FOURTH ARTICLE: "Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and
just as necessary for the Christian to believe in the passion and
the Son of God as it is to believe in His Incarnation. For, as St.
says, "there would have been no advantage in His having been born
unless we had profited by His Redemption." That Christ died for us
tremendous a fact that our intellect can scarcely grasp it; for in no
it fall in the natural way of our understanding. This is what the
says: "I work in your days, a work which you will not believe, if
shall tell it to you."1 The grace of God is so great and His love
is such that we cannot understand what He has done for us. Now, we
believe that, although Christ suffered death, yet His Godhead did not
was the human nature in Christ that died. For He did not die as
will be clear from two examples, one of which is taken from himself.
when a man dies, in the separation of the soul from the body the soul
die but the body or flesh does die. So also in the death of
His Divinity did not die, but His man nature suffered death. But if
did not slay the Divinity of Christ, it would seem that their sin
any greater than if they killed any ordinary man. In answering this
that it is as if a king were clothed only in one garment, and if
befouled this garment, such a one has committed as grave a crime as
had defiled the king himself. Likewise, although the Jews could not
God, yet in putting to death the human nature which Christ assumed,
were as severely punished as if they had put the Godhead itself to
Another example is had from what we said before, viz., that the Son
is the Word of God, and the Word of God made flesh is like the word
king written on paper.3 So if one should tear this royal paper in
it would be considered that he had rent apart the word of the king.
the sin of the Jews was as grievous as if they had slain the Word of
need was there that the Son of God should suffer for us? There was
need; and indeed it can be assigned to two reasons. The first is
was a remedy against sin, and the second is for an example of what
to do. It was a remedy to such an extent that in the passion of
we find a remedy against all the evils which we incur by our sins.
our sins we incur five different evils.