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The Profession of Faith

159

The agony at Gethsemani

612

The cup of the New Covenant, which Jesus anticipated

when he offered himself at the Last Supper, is afterwards accepted

by him from his Father’s hands in his agony in the garden at

Gethsemani,

434

making himself “obedient unto death.” Jesus

prays: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass fromme. . . .”

435

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.

436

Above all, his human nature has been assumed by the divine person

of the “Author of life,” the “LivingOne.”

437

By accepting in his human

will that theFather’swill bedone, heacceptshisdeathas redemptive,

for “he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.”

438

Christ’s death is the unique and definitive sacrifice

613

Christ’s death is both the

Paschal sacrifice

that accomplishes

the definitive redemption of men, through “the Lamb of God, who

takes away the sin of the world,”

439

and the

sacrifice of the New

Covenant,

which restores man to communion with God by recon-

ciling him to God through the “blood of the covenant, which was

poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

440

614

This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and sur-

passes all other sacrifices.

441

First, it is a gift from God the Father

himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to

reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the

Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to

his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedi-

ence.

442

434 Cf.

Mt

26:42;

Lk

22:20.

435

Phil

2:8;

Mt

26:39; cf.

Heb

5:7-8.

436 Cf.

Rom

5:12;

Heb

4:15.

437 Cf.

Acts

3:15;

Rev

1:17;

Jn

1:4; 5:26.

438

1 Pet

2:24; cf.

Mt

26:42.

439

Jn

1:29; cf. 8:34-36;

1 Cor

5:7;

1 Pet

1:19.

440

Mt

26:28; cf.

Ex

24:8;

Lev

16:15-16;

1 Cor

11:25.

441 Cf.

Heb

10:10.

442 Cf.

Jn

10:17-18; 15:13;

Heb

9:14;

1 Jn

4:10.

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