Heidelberg Catechism Meditations (366)

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April 10 – LD 15, Day 2: Suffering God’s Wrath

Friday the 10th of April

in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations

I Peter 2:24 - Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.”

The intensity and horror of Jesus’ suffering provides reason for great joy and encouragement for you and me. There is only one explanation for the terrible suffering that the innocent and perfectly righteous Son of God took on Himself. Jesus was being punished for yours and my sin. The purpose was not merely to give us an example of great suffering. Nor was the purpose to merely make salvation possible. Jesus’ death was a propitiatory and vicarious sacrifice, that is, it was in the place of His people as a covering of their sins. Every last one of those sins is covered.

We hear the seriousness of sin in the words of the law recorded on Mt. Sinai. The hill of Calvary causes us to see the seriousness of sin in the suffering and agony of Jesus. Into hell Christ went for His people. He healed our stripes. He covered our sins. There is nothing left to be punished. Every last one for whom Jesus died is dead to sin and now lives unto righteousness by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It becomes evident then that the reference to all mankind and every man in the catechism and Scriptures cannot mean every human being. If that is the case, they all are saved! Everyone will go to heaven. There is no more sin that needs to be punished in hell. No, Christ set free only those who were given Him by His Father. He did so apart from any of their works. The unconditional love of Jesus for His sheep is again evident!


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