I came across this quote on the purposes of Christ’s suffering in A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life:
Ambrose also warned that faith in Christ is more than just an emotional response to the history of His sufferings. Natural human compassion can be stirred by the story of anyone suffering, but this is not faith in Christ. Faith looks to the “meaning, intent, and design of Christ in his sufferings,” Ambrose said, namely to “redeem us from the slavery of death and hell,” and “to free us from sin…destroy it, kill it, crucify it.” (Emphasis in bold is mine)
Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark (2012-10-14). A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Kindle Locations 14133-14136). Kindle Edition.
And that reminded me of Pastor John’s sermon, Why Was This Child Born Blind:
They say in verse 2 (of John 9), “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” In other words, what is the cause of this blindness? The man’s sin? Or the parents’ sin? Is this blindness a punishment for the parents’ sin or a punishment for his own sin—some kind of inherited sinfulness already in the womb?
Jesus says, in effect, specific sins in the past don’t always correlate with specific suffering in the present. The decisive explanation for this blindness is not found by looking for its cause but by looking for its purpose. Verse 3: Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (Emphasis in bold is mine)
Jesus fulfilled his purpose through his suffering. God has purpose in disability. And the end result isn’t just relief, it is gladness!
But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:13 ESV)