Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 16
Q. Why did Christ have to suffer death?
A. Because the righteousness and truth of God are such that nothing else could make reparation for our sins except the death of the Son of God.
Q. Why was he “buried”?
A. To confirm the fact that he was really dead.
Q. Since, then, Christ died for us, why must we also die?
A. Our death is not a reparation for our sins, but only a dying to sin and an entering into eternal life.
Q. What further benefit do we receive from the sacrifice and death of Christ on the cross?
A. That by his power our old self is crucified, put to death, and buried with him, so that the evil passions of our mortal bodies may reign in us no more, but that we may offer ourselves to him as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Q. Why is there added: “He descended into hell”?
A. That in my severest tribulations I may be assured that Christ my Lord has redeemed me from hellish anxieties and torment by the unspeakable anguish, pains, and terrors which he suffered in his soul both on the cross and before.