The Redemptive Love and Suffering of Christ • Redemptive suffering is the Catholic belief that human suffering, when accepted and offered up in union with the Passion of Jesus, can remit or forward the just punishment for one's sins or for the sins of another. • Redemptive suffering does not gain the individual forgiveness for their sin • Forgiveness results from God’s grace, freely given through Christ, which cannot be earned. • After one's sins are forgiven, the individual's suffering can reduce the penalty due for sin.
The Redemptive Love and Suffering of Christ • Christians believe that God loves mankind so much that He made Himself human in Jesus in order to redeem mankind: “For God so loved the earth that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 • It is believed that Jesus freed mankind from the bondage of sin: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty where with Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 • One may consider that God paid for mankind's freedom from sin in His human Incarnation: “For we are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Corinthians 6:20
The Redemptive Love and Suffering of Christ • The belief is that the price that God, in Jesus, paidfor the redemption of mankind, is the Passion, that is, his suffering and agony that led directly to his Crucifixion. • Christians believe that, as members of the Church, they are members of the Body of Jesus Christ: • “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” Romans 12:4–5 • “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ's members and make them the members of a prostitute? Of course not!” 1 Corinthians 6:15
The Redemptive Love and Suffering of Christ • Catholic Theology presents the belief that our suffering can be united to that of Christ and so we are in union with His Passion: • “As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross.” Matthew 27:32 • “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the Church.” Colossians 1:24
Implications of Redemptive Love • We, as Christians, understand that we are united to Christ’s Passion and death in our sufferings. • Therefore, all of Christ’s sufferings and our sufferings are linked intimately together for the sole purpose of attaining everlasting life.
Christ’s Redemptive Death In God’s Plan of Salvation • Jesus' violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God's plan, as St. Peter explains : “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God. CCC 599
Christ’s Redemptive Death In God’s Plan of Salvation • “The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of ‘the righteous one, my Servant’ as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin. Citing a confession of faith that he himself had ‘received’, St. Paul professes that ‘Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.’ In particular Jesus’ redemptive death fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering Servant. Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life and death in the light of God’s suffering Servant. After his Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles.” CCC 601
Christ’s Redemptive Death In God’s Plan of Salvation • Jesus is misunderstood, disbelieved, rejected, hounded, stalked and persecuted. He is finally accused, unjustly condemned, publicly brutalized and executed for affirming the truth of his identity. • The first to receive and believe and proclaim this good news were his women disciples They were told, "He has been raised.... Go, tell his disciples and Peter: 'He goes before you to Galilee where you will see him as he told you'" (Mark 16:6-7).
Christ’s Redemptive Death In God’s Plan of Salvation • Before he dies, Jesus is opposed by every faction of his people—He dies abandoned by all, including his male disciples and associates. • In spite of his apparent failure, however, Jesus triumphs through it all. He doesn't capitulate, he doesn't lose trust in his Father. He doesn't fail to be and do what the Father asks of him, but instead he proclaims the good news ofGod's love in truth, uncompromisingly, to the end.
Christ’s Redemptive Death In God’s Plan of Salvation • We find hope and consolation in the fact that Jesus never gives up on us. He never ceases to love us. • His suffering and apparent failure was redemptive for us all. • Paradoxically Jesus succeeds by failing, redeems by suffering, lives by dying, triumphs by submitting.
Christ’s Redemptive Death In God’s Plan of Salvation • It seems like upside-down theology, but this redemptive suffering is at the heart of Christian spirituality Jesus was raised from the dead because of his obedience and love for his Father and for us, and he lives on as our glorified Lord and savior.
Christ’s Redemptive Death In God’s Plan of Salvation • Mark wrote first for a suffering and persecuted community. No surprise, then, that his Jesus pointedly reminds us, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny themselves (put others first, as Jesus did), take up their crosses (accept what we cannot avoid) and follow me." • We save our lives as Jesus did, by losing them through generous self-giving. Selfish grabbers lose it all in the end.
Understanding the Paschal Mystery • Although Christ was a man of peace, His teachings were a source of conflict. • Jesus was a man who disagreed with many religious and political leaders on numerous issues. • Jesus performed acts, such as pardoning sins, that manifested him to be the Savior God himself. Certain Jews, who did not recognize God made man, saw in him only a man who made himself God, and judged him as a blasphemer. CCC 594 • The idea of a person elevating Himself to divine status is blasphemy.
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- The Last Supper • Jesus and His Apostles were called together to celebrate the Passover Seder. • In the course of the Last Supper, and with specific reference to eating bread and drinking from a cup, Jesus told his disciples, "Do this in remembrance of me". • In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus institutes a new covenant of his blood and body, the wine and bread. • Many Christians describe this as the "Institution of the Eucharist". • Scholars have looked to the Last Supper as the source of early Christian Eucharist traditions.
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- The Last Supper • Christ’s instruction “Do this in memory of me” gives us important insight into the human person of Christ: • Jesus is thinking about His death • Jesus links His death & this last meal with His Apostles, His closest friends. • The Apostles and disciples at this point in time are still believing that Christ has come to Jerusalem to become king and to fulfill the Messianic Promise. • Christ does fulfill this Promise, not how the Apostles thought it would completed.
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- The Last Supper • “The Eucharist that Christ institutes at that moment will be the memorial of his sacrifice. Jesus includes the apostles in his own offering and bids them perpetuate it. By doing so, the Lord institutes his apostles as priests of the New Covenant: ‘For their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.’” CCC 611
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- The Agony in the Garden • “…(M)aking himself ‘obedient unto death’. Jesus prays: ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me…’ Thus he expresses the horror that death represented for his human nature. Like ours, his human nature is destined for eternal life; but unlike ours, it is perfectly exempt from sin, the cause of death.Above all, his human nature has been assumed by the divine person of the ‘Author of life’, the ‘Living One’. By accepting in his human will that the Father's will be done, he accepts his death as redemptive, for ‘he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.’” CCC 612
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- The Agony in the Garden • How did Christ know that He was going to die and as a consequence fear His death? • The building of hostility among the Jewish community • The political situation in Jerusalem • The fate of the prophets • YHWH’s faithful love to His Promised People • Jesus freely accepting His death at the Last Supper
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- The Trial of Christ • Christ accepts the title “Christ” from Caiaphas (Mark 14) • Christ means “Anointed One” • Jesus is charged with blasphemy. It was viewed that Jesus, in his silence, indicated He is divine. • Jesus is taken to Pilate. • Blasphemy was a religious charge, Pilate needed to charge Him with another claim: • Inciting a revolt, refusing to pay taxes, claiming to be king.
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- Jesus as Suffering Servant • Isaiah tells of a suffering servant in his prophetic message: • The Servant’s death will be like a slaughtered lamb. • The Servant will bear the sins of many. • Jesus tells of Isaiah’s prediction in His death: • He will be scourged and crucified. • He will carry and be tied to His crossbeam. • He will be lanced with a spear but his legs will not be broken.
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- Jesus as Suffering Servant • Jesus experiences the most brutal death of His time: • Scourged with cat-o-nine tails. • Carried crossbeam. • Nailed, tied, and seated to ensure a longer death. • Lanced with a spear- blood and water pour out. • Legs are not broken.
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- Kenosis • “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- Kenosis • Kenosis is a Greek word for emptiness, which is used as a theological term. The ancient Greek word means an “emptying”. The word is mainly used, however, in a Christian theological context.
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- Jesus’ Death • The Jewish people fell prey to “mob mentality,” that is, their behavior could be described as “herd behavior” or “crowd hysteria.” • Some Jewish individuals stayed at Christ’s side: • Mary • Joseph of Arimathea
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- Jesus’ Death • “(T)he benefit of every man, Jesus Christ tasted death (Heb 2:9). It is truly the Son of God made man who died and was buried. (CCC 629) • “During Christ's period in the tomb, his divine person continued to assume both his soul and his body, although they were separated from each other by death. For this reason the dead Christ's body ‘saw no corruption’ (Acts 13:37).” (CCC 630)
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- Jesus’ Death • Jesus was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea • Holy Sepulcher- the tomb where Jesus was buried • Body was wrapped in a shroud • Soldiers guarded Jesus’ tomb
Understanding the Paschal Mystery- The Resurrection • Jesus “descended into hell” (CCC 631-637) • For 3 days prior to the Resurrection • Seen as the final phase of Christ’s mission • Jesus destroys the power of death (of evil). • “On the Third day He rose again” (CCC638-658) • Mary Magdalene, Mary- the Mother of James, Salome bring spices • Told by a man in a white robe “do not be afraid, He has risen” Mark 16:13
Central Doctrine • “We bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this day he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus.” The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross: Christ is risen from the dead! Dying, he conquered death; To the dead, he has given life. (CCC 638)
New Exodus • Through these events Jesus became the New Exodus that is he became the new Paschal Lamb. His Passover frees us from the slavery of sin, and propels us on our journey to the Promised Land.
Ascension • Jesus’ Ascension symbolizes who Christ is and the completion of his ministry: • Seated at Gods’ right hand- inaugurating the Kingdom of God. • Jesus’ Ascension is the event when Christ goes up to heaven after His earthy ministry. • We believe that Christ is know in heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
Incarnate, Head of the Body • We believe that Christ again is Incarnate in His Resurrection. His divine nature allowed His flesh to be glorified. • Christ, according to Paul’s understanding of the Church as the Body of Christ, is considered the Head of the Body because He is the leader of the Church.