As my wife and I are trying to put more focus on the daily events Christ went through this week she commented this morning that she felt sad our Lord had to suffer and die for us. We talked about ‘had’ being the key word as He did not have to but willingly subjected Himself to do so. In that way any understandable sadness in our hearts perhaps should be tempered by gratefulness and joy.
She then made the statement “I just wish it didn’t have to be so violent” To which I have no idea what to think or say really.
What is the Orthodox view on these two related issues?
Perhaps think of it this way. The Lord willingly gave his life to defend us from our enemies--sin, death, the devil. In suffering, being humiliated, patiently enduring sorrows, in being betrayed and rejected, beaten, nailed to the Cross, derided, etc., along with descending into Hades and rising from the dead, raising up Adam and his race with Himself, He gave us life, righteousness, joy, peace, and an unbreakable relationship with Himself since He has willingly partaken of our humanity, taken our sins upon Himself, and raised us from death. Of course these sufferings are sad. Who would not weep seeing Him crucified? Those faithful women, His mother, and the beloved St. John all wept, together with Sts. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. St. Mary Madgalene wept at his tomb until the Lord appeared. When we weep over the Lord's sufferings, we join His friends, His saints, who did likewise. Then, on Pascha, we join the same in hearing those wonderful words of joy from the Angel, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is risen."
The beautiful liturgical texts illuminate these things much better than I could. After many years, attention, and meditation and prayer and repentance, the Holy Spirit leads one to a deeper measure of understanding.