Hillary Clinton's longtime pastor has reportedly compared her devastating loss in the 2016 presidential race to the death of Jesus Christ in a devotional he sent her hours after the election results were revealed.
In a letter sent to Clinton on the Friday morning after her defeat, Rev. Bill Shillady compared the election loss to the crucifixion of Christ in an attempt to console her. The contents of the letter were released by writer Daniel Burke on Friday on CNN.com.
"For the disciples and Christ's followers in the first century, Good Friday represented the day that everything fell apart. All was lost. ... Even though Jesus told his followers three days later the temple would be restored, they had no idea of what that Sunday would be. They betrayed, denied, mourned, fled and hid. They did just about everything BUT feel good about Friday and their circumstances," Shillady wrote in the letter.
"Today, you are experiencing a Friday. Your Friday is what happened in the last few weeks and last night in the tragic loss. But Sunday is coming. ... Friday is finished. Sunday is coming. Death will be shattered. Hope will be restored," he continued.
Shillady, who currently serves as executive director of the United Methodist City Society in New York, also revealed that she sent Clinton daily prayers throughout her campaign and that he continued to send her devotional emails weeks after her defeat.
Clinton reportedly told Shillady that the devotional emails were the first messages she opened every day.
Shillady is set to release a book titled "Strong for a Moment Like This: The Daily Devotions of Hillary Rodham Clinton," which is a compilation of the regular inspirational scriptures he sent Clinton during the campaign.
The pastor said that Clinton encouraged him to publish the devotionals because "they gave her strength" after her devastating loss.
In an interview with CNN, Shillady revealed that Clinton is interested in becoming a Methodist lay preacher.
'We were having a photo shoot for the book and chatting about preaching and she said, 'Bill, I think I'd like to preach,'" the pastor told CNN, adding that there's a tradition in United Methodism, in which laypeople are allowed to preach from the pulpit.
The book will feature some 365 of the 600 devotionals, and they will be organized into 12 themes such as Forgiveness, Doing Good, Courage and Women.
Clinton, who was raised a Methodist, had spoken on the campaign about the importance of the devotionals keeping her "centered."
Shillady has previously told the Daily Mail that he began sending Clinton daily devotions in Easter 2015 when she revealed to him that she was running for the presidency.
The pastor attested that Clinton reads her Bible daily and suggested that her defeat in November can be attributed in part to her failure to share enough about who she is as a believer on the campaign trail. He said that he was depressed for a few months after the election, but he maintained that Clinton's loss did not pose a challenge to his faith.