The Redemption

Author: Baltimore Catechism


Baltimore Catechism qq. 90-104

I believe . . . in Jesus Christ . . . Who . . . suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead - - - " 

90. What is meant by the Redemption? 

By the Redemption is meant that Jesus Christ, as the Redeemer of the whole human race, offered His sufferings and death to God as a fitting sacrifice in satisfaction for the sins of men, and regained for them the right to be children of God and heirs of heaven.(See question 358)

(a) Satisfaction is compensation for an offense or injury against another.

(b) A redeemer is one who pays a price to regain something that has been lost or given up. 

(c) No creature could, of himself, make adequate satisfaction for sin, which offends the infinite majesty of God. Every creature is finite and, as such, is unable to make infinite satisfaction. 

(d) Although God wished all to be saved, and although Christ died for all, yet only those to whom the merits of His Passion are applied will benefit by His death 

(e) The death of Christ was a sacrifice of infinite merit and satisfaction, by which man was redeemed. 

(f) Christ was both priest and victim in the sacrifice whereby He redeemed us. AS priest He offered His Passion and death to God for us, and as victim He suffered and died. 

91. What were the chief sufferings of Christ?

The chief sufferings of Christ Were His bitter agony of soul, His bloody sweat, His cruel scourging, His crowning with thorns, His crucifixion, and His death on the cross. 

(a) The Stations of the Cross and the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary call to mind the chief sufferings of Christ. 

(b) Christ suffered and died in His human nature; in His divine nature He could neither suffer nor die. All of His sufferings, even the least, were of infinite value because His human and divine natures were united in the divine Person of the Son of God. 

92. When did Christ die? 

Christ died on Good Friday. 

93. Where did Christ die?

Christ died on Golgotha, a place outside the city of Jerusalem. 

(a) The site of Christ's death is also called the Place of the Skull, and Mount Calvary. 

94. What do we learn from the sufferings and death of Christ?

From the sufferings and death of Christ we learn God's love for man and the evil of sin, for which God, who is all-just, demands such great satisfaction. 

(a) We also learn that we should return God's great love and willingly take up our cross and follow Him. 

95. What do we mean when we say in the Apostles' Creed that Christ descended Into hell? 

When we say that Christ descended into hell we mean that, after He died, the soul of Christ descended into a place or state of rest, called limbo, where the souls of the just were waiting for Him. 

(a) Heaven had been closed by the sin of Adam. The just among the dead could not enter heaven until Christ satisfied for man's sin and repaired its injuries. They awaited their redemption in limbo. 

96. Why did Christ go to limbo?

Christ went to limbo to announce to the souls waiting there the joyful news that He had reopened heaven to mankind. 

97. Where was Christ's body while His soul was in limbo? 

While His soul was in limbo, Christ's body was in the holy sepulchre. 

(a) Man dies when soul is separated from body. When Jesus died, His soul and His body were separated from each other but His divine Person remained united both to His body in the tomb and to His separated soul in limbo. 

98. When did Christ rise from the dead? 

Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death. 

(a) In the Resurrection the soul of Jesus was reunited to His body by His own divine power. 

(b) The Resurrection is the most important of Christ's miracles. He Himself chose it as the most conclusive proof of His divine mission, and the apostles appealed to it to confirm the truth of their testimony. 

(c) Christ's glorified body after its Resurrection was not subject to suffering or death; it possessed a certain radiance Bowing from the supreme blessedness of His soul, it could move rapidly from place to place, it did not need food or sleep, and it could pass through 
other bodies. 

99. Why did Christ rise from the dead?

Christ rose from the dead to show that He is true God and to teach us that we, too, shall rise from the dead. 

100. Will all men rise from the dead? 

All men will rise from the dead, but only those who have been faithful to Christ will share in His glory. 

101. When did Christ ascend into heaven?

Christ ascended, body and soul, into heaven on Ascension Day, forty days after His Resurrection. 

102. Why did Christ remain on earth forty cloys after His Resurrection?

Christ remained on earth forty days after His Resurrection to prove that He had truly risen from the dead and to complete the instruction of the apostles. 

(a) Saint Paul tells us that Christ, after His Resurrection, appeared frequently to the apostles and to many others. 

(b) Christ ascended into heaven from Mount Olivet, a hill outside Jerusalem. 

103. What do we mean when we say that Christ sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty? 

When we say that Christ sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, we mean that Our Lord as God is equal to the Father, and that as man He shares above all the saints in the glory of His Father and exercises for all eternity the supreme authority of a king over all creatures. 

(a) Even as man, Christ of Himself has dominion over all creation. His Kingship rests on the fact that His human nature is immediately united to the divine Person of the Son of God, and on the fact that He redeemed all men with His precious blood. 

(b) On earth Christ exercises His kingly authority in spiritual matters through His Church. His Kingship extends also over temporal and civil matters. 

104. What do we mean when we say that Christ will come from thence to judge the living and the dead? 

When we say that Christ will come from thence to judge the living and the dead, we mean that on the last day Our Lord will come to pronounce a sentence of eternal reward or of eternal punishment on everyone who has ever lived in this world. 

(a) Jesus Christ, both as God and as man, will judge all men because He is "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Apocalypse 17:14;19:16), and it is His prerogative to pass judgment, to reward or punish according to merits.

Taken from the Baltimore Catechism, lesson 8.