I’m not sure it is scriptural to “see Christ” in anybody, especially someone who confronts us with evil. It’s probably based on Jesus’ remark that what we do for the least of his brothers, we have done for him.
I worked with a lot of people in whom I could not “see” Christ. Christ would not say what they said or do what they did. Their words and deeds might make me THINK of Christ.
It would remind me to consider that each person was made in the image of God, yet like many people in the Bible, they seem to have turned away from God (or never really known God).
Your use of the word “sadistic” is significant, because there are people with a sado-masochistic personality disorder. Or, perhaps there are other stressful things going on in their lives.
The Church itself has a type of punishment called excommunication. It is not a condemnation, but it is a way of telling somebody that they have to reform and bring themselves back. Some people do things that bring on automatic excommunication.
I think that can happen in relationships where people do things like that, where they are burning bridges and we (you and or I) cannot do anything about it. I have seen it happen over and over. Dr. Ray Guarendi talks about this on his radio program on EWTN. It happens especially in families.
Debbie Georgiani on EWTN’s Take 2 Show is divorced and estranged not only from her children AND her grandchildren. She talks about this from time to time, and so I am only repeating here what she has stated publicly. This kind of stuff happens.
How we treat people is a whole different story, but I don’t think we can always see Christ in all other people. We cannot “see” Christ in all they say and do, for sure.
Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.
Isn’t it Jesus who tells us that if we are rejected, to shake the dust off our feet and move on?