Catechism in Pictures, text & image-5

THE APOSTLES' CREED. Art. 4: Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. Mystery of the Redemption. 1. The mystery of redemption is the mystery of the Son of God dying on the …More

Art. 4: Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.

Mystery of the Redemption.

The mystery of redemption is the mystery of the Son of God dying on the Cross to redeem mankind.
2. The words « suffered under Pontius Pilate » mean that while Pontius Pilate was the Roman Governor of Judea, Jesus endured most terrible sufferings both of body and of soul.
3. His bodily sufferings were such that the prophet Isaias speaks of Him as « a man of sorrows, struck by God, and bruised for our sins ». (LIII, 3, 4, 5).
4. In His soul He suffered weariness, fear and a mortal grief « My soul », He said, « is sorrowful even unto death ». (Matt. XXVI, 38; Mark XIV, 34.)
5. So much suffering was not at all necessary for our redemption, for a single drop of His blood would have more than sufficed to redeem us, possessed, as It was, of infinite merit.
6. But the Saviour chose to suffer thus as a further testimony of His love for us and to inspire and to deepen within us horror of sin, which was the cause of His death.
7. Jesus suffered (1) in the Garden of Olives, (2) in the house of Caiphas, (3) in Herod's Palace, (4) in the Prætorium, Pilate's official residence, and (5) on Calvary.
8. In the Garden of Olives He suffered His agony, which was of so terrible a nature that He sweated drops of blood (Luke XXII, 44). It was here that Judas, one of His apostles, betrayed Him to His enemies with a kiss (see Plate 18).
9. At the house of Caiphas, the high priest of the Jews, Jesus was thrice denied by St. Peter (see Plate 29), was buttered, spat upon and declared to have deserved death because He had called Himself the Son of God.
10. At the house of Herod, tetrach of Galilee, who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Pasch, they put upon Jesus a white robe as a mark of derision and treated Him as if He were insane.
11. In the Prætorium, Jesus was scourged with rods, crowned with thorns and sentenced to be crucified, although admitted by the judge himself (Pilate) to be absolutely innocent.
12. On Calvary He was given gall and vinegar to drink and was crucified between two thieves. Raised upon the Cross, He asked of His Father forgiveness for His executioners, promised paradise to the penitent thief, commended His Mother to St. John and gave to His Mother St. John for a son; and finally, declaring that all had been consummated, He resigned His soul into the hands of His Father.
13. The words of the Creed « was dead » mean, as in the case of all men, that His soul was separated from His body. But even while dead His godhead remained inseparable from His body.
14. Jesus died on Good Friday towards 3 in the afternoon.
15. At His death the sun was eclipsed, the earth trembled, rocks were split, the vail of the Temple was rent from top to bottom, and many of the dead arose, as we observe in the left-hand bottom corner of the picture.
16. After Jesus was dead, a soldier opened His side with a lance and blood and water gushed out.
17. Our Lord allowed Himself to be wounded thus in order (1) to show, by shedding His blood to the last drop, the excess of His love for us, and (2) to let us know that His heart would always remain open to shower down upon us the abundance of His graces.
18. The words of the Creed « and buried » mean that after death, Christ's body was taken down from the Cross and placed in a sepulchre.
19. A great stone was then rolled up against the entrance, which was sealed under the authority of Pilate, and a guard of Jewish soldiers was placed to watch over it.
20. These strict precautions were taken by the Jews against the surreptitious removal of the Body, but by the design of God they only rendered the Resurrection all the more striking and incontestable.

The Way of the Cross.

The Church requires the faithful often to repeat the pious exercise known as the Way of the Cross. which by its fourteen stations recalls to our minds the dolorous Passion of our Saviour, beginning with His condemnation and ending with His death and burial. She has richly indulgenced this exercise, so that it is a source of valuable graces for those who perform it with due devotion.

Explanation of the Plate.

At the top we see - in the middle Pilate sitting in judgment, on the left the Scourging at the pillar, and on the right Jesus being nailed to the Cross. Below is depicted the Crucifixion, Our Lord on the Cross between the two thieves, and in the extreme corner on the right His body is being borne into the tomb.


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