The Suffering of Christ

 Here’s a small section of William Ames’ (d. 1633) commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 15.

“The Lord Christ suffered all the evil penalties that were owed to us on account of sins.”

“He suffered every kind of evil, as much spiritually as corporeally [bodily], in agony and horror of soul.”

“He suffered from all the people by whom any kind of evil can be inflicted.”

“He suffered from the powers of darkness and of hell, which were murderers from the beginning and authors of all the evils that Christ suffered by their instruments.”

“He suffered from God personally, whose full chalice of wrath he drained.”

“He suffered in every part of his person and in every way he could suffer.  He suffered spiritual horrors and indescribable sorrows.  In his body, he suffered hunger, thirst, nudity, wounds, being spat on, being striken, and whatever ingenious wickedness and cruelty could be invented.”

What is the practical application of Christ’s sufferings?

“For direction, so that by meditating on the suffering of Christ continuously we may not pass by God’s singular and incomprehensible goodness, grace, love, mercy, justice, and wisdom, by which he sent his own eternal Son to suffer such things for us and for our salvation, and, likewise, so that we may not pass by the abundant grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered so many great things for our sake.”

Though this commentary is a bit different from you’d expect, it is an outstanding resource on the Heidelberg Catechism.  My many thanks go out to Reformation Heritage Books for publishing these solid books in a day where most publishers only publish the latest cash-cow fads and trends of evangelicalism.  Speaking of RHB, I have my eye on the Witsius set (Commentary on the Lord’s Prayer, Apostle’s Creed, and The Economy of the Covenants).  In case you’re interested, it is only $70 right now.  I also contacted RHB and they informed me that the set is not a new typecast, but a re-publication of the older fonts/typecast.  Still, it is a treasure trove of Christian theology.

shane lems

shane lems

2 thoughts on “The Suffering of Christ”

  1. It’s too bad that the Witsius set has not been re-typecast. The Hebrew and Greek fonts/misspellings drove me absolutely crazy when I read it. Oh well, at least it will be more widely available now (I had a hard time finding a copy a year or so ago).


    1. Yea, I feel your pain, Nevada. I do wish it would be a new typecast. However, the cost and time for that would be too great since it won’t sell by the thousands. And yes, at least it will be more widely available.


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