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162

Part One

Paragraph 3. Jesus Christ Was Buried

624

“By the grace of God” Jesus tasted death “for every

one.”

459

In his plan of salvation, God ordained that his Son should

not only “die for our sins”

460

but should also “taste death,” expe-

rience the condition of death, the separation of his soul from his

body, between the time he expired on the cross and the time he was

raised from the dead. The state of the dead Christ is the mystery of

the tomb and the descent into hell. It is the mystery of Holy

Saturday, when Christ, lying in the tomb,

461

reveals God’s great

sabbath rest

462

after the fulfillment

463

of man’s salvation, which

brings peace to the whole universe.

464

Christ in the tomb in his body

625

Christ’s stay in the tomb constitutes the real link between

his passible state before Easter and his glorious and risen state

today. The same person of the “Living One” can say, “I died, and

behold I am alive for evermore”:

465

God [the Son] did not impede death from separating his soul

from his body according to the necessary order of nature, but

has reunited them to one another in the Resurrection,

so that

he himself might be, in his person, the meeting point for death and

life,

by arresting in himself the decomposition of nature

produced by death and so becoming the source of reunion

for the separated parts.

466

626

Since the “Author of life” who was killed

467

is the same

“living one [who has] risen,”

468

the divine person of the Son of God

necessarily continued to possess his human soul and body, sepa-

rated from each other by death:

By the fact that at Christ’s death his soul was separated from

his flesh, his one person is not itself divided into two persons;

for the human body and soul of Christ have existed in the

same way from the beginning of his earthly existence, in the

divine person of the Word; and in death, although separated

459

Heb

2:9.

460

1 Cor

15:3.

461 Cf.

Jn

19:42.

462 Cf.

Heb

4:7-9.

463 Cf.

Jn

19:30.

464 Cf.

Col

1:18-20.

465

Rev

1:18.

466 St. Gregory of Nyssa,

Orat. catech.,

16: PG 45, 52D.

467

Acts

3:15.

468

Lk

24:5-6.

1005, 362

349

470, 650