by John Hutchinson

Message for the world

Martin Richard
In the popular photograph, victim Martin Richard was shown holding a sign that read: “No more hurting people. Peace.”

After people were left limbless and dead in the Boston bombing, a little boy held up a message.

His placard said simply, "No more hurting people."

I wish my school teacher could've read it before giving me the cane!

Humans are good at hurting their own kind. Look what we did to the convicts! A visit to Norfolk Island left me mentally numb when told of the brutal floggings which some didn't survive!

Aboriginals were terribly hurt in the colonisation of Australia.

What about the way prisoners of war were treated – perhaps the most inhumane of any in the history of man!

Hurting others is often compounded by retaliation. 'You hurt me and I'll hurt you.' All too often, revenge returns greater hurt. Revenge begets revenge and grows like a fast rolling snowball.

The most unthinkable indictable despicable imposition of pain is torture – the deliberate infliction of hurt on the helpless blights our humanity. What unbelievable imagination and thought has gone into making it as agonising and dehumanising as possible!!

I've stood in the arena of the huge stone carved amphitheatre in Amman – the place where wild animals were let loose on terrified people to entertain the onlookers. The acoustics relayed the victim's shrieks around it and beyond. How utterly wicked is the infliction of hurt for the sake of amusement!

But, people are hurt in other ways. Words, attitudes and indifference inflict deep and cutting pain. Racial taunts and scathing remarks have hurting power greater than guns and bombs.

The big question is, 'Why?' Why should we hurt others? Why can't we be thankful just to be alive - and seek the best for our fellows?

Didn't Jesus say, 'Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.'

Let us ever remember that the kindest person who ever lived suffered more hurt than we can imagine - mocking, flogging and then crucifixion.

Crucifixion inflicted terrible hurt. Christ's crucifixion was preceded by flogging and then being forced to carry a cross on his mutilated back. A crown of thorns pierced his head, nails punctured his hands and feet as he was stretched out on the wooden horizontal beam of the cross and held up to ridicule.

Incredibly, when bystanders held up a sponge soaked with vinegar and wine to help deaden the pain - he refused it!

The sufferings of Christ reflect back to us what we're ever capable of doing – inflicting terrible hurt on those who least deserve it.

Few understood the depth and nature of Christ's sufferings. No one was more innocent than Jesus – no one less deserving of hurt.

Indeed, there were others callously crucified - others who were beaten and flogged. Christ's suffering, however, were deeper – expressed in his lonely cry from the cross, 'My God! My God! why have you forsaken me?'

Hundreds of years previous a prophet wrote: 'But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.' Isaiah 53:5

A hymn writer, Cecil Frances Alexander, penned these words:
'We do not know, we cannot tell,
What pains He had to bear,
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.'

Christ suffered and died to make us better people – that through Him we might find the life of God.

'No more hurting people,' said the boy. Imagine a world without hurt! We'd all like a world like that!

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