The Heidelberg Catechism Part II: Deliverance God the Son, Part 6 Lord’s Day 16
Question 40: Why did Christ have to suffer death?
Answer 40: Because God’s justice and truth require it: (1) nothing else could pay for our sins except the death of the Son of God. (2)
(1) Genesis 2:17 NKJV but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
(2) Romans 8:3-4 NKJV For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, (4) that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Philippians 2:8 NKJV And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Hebrews 2:9 NKJV But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
Q 41: Why was he “buried”?
A 41: His burial testifies that He really died. (1)
(1) Isaiah 53:9 NKJV And they made His grave with the wicked—But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
John 19:38-42 NKJV After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. (39) And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. (40) Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. (41) Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. (42) So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews' Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.
Acts 13:29 NKJV Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NKJV For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (4) and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
Q 42: Since Christ has died for us, why do we still have to die?
A 42: Our death does not pay the debt of our sins. (1) Rather, it puts an end to our sinning and is our entrance into eternal life. (2)
(1) Psalms 49:7 NKJV None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him
(2) John 5:24 NKJV "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Philippians 1:21-23 NKJV For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (22) But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. (23) For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 NKJV For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (10) who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
Q 43: What further benefit do we receive from Christ’s sacrifice and death on the cross?
A 43: By Christ’s power our old selves are crucified, put to death, and buried with Him, (1) so that the evil desires of the flesh may no longer rule us, (2) but that instead we may offer ourselves as a sacrifice of gratitude to him. (3)
(1) Romans 6:5-11 NKJV For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, (6) knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (7) For he who has died has been freed from sin. (8) Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, (9) knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. (10) For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (11) Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Colossians 2:11-12 NKJV In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, (12) buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
(2) Romans 6:12-14 NKJV Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. (13) And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (14) For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
(3) Romans 12:1 NKJV I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. (2) And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Q 44: Why does the creed add, “He descended to hell”?
A 44: To assure me during attacks of deepest dread and temptation that Christ my Lord, by suffering unspeakable anguish, pain, and terror of soul, on the cross but also earlier, has delivered me from hellish anguish and torment. (1)
(1) Isaiah 53:1-12 NKJV Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? (2) For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. (3) He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (4) Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. (5) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (7) He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. (8) He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. (9) And they made His grave with the wicked—But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. (10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. (11) He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. (12) Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
Matthew 26:36-46 NKJV Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there." (37) And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. (38) Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." (39) He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." (40) Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? (41) Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (42) Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." (43) And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. (44) So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. (45) Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. (46) Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand."
Matthew 27:45-46 NKJV Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. (46) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?"
Luke 22:44 NKJV And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Hebrews 5:7-10 NKJV who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, (8) though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (9) And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, (10) called by God as High Priest "According to the order of Melchizedek