Struggling to understand the Crucifixion

I’m struggling to understand the significance of the Sacrifice at Calvary in Catholic theology.

How could it have been an atoning sacrifice when it is the sacrament of Baptism that is necessary to remit Original Sin?

And Baptism for the remission of sins only became valid since the beginning of the Church at Pentecost, not at the Sacrifice at Calvary.

The Mass is also the Sacrifice at Calvary, yet how can it be an atoning sacrifice when it is necessary to be in the state of grace in order to receive Communion?

So besides fulfilling prophecy, what exactly is the significance?

Thanks in advance and God bless.

It means that we are not required to pay the full price for our sins, but only have to profess faith in God through the sacraments, as well as seek forgiveness through the sacraments when we fall. If we were to bear the full burden of our sin, then we would never receive entrance into Heaven, since we could never make-up for our sins on our own.

We are baptized into Christ’s death, so that we may also rise from the dead with Him. Without His atoning death, we would have no hope of the resurrection. Remember that God condescended from heaven to earth, taking human flesh for the redemption of human flesh.

The sacrament of Baptism is the ordinary means by which Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross ameliorates the eternal consequences of Original Sin you inherited from Adam, the eternal consequences and temporal consequences of your past, personal, mortal sins, and the temporal consequences of your past, personal, venial sins.

The sacrament of Confession is the ordinary means by which Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross ameliorates the eternal consequences of your past, post-baptismal, mortal sins.

The sacrament of the Eucharist is the ordinary means by which Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross ameliorates the temporal consequences of your past, post-baptismal sins.

The Sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist), within the early Church, were never separated from one another. A believer was baptized, then confirmed, and then would receive Eucharist all in the same Liturgy, and this parallels priestly ordination within Leviticus (ritual washing, anointing, offering sacrifice). This is the reason why we start with Baptism. I think it best to remember this, wherein Eucharist is the culmination of Baptism.

All of the Sacraments find their meaning in Christ’s death and resurrection. I want explain every Sacrament, but…to be baptized meant to be “drowned” since this is how the word was used in pre-Christian writings. Within the Septuagint Old Testament, this word also meant “ritual washing.” Believers, therefore, were baptized, in their fallen nature, into Jesus at his death (submerged under the water) and are raised in him in his resurrection to be a new creation (coming out of the water). St. Paul, in this context, speaks of Baptism engrafting us into Christ’s Body. The Eucharist, however, is what makes the death of Jesus truly a sacrifice. It is what is called an anamnesis (a re-entry/re-presentation wherein we mystically enter into the same precious moment, literally) sacrifice, which, too, was at work while he was on the cross (the sour vinegar given to Jesus on the cross is actually cheap wine…this is the drinking of the Fourth Cup of the Passover ritual, the “cup of God’s Wrath”). I argue that the sacrifice, actually, isn’t fulfilled until the Emmaus resurrection Eucharist, but that’s another conversation. Confirmation is the Sacrament which shows, again, the healing of our former nature and the empowerment and authority of our new one…we are given spiritual Graces. Marriage also is similar to both Baptism and the Eucharist/Calvary (Christ gave himself for his Bride, the Church, “to wash her and make her pure” [Jewish marital custom of the Bride ritually washing before marriage], and she is his Body through his Eucharistic Body [just as Eve was the “body of Adam”…“bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh”]. In Confession, we “give glory” to Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, by confessing, in the case of mortal sin, our re-visited fallen nature, and we are raised, again, out of this, etc. Confession is not merely the reception of forgiveness, but the empowerment not to sin no more. But the Eucharist does this too.

You get the idea…all the Sacraments are extensions/dimensions of the Eucharist/Calvary, in different ways (I’m being very quick with my explanation, for the sake of time).

Baptism actually became valid long before even Jesus’ death. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus had the Apostles, already, baptizing people (again, anamnesis works in this case). This Baptism wasn’t the merely symbolic baptism of John. Jesus also washed the Apostles at the Last Supper, wherein he tells Peter, paraphrased, “if you don’t let me wash you, you have no Liturgical/Sacrificial Portion in me.”

The ultimate significance to the Eucharist, ultimately, is not only a re-humanization of our nature in Christ, since he shared our one shared human nature, but also our deification, since he shares with us his One Shared Divine Nature (shared with the Father and the Holy Spirit). “Christ became man so that men could become God.” While Baptism and Confirmation imprint a permanent seal on us that we belong exclusively to Christ, the Eucharist, however, does not only so that we can always continue to grow from Grace to Grace, from Faith to Faith. Yes, the Eucharist begins by atoning for all sin, and this is, normally established through Baptism and Confession, which depend on the Eucharist, which is their source, but the Eucharist ends in us “becoming partakers of the Divine Nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

In order to understand the Crucifixion, one has to first believe the existence of the first real human lovingly known as Adam. In other words, one has to first learn the truths, including the existence of a Divine Creator, which flow from the first three chapters of Genesis. One cannot skip the Garden.

Baptism has been required since Calvary. The Church teaches us that the thief on the cross next to Jesus had the baptism of desire and perfect contrition. Had he been given the opportunity to be baptized in water, he most definitely would have.

God gives us sacraments as ordinary means, but he, himself, is not bound by those sacraments.

I think it’s feasible to think of sacraments as tentacles of thr Lord’s sacrufice… We reach out to said tentacles and receive grace and forgiveness of sins.

I thought the Old Law was still in effect since Christ had not died yet on the Cross. Where does the Church teach this about the good thief?

When God makes a covenant He inaugurates it with a sacrifice; an animal sacrifice. The New Covenant however was inaugurated with the sacrifice of His Son and we enter into that covenant by contact with the blood of His sacrifice. At Baptism we are washed in Christ’s blood when we are washed in the water.

+The atonement . . .* Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for our sins *. . . had to occurr . . . in order that sinful mankind could be reconciled to God . . . for as sinners we can’t atone for our sins . . . only our . . . sinless LORD . . . Christ Jesus. . . **God the Son **. . . was able to handle this activity for us . . .

****[size=]. . . :coffeeread: . . .**[/size]**The Original
Catholic Encyclopedia

Doctrine of the Atonement
by W. H. Kent

**“Satisfaction of
**[size=]Christ, ****[/size]
**GOD **
and the World
Are Reconciled or Made
To Be At One”

[quote]:coffeeread: … the Atonement is the work of love :heart:

. It is essentially a sacrifice, the one supreme sacrifice of which the rest were but types and figures. And, as St. Augustine teaches us, the outward rite of sacrifice is the sacrament, or sacred sign, of the invisible sacrifice of the heart :heart: . It was by this inward sacrifice of obedience unto death, by this perfect love :heart: with which He laid down His life for His friends, that Christ paid the debt to justice, and taught us by His example, and drew all things to Himself; it was by this that He wrought our Atonement and Reconciliation with God, "making peace through the blood of** His **Cross.".

**Link: **


[INDENT]. . . :coffeeread: . . .

Section Two
The Seven Sacraments of the Church


II. Baptism in the Economy of Salvation

According to the Apostle Paul, the believer enters through baptism into communion with Christ’s death, is buried with him, and rises with him:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into **Christ Jesus **were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the **glory **of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.29

The baptized have** "put on Christ**."30 Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.31

VI. The Necessity of Baptism

[INDENT]60 :bible1: Jesus answered: Amen, amen **I **say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3:5

62 :bible1: He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. Mark 16:16


[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Blessed LORD,
our Saviour and our God
+ [/RIGHT]

. . . :coffeeread: . . .

:bible1: Matthew 27:38
“Then were crucified with him two thieves: one on the right hand, and one on the left.”

:bible1: Luke 23:33, 39-46
"And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified **him **there; and the robbers, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. ,

And one of those robbers who were hanged, blasphemed him, saying:

[INDENT]'If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.’

But the other answering, rebuked him, saying:

'Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art condemned under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done no evil.’ And he said to Jesus:

***’***LORD, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him:

'Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.’ And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said:

***’***Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.’

And saying this, **he gave up the ghost." [/INDENT][/INDENT]:compcoff: Links:
. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Blessed LORD
our Saviour and our God
. . . thank you Blessed St. Jerome,
holy Biblical :bible1: translator+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy Mother Church+

Baptism washes you of Original Sin and, if older and able to sin, from any sins committed to that point.
Repentance, conversion, turning away from sin is a lifelong process.
Christ, in His infinite love, paid that price for us as the Pascal Victim.

Pick up a book called “Jesus and the Jewish roots of the Eucharist”. It’s cheap but probably the single best book I’ve ever read on the Eucharist, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, basically everything that happened in the last week of Jesus’s life, and even more than that. Amazing book!!! I can’t stress enough how much I learned from this book…I’ve always believed everything whole heartedly but this book explains why we should believe…

That wasn’t really what I asked for.

The good thief could have been saved via the old covenant. He was probably a Jew. Failing that he would have the baptism of desire.

At the ascension Jesus gave the mandate: Go and baptize all nations in the name of the Father , Son, and Holy Spirit.

So I would conclude from that time (if not earlier) the apostles would know entry was through baptism rather than circumcision.


Jesus’ sacrifice transcends time and space since He is God. That’s how we can still enter into it 2,000 years later at the Mass.

Good thief was saved the same way the OT saints were, through faith in Christ sacrifice, which we say “baptism of desire” since they couldn’t have a actual sacramental baptism.

1 Peter 3:19New International Version (NIV)

19 After being made alive,[a] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—

Likewise, if you go through RCIA and in the process happen to pass away before baptism, you can still be saved through ‘baptism of desire’.

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

Reading on that same page:

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

This is something the Fathers of the Church have taught over time in regards to the good thief. “Perfect contrition” took place there because it wasn’t just fear of judgment, there was total acknowledgment and sorrow for having been sinful and offending God.

The key word is propitiation. If you stand on the outside of Mass, you will interpret propitiation to mean appeasing an angry God, if and when you stand on the inside of Mass, you will interpret propitiation to mean seeking and receiving Gods mercy and grace (but not taking it for granted). I am saying the same thing both times, but one is from an outsiders view, the other is from an insiders view. It does however change the understanding of the nature of God’s character.

You do not need to be a Catholic to notice that propitiatory nature of the Mass, I noticed it the first time I went to a Catholic Mass as a protestant. Only with propitiation sought and given, is atoning achieved, and it is through sacrifice.

I am burdened by time, never actually being able to be there at the cross during that very significant event, simply because of my circumstance. Thankfully at Mass I can.

The Cross was Christ’s baptism. He refers to it as such. Our Baptism in water is not just a washing. It is dying with Christ on the cross. Being put under the water is being buried into the tomb. And rising again is a resurrection and ascension. It’s the cross that makes it effective. It is the cross, the death, burial, and resurrection that we are baptized into.

As for Christ’s sacrifice, it was not an offering of blood and flesh that pleased God, but a total offering of self in love that was pleasing.

As for the Eucharist, it is being allowed to partake of the divine nature. To be given the divine as part of ourselves. I would look into divinization, deification, and theosis. (All words for the same thing).

I would sincerely like to know the source of this comment – “The Cross was Christ’s baptism. He refers to it as such.”

Christ, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity did not personally need the Sacrament of Baptism. My guess is that the above comment is not meant for the Sacrament of Baptism. Most likely, it is one of the many ways we can describe the actions of the great Jesus Christ.

The Sacrament of Baptism imparts “the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back toward God, …” (CCC 405)

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