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The Profession of Faith

155

II.

C

hrist

s

R

edemptive

D

eath

in

G

od

s

P

lan

of

S

alvation

“Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God”

599

Jesus’ violent deathwas not the result of chance in an unfor­

tunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of

God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first

sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the

definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”

393

This Biblical language

does not mean that those who handed himover were merely passive

players in a scenario written in advance by God.

394

600

To God, all moments of time are present in their immedi-

acy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestina-

tion,” he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In

this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles

and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy

servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and

your plan had predestined to take place.”

395

For the sake of accom­

plishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed

from their blindness.

396

“He died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures”

601

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.

397

Citing a confession of

faith that he himself had “received,” St. Paul professes that “Christ

died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.”

398

In particular

Jesus’ redemptive death fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering

Servant.

399

Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life

and death in the light of God’s suffering Servant.

400

After his

Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the

disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles.

401

393

Acts

2:23.

394 Cf.

Acts

3:13.

395

Acts

4:27-28; cf.

Ps

2:1-2.

396 Cf.

Mt

26:54;

Jn

18:36; 19:11;

Acts

3:17-18.

397

Isa

53:11; cf. 53:12;

Jn

8:34-36;

Acts

3:14.

398

1 Cor

15:3; cf. also

Acts

3:18; 7:52; 13:29; 26:22-23.

399 Cf.

Isa

53:7-8 and

Acts

8:32-35.

400 Cf.

Mt

20:28.

401 Cf.

Lk

24:25-27, 44-45.

517

312

652

713