On each Lord’s Day this year, we will display the 52 devotionals taken from the Heidelberg Catechism which are structured in the form of questions posed and answers given.
The Heidelberg Catechism was originally written in 1563. It originated in one of the few pockets of Calvinistic faith in the Lutheran and Catholic territories of Germany. Conceived originally as a teaching instrument to promote religious unity, the catechism soon became a guide for preaching as well.
Along with the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt, it forms what is collectively referred to as the Three Forms of Unity.
The devotional for LORD’S DAY 15 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer. The theme for the next several weeks concerns the subject of God the Son.
Q. What do you understand by the word “suffered”?
A. That during his whole life on earth, but especially at the end, Christ sustained in body and soul the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race.1 This he did in order that, by his suffering as the only atoning sacrifice,2 he might deliver us, body and soul, from eternal condemnation,3 and gain for us God’s grace, righteousness, and eternal life.4
Q. Why did he suffer “under Pontius Pilate” as judge?
A. So that he, though innocent, might be condemned by an earthly judge,1 and so free us from the severe judgment of God that was to fall on us.2
Q. Is it significant that he was “crucified” instead of dying some other way?
A. Yes. By this I am convinced that he shouldered the curse which lay on me,
since death by crucifixion was cursed by God.1
May truth and grace reside here.
Soli deo Gloria!