THE CATECHISM OF ST. PIUS X : The Fourth Article of the Creed
The Fourth Article of the Creed
1 Q: What are we taught in the Fourth Article: Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried?
A: The Fourth Article of the Creed teaches us that to redeem the world by His Precious Blood Jesus Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate, the Governor of Judea, died on the tree of the Cross, and, on being taken down therefrom, was buried.
2 Q: What does the word suffered denote?
A: The word suffered denotes all the pains endured by Jesus during His Passion.
3 Q: Did Jesus Christ suffer as God or as man?
A: Jesus Christ suffered as man alone; as God He could neither suffer nor die.
4 Q: What class of punishment was that of the Cross?
A: The punishment of the Cross in those days was the cruelest and the most ignominious of all punishments.
5 Q: Who was it that condemned Jesus Christ to be crucified?
A: He who condemned Jesus Christ to be crucified was Pontius Pilate, the Governor of Judea who, through recognizing His innocence, cravenly yielded to the threats of the people of Jerusalem.
6 Q: Could not Jesus Christ have freed Himself from the hands of Pilate and the Jews?
A: Yes, Jesus Christ could have freed Himself from the hands of Pilate and the Jews, but knowing it was His Eternal Father’s will that He should suffer and die for our salvation, He voluntarily submitted; nay, He Himself went forth to meet His enemies and freely permitted Himself to be taken and led to death.
7 Q: Where was Jesus Christ crucified?
A: Jesus Christ was crucified on Mount Calvary.
8 Q: What did Jesus Christ do while on the Cross?
A: On the Cross Jesus Christ prayed for His enemies; gave His own Most Blessed Mother as a Mother to St. John, and, in his person, to all of us; offered up His death in sacrifice; and satisfied the justice of God for the sins of men.
9 Q: Would it not have been enough for an Angel to come and make satisfaction for us?
A: No, it would not have been enough for an Angel to come and make satisfaction for us, because the offense given to God by sin was, in a certain sense, infinite, and to satisfy for it a person possessing infinite merit was required.
10 Q: To satisfy divine justice, was it necessary that Jesus Christ should be both God and man?
A: Yes; to be able to suffer and die it was necessary that Jesus Christ should be man; while for His sufferings to be of infinite value it was necessary that He should be God.
11 Q: Why was it necessary that the merits of Jesus Christ should be of infinite value?
A: It was necessary that the merits of Jesus Christ should be of infinite value, because God’s Majesty, which had been offended by sin, is infinite.
12 Q: Was it necessary for Jesus Christ to suffer as much as He actually did?
A: No, it was not absolutely necessary for Jesus Christ to suffer as much as He did, because each of His acts being of infinite value, the least of His sufferings would have sufficed for our redemption.
13 Q: Why, then, did Jesus suffer so much?
A: Jesus Christ suffered so much in order to satisfy divine justice all the more abundantly; to display His love for us still more; and to inspire us with the deepest horror of sin.
14 Q: Did anything remarkable happen at the death of Jesus Christ?
A: Yes, at the death of Jesus Christ, the sun was darkened the earth trembled, graves opened and many of the dead arose.
15 Q: Where was the Body of Jesus Christ buried?
A: The Body of Jesus Christ was buried in a new grave, hewn out of a rock, on the mount not far from where He had been crucified.
16 Q: Was the Divinity separated from the Body and Soul of Jesus Christ by His death?
A: The Divinity was separated from neither the Body nor the Soul of Christ in death; only the Soul was separated from the Body.
17 Q: For whom did Jesus Christ die?
A: Jesus Christ died for the salvation of all men, and made satisfaction for all.
18 Q: If Jesus Christ died for the salvation of all men, why are not all men saved?
A: Jesus Christ died for all, but not all are saved, because not all will acknowledge Him; all do not observe His Law; all do not avail themselves of the means of salvation He has left us.
19 Q: To be saved is it enough that Jesus Christ has died for us?
A: No, it is not enough for our salvation that Jesus Christ has died for us; it is also necessary that the fruit of His Passion and death be applied to each one of us, which is accomplished especially by means of the Sacraments instituted for this end by Jesus Christ Himself; and as many either do not receive the Sacraments at all, or do not receive them well, they thus render the death of Jesus Christ useless in their regard.