Living in Western Society today, we can easily have a sterilized view of Christ suffering and dying for our sins. For the most part, our experience with the death penalty is very clean. To the best of the ability of modern science, those who are condemned suffer very little, and do it mostly in private.
This was not the death that Jesus suffered.
Based on the advice I was given before getting married, I make regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As a part of the Sacramental process, I started reflecting more deeply on how my actions today are the direct cause of the brutal torture that Christ suffered. It was an incredible moment of clarity for me.
Our sins today are what caused the necessity of Christ’s suffering. Since God is outside of time, He only needed to redeem us once, and could do so at any point in the spectrum of time in which we exist.
One of the reasons why sin can be so easy is because we often can’t immediately see the damage they inflict. Sin is usually private and personal, and so it feels distant. By reflecting on the wounds of Christ, we can take that power away from sin. We can make it stand in the light and show us its true self.
Sin wounds the Body of Christ. Sin wounded the corporal body of Christ, but also His body in the Church. When one member suffers, we all suffer. Yet, at the same time, when one finds strength and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we all rejoice.
Contemplating Christ’s suffering as a direct result of our actions can help us to make better choices. By understanding that my sin affects me, my wife, my family, my community and Christ Himself, I can gain perspective to help me in moments of temptation. I can use this tool to do good and to avoid evil.
Sin likes to lurk in the shadows. Sin likes to shame you into more sin. Don’t give it the chance. Bring it to the light in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.