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My observation of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is portrayed, worshiped and promoted in his state on the cross: suffering, crucified, having wounds. I don't see what sense this makes. This seems like a form of sadism.

Why is he not portrayed healthy? Why aren't his good deeds before the last supper remembered instead?

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The portrayal of Christ on the cross is primarily a Catholic thing. Most branches of Christianity put significant emphasis on the passion (his period of suffering), but Protestants tend to also emphasize that his final state is: risen, healed, alive. –  Caleb Aug 6 '13 at 8:06
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The answers to this question may be helpful to you: Why the difference in depiction of the cross between Catholics and Protestants? –  Steven Doggart Aug 6 '13 at 16:05
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3 Answers

Catholics portray, worship, and promote Jesus in all of His states of being, actions, words, etc.

A strong emphasis is placed on his suffering and death on a cross because it was in this act that He atoned for the sins of all humanity. This is the single most important thing He did because without it, we have no hope.

Paragraph 623 of the Catholic Catechism states:

By his loving obedience to the Father, "unto death, even death on a cross" (Phil 2:8), Jesus fulfills the atoning mission (cf. Is 53:10) of the suffering Servant, who will "make many righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities" (Is 53:11; cf. Rom 5:19)

It would be highly mistaken to think that Catholics only focus on the suffering of Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that in rising from the dead He confirms who he is and the work that He accomplished by His death.

Paragraph 651 of the Catechism states:

"If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."521 The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ's works and teachings. All truths, even those most inaccessible to human reason, find their justification if Christ by his Resurrection has given the definitive proof of his divine authority, which he had promised.

I'm sure with a little investigation, many examples can be found of Catholic images, prayers, etc. the are devoted to the healthy, happy, resurrected, glorious, etc. natures of Jesus Christ.

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I'm amused by that last sentence: you wrote it on August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration! –  Ignatius Theophorus Aug 7 '13 at 5:21
    
Ignatius, that is an awesome point. –  brader24 Aug 7 '13 at 10:44
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The most central doctrine to Christianity is the atonement of Jesus Christ. He has borne all our griefs, sorrows and even the sins of all mankind from Adam to then end of time. Only because Jesus suffered this, men will be resurrected and be able to return to live with God after this life. As we come to understand that he has done this for us each individually, we will avoid sin, because he suffered for each sin we commit. We are constantly reminded of this eternal sacrifice by the bread and the wine we partake in remembrance of him and very often through symbols like the cross.

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Welcome to C.SE. When you get the chance, I'd suggest you check out how we are different. As it stands, this sounds a lot more like a forum post than a discrete answer. While I may agree with you :) we are actually looking for answers rather than comments. –  Affable Geek Aug 6 '13 at 18:45
    
Hi and welcome. I'd love to see an expansion of this post into a full answer. I've added a post notice, when you've edited to expand please ping me and I'll come by an remove it. –  wax eagle Aug 6 '13 at 20:12
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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

To point us to the fact that Jesus really suffered and died, which is absolutely the one diametrically unique aspect of his life/existence that is central to Christianity. without this, nothing else would matter

It is supposed to be our constant reminder - a prompt for exactly this question.

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This really merits some expansion beyond just a "there are many reasons" –  wax eagle Aug 6 '13 at 20:10
    
thanks @waxeagle, updated –  Greg Bala Aug 6 '13 at 20:49
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thats...an interesting way to fix this...I was hoping for more text not less... –  wax eagle Aug 6 '13 at 20:50
    
@waxeagle I do not believe more information is needed. –  Greg Bala Aug 7 '13 at 18:26
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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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