Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 5
Q. Since, then, by the righteous judgment of God we have deserved temporal and eternal punishment, how may we escape this punishment, come again to grace, and be reconciled to God?
A. God wills that his righteousness be satisfied; therefore, payment in full must be made to his righteousness, either by ourselves or by another.
Q. Can we make this payment ourselves?
A. By no means. On the contrary, we increase our debt each day.
Q. Can any mere creature make the payment for us?
A. No one. First of all, God does not want to punish any other creature for man’s debt. Moreover, no mere creature can bear the burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin and redeem others from it.
Q. Then, what kind of mediator and redeemer must we seek?
A. One who is a true and righteous man and yet more powerful than all creatures, that is, one who is at the same time true God.