Jesus taking our place

I’ve come across the teaching that when God judges us He sees Jesus and thus something something (not too clear on this point). In other words (I think), Jesus takes on our punishment so we don’t have to undergo any.
This doesn’t sound very Catholic, does it? Is there something like it in our Church? Can the above teaching be expressed in a way that is more in line with Catholic theology?

it’s based on the idea that God needed to punish someone, and Jesus took our place and took the wrath of the Father.

this is a mostly Protestant idea…

the Catholic idea is that the Father is loving, not angry or wrathful, and Jesus offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to atone for sin, - but this was based on love and not on a need for punishment.

No, that is called penal substitution, and as far as I can tell, it’s not compatible with Catholic teaching. It means that Jesus endured the identical sum total of punishment that was due by adding up all the sins of every human ever.

It fails on a number of levels. One of the more indefensible flaws in the idea is this: Scripture tells us that physical death was a consequence of man’s fall. So, if Jesus took away all consequence for sin, then no one who ends up in heaven would ever physically die.

As well, it also leads to another flaw: why doesn’t everyone go to heaven if Jesus took the punishment for all sins? The way around this is to espouse what is called Limited Atonement—the idea that Christ’s sacrifice only was “enough” to cover the sins of only the people who go to heaven. Of course, there is enough in divine revelation to show that idea is wrong, such as passages saying Jesus died for the whole world, or God desires the salvation of all, etc…

Catholics understand the ransom-nature of Christ’s sacrifice. It is very intricate and someone else might be able to explain it more tidily than I. But to understand it, one should look to the sacrifices of the Old Testament which reveal the truth in the New. Back then, a lamb or pigeon or some animal’s blood was shed. The Passover Lamb was to be without “blemish.” Jesus as the new Lamb of God is without blemish and suffices as “ransom” for the sins of the “whole world.” In a ransom, an identical exchange is not necessary (which the penal substitution I describe above demands). Something else is given in exchange, in this case, the sacrifice of an unblemished divine being Who makes it possible for us to escape the eternal consequences of sin by joining to His Body.

I’ve heard a simlar thing, when reading about the devine mercy chaplet. It said that when God looks are the world, and its sin and evil, judgement is imminent. But if we pray for mercy and believe in Jesus, then God must look at the world “through the wounds of Jesus Christ.” Kind of like looking through a different lense, which is Christ. Then when God sees the world (and us as individuals) in this way, he is merciful.

I think its kind of the same thing you are saying, and I don’t see why its not catholic. I guess it depends on how you phrase it?

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