'
death, remembering Jesus' words at the Last Supper, "Do this is memory
of me." We believe that at the moment of the consecration the bread
and wine literally become Jesus' body and blood. Protestants do not
believe in trans-substantiation, they do believe though that the bread
and wine symbolises Christians' unity with Christ in his death and in
his Resurrection. What we have in common though is the importance of
the Suffering, Death and Resurrection. It strengthens our faith and
calls us to pass on our faith to others, therefore the Christian faith
survives.

The Suffering, Death and Resurrection have significance for Christians
today, particularly in times of suffering and need. The suffering of
Jesus supports us through our own suffering, as we know we are not
alone, Jesus suffered too. The death of Jesus tells us of our
responsibilities, we too must 'endure our crosses' and face our
responsibilities as Jesus did. Sacrifice and suffering are part of the
pattern of Christian life, of God's plan, taking up our crosses will
help us become better Christians and help us grow in faith. We should
not despair in times of suffering but turn and pray to God as Jesus
did in Gethsemane, when he cried out, "Abba, Father take this cup away

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from me." (Mk14:36) Prayer strengthened Jesus in his times of need and
in ours it also offers us hope and support.

Jesus' resurrection offers us hope and strength in our time of need,
it strengthens us because it lets us know death is not the end. We can
gain comfort from knowing that something better is to come and that
our loved ones who have passed away have gone to a better place. When
facing death we can look forward to being with God, as life is not
ended, it is changed for something better. For this reason, in the
preface of the Funeral Mass we pray, "The sadness of death gives way
to the bright promise of Eternal life. Lord, for your faithful people
life is changed, not ended." It is because of this strength and
comfort that the Suffering, Death and Resurrection bring new hope and
meaning to the lives of many people.

Jesus' suffering and death can help us to become more aware of the
suffering around us today. The Christian response to suffering is
often for the benefit of many. We also learn from Jesus' sacrifice
that we too should sacrifice something in our lives for the sake of
others. For example, at Lent, when we are reminded of the suffering of
Jesus, we look around, hear and help those who are suffering today. We
sacrifice money that we might spend on luxuries and give it to
organisations such as Trocaire and Saint Vincent de Paul to help the
poor in the world. We recognise the loneliness, suffering and
injustices in the world and try to respond to their needs through
organisations such as Amnesty International and the Samaritans and
through prayer as well. The Sacrament of the Sick comforts and blesses
those who are ill and suffering. As Christians we have an obligation
to help those in need and each other. Jesus said, "Love your neighbour
as yourself." (Mk 12:30) We should love our neighbour in every aspect
of daily life and sacrifice some of our time to talk to the lonely,
such as an elderly person in our neighbourhood. As Christians we
should not just look out for those who suffer but everyone around us.
For example, we are asked to forgive each other and ask for
forgiveness, this happens through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and
in our relationships with others.

It is because of this strength and hope that we are offered that makes
the Suffering, Death and Resurrection so important to Christians
today. The importance is evident in the Christian lifestyle today,
through the Church and in everyone's everyday lives. Responding to the
call of Jesus' Suffering, Death and Resurrection can benefit the lives
of the suffering and needy in our world today.
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