14. Was the death of the cross attended with any aggravating circumstances?
Yes. It was (1) a shameful death; (2) a painful death; and (3) a cursed death.
15. Why did Christ die such a cursed death?
To deliver His people from the curse they deserved. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. For it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (GaL 3:13).
16. Was His death a necessary part of His sufferings?
Yes, because death was threatened as a punishment for sin, and He must take away all punishment for His people.
17. Why was Christ buried?
To assure us that He had really died.
18. What is meant by Christ's descent into hell?
That He suffered the agonies of hell in His soul.
19. When did He suffer these torments?
Particularly in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross.
20. Did He descend into hell after His death?
No, for while He was dead, His body was in the grave and His soul was in heaven. " Verily I say unto thee, this day shalt thou be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23: 43-54).
21. Did His descent into hell take place before His death?
Yes, during His life of suffering in soul and body.
22. Why was the suffering of His soul necessary?
Because we also sinned in our souls.
23. Of what does Christ's satisfaction for sin consist?
It consists of two parts: (1) Obeying the law perfectly and (2) suffering the punishment due to sin.
24. Does Christ's active obedience to the law belong to His satisfaction of divine justice?
Yes. "By the obedience of One many shall be made righteous" (Rom. 5:19).
25. Why was the satisfaction of divine justice necessary?
(1) Because God's justice does not allow remission of sin without punishment or satisfaction, and (2) because God's truth had declared that the just wages of sin are death.
26. Did Christ make an absolute atonement by this satisfaction, or did He only merit the possibility of salvation?
He made an actual, absolute, and personal atonement by his satisfaction. "And He is a propitiation for our sins" (I John 2:2; cf. Luke 18:12).
27. For whom has Christ made this satisfaction?
Only for the elect.
28. Did Christ die for everyone?
No, only for His people (Mt. 1:21); His sheep (John 10:11); His Church (Acts 20:28).
29. How should we interpret those texts where Christ is said to have died for the world, or for all men?
We must understand those expressions as meaning. (1) all the elect in the world, (2) all kinds of people, or (3) people from all nations, both Jews and Gentiles.
30. What is the result of Christ's satisfaction of divine justice?
(1) God is now reconciled with the elect sinner and (2) the elect sinner receives from God the right to eternal life (Gal. 4:4-5).
31. Does everyone have a solid foundation for believing that Jesus made satisfaction for him?
No, only those who receive Christ as their meriting, working, moving, and exemplary cause of their spiritual lives (Tit. 2:14; John 12:24; II Cor. 5:14, 15; Rom. 6:5).
32. What proofs do we have that Christ arose?
(1) The testimony of the angels and the soldiers at His grave, and (2) the many appearances of the Lord Jesus to the women and the disciples after He arose.
33. Are there any benefits for His people in His resurrection?
Yes, for it guarantees their spiritual and physical resurrection, and it is an assurance that He has fully satisfied God's justice in all things. "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Rom. 4:25).
34. By whose power did Christ rise from the grave?
By His Father's power and His own divine power, for we read that He was quickened by His Father and that He arose of Himself (Acts 2:24; John 2:19).
35. On what day of the week was He buried, and on what day did He arise?
He was buried on Friday evening and arose on Sunday morning, the third day after His death.
36. Who prefigured Christ's being in the earth three days?
Jonah. "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Mt. 12:40).
37. How should we understand these words, since Friday night to Sunday morning is not three whole days and nights?
In biblical times, part of a day was always counted as a day. "Today is the third day since these things were done" (Luke 24:21).
38. Why did He remain on earth after His resurrection?
(1) To more fully show the certainty of His resurrection and (2) to further instruct His disciples.
39. Did any witnesses see His ascension into heaven?
Yes, angels and His disciples (Acts 1).
40. Why was Christ's ascension into heaven necessary?
In order that Christ in heaven might: (1) rule as King; (2) plead as Intercessor; and (3) receive His people unto Himself.
41. From where did Christ ascend into heaven?
From the Mount of Olives, just outside of Jerusalem.
42. To what place did Christ ascend?
To the third heaven. "He ascended up far above the heavens" (Eph. 4:10).
43. How did He ascend?
Actually, visibly, and locally (John 16:28, Acts 3:21).
44. Did His human nature become omnipresent after His ascension?
No, "Ye have the poor always with you, but Me ye have not always" (Mt. 26:11).
45. What is meant by Christ's sitting at God's right hand?
His exaltation to all power and glory. "He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3).
46. Should Christ's sitting at the right hand of God be understood literally?
No, for God, who is a Spirit, has no literal right hand.
(See the final chapters for questions concerning Christ's last step of exaltation.)