Friday, May 02, 2008

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s day 15

Q37: What do you understand by the word "suffered"?
A37: That all the time He lived on earth, but especially at the end of His life, He bore, in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race; in order that by His suffering, as the only atoning sacrifice, He might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the grace of God, righteousness and eternal life.

Q38: Why did He suffer "under Pontius Pilate" as judge?
A38: That He, being innocent, might be condemned by the temporal judge, and thereby deliver us from the severe judgment of God, to which we were exposed.

Q39: Is there anything more in His having been "crucified" than if He had suffered some other death?
A39: Yes, for thereby I am assured that He took upon Himself the curse which lay upon me, because the death of the cross was accursed of God.

DF questions:

a) How many times did Christ suffer for sin? (1 Pet 3:18)

b) In what way were the sufferings throughout Christ's life essential to his saving work? (Heb 2:17-18, 5:7-10, Rom 5:19)

c) What is significant about Jesus being sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate? (John 19:4, Luk 23:13-15, 2 Cor 5:21)

d) Ultimately, whose idea was it for Pilate to sentence Jesus to death, even though he was innocent? (Acts 4:27-28).

e) Why is it important that Jesus was crucified, rather than stoned? (Gal 3:13-14)