Catechism On Line

The death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus


Book, Chapter 7 (Faith First)
Book, Chapter 6 (Be My Disciples)

In this chapter we discuss the following topics: 
 

The Jewish PASSOVER

The Eucharist

The Paschal Mystery

The Jewish PASSOVER

One of the most profound events in the life of Israelites (Jews, descendants of Abraham) was the "Passover". While in slavery in Egypt, the Jews were led by their prophet Moses. He, together with his brother Aaron tried to convince the Pharaoh of Egypt to let the Jews go free, but Pharaoh would repeatedly refuse. GOD therefore decided to punish Egyptians by killing off all the first-born males in the land, but He would spare the Jews by "passing over" their houses untouched. Since then, Moses gave instructions to his people how to celebrate the feast of Passover. This celebration event includes eating a Passover meal in a special way.

For us, Christians, the Passover meal has an additional significance because it was during His Passover meal that Jesus instituted the Eucharist. What is Eucharist?
 

Def:

Eucharist - Central act of Christian worship, where bread and wine is offered in the fashion of Jesus' Last Supper described in Gospels.

The Paschal Mystery

Just as the Passover is important to Jewish people, so is the Paschal Mystery to Christians. What is the Paschal Mystery?

Def:

The Paschal Mystery - The passion, death, resurrection, and glorious ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven

What are the events described in the Paschal Mystery?

* The Passion Narrative

  • Last Supper (The Passover meal)

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  • Betrayal and the arrest of Jesus

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  • The trial and sentencing of Jesus

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  • Suffering, death and burial
* The Resurrection three days later

* The Ascension forty days later
 

The Paschal Mystery is the most important event in Jesus' mission for two reasons.

  • Without Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, there would hardly be any salvation. Here, the Christ's sacrifice acted through the concept of Vicarious Suffering
  • Without Jesus' resurrection there would be no Christian faith. In Christians the faith became reinforced because Christ's resurrection was the most important proof to people of Jesus' time that there is life after death.


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