OC 03/25 Episode 084 Catechism 0612-0617

Catechism 0612-0617

The agony at Gethsemani

612 The cup of the New Covenant, which Jesus anticipated when he offered himself at the Last Supper, is afterwards accepted by him from his Father’s hands in his agony in the garden at Gethsemani, [434] making himself “obedient unto death”. Jesus prays: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. . .” [435] Thus he expresses the horror that death represented for his human nature. Like ours, his human nature is destined for eternal life; but unlike ours, it is perfectly exempt from sin, the cause of death. [436] Above all, his human nature has been assumed by the divine person of the “Author of life”, the “Living One”. [437] By accepting in his human will that the Father’s will be done, he accepts his death as redemptive, for “he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.” [438]

Christ’s death is the unique and definitive sacrifice

613 Christ’s death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”, [439] and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the “blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”. [440]

614 This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices. [441] First, it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience. [442]

Jesus substitutes his obedience for our disobedience

615 “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” [443] By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished the substitution of the suffering Servant, who “makes himself an offering for sin”, when “he bore the sin of many”, and who “shall make many to be accounted righteous”, for “he shall bear their iniquities”. [444] Jesus atoned for our faults and made satisfaction for our sins to the Father. [445]

Jesus consummates his sacrifice on the cross

616 It is love “to the end” [446] that confers on Christ’s sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. [447] Now “the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.” [448] No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. the existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.

617 The Council of Trent emphasizes the unique character of Christ’s sacrifice as “the source of eternal salvation” [449] and teaches that “his most holy Passion on the wood of the cross merited justification for us.” [450] and the Church venerates his cross as she sings: “Hail, O Cross, our only hope.” [451]

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