In the cold winter in the countryside of Sweden, the pastor Tomas Ericsson is a bitter man living a crisis of lack of faith in God after the death of his beloved wife two years ago. After the mass, Karin Persson seeks out the pastor with her husband, the fisherman Jonas Persson, and tells that Jonas is tormented by an existential crisis when he learns that China has an atomic bomb and intends to commit suicide. Tomas unsuccessfully attempts to comfort Jonas but he is not convincing due to his lack of faith and Jonas kills himself with a shot of rifle in his head. Meanwhile, the schoolteacher Märta Lundberg is in love with Tomas, but the widowed pastor rejects her love with bitter and tough words. In the end, Tomas discusses with the sacristan the true suffering of Jesus Christ in the Passion of Christ.