Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 16

Question 40: Why did Christ have to suffer death?

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 – Gen. 2:17
2 – Rom. 8:3-4; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 2:9

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Question 41: Why was He “buried”?

His burial testifies that He really died (1).

1 – Isa. 53:9; John 19:38-42; Acts 13:29; 1 Cor. 15:3-4

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Question 42: Since Christ has died for us, why do we still have to die?

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 – Ps. 49:7
2 – John 5:24; Phil. 1:21-23; 1 Thess. 5:9-10

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Question 43: What further benefit do we receive from Christ’s sacrifice and death on the cross?

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 – Rom. 6:5-11; Col. 2:11-12
2 – Rom. 6:12-14
3 – Rom. 12:1; Eph. 5:1-2

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Question 44: Why does the creed add, “He descended to hell”?

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 – Isa. 53; Matt. 26:36-46; 27:45-46; Luke 22:44; Heb. 5:7-10

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