According to Christianity Christ "died on the cross to save us from our sins". I would like to get a better understanding of the origins and mechanics of this doctrine.

Christ died for our sins, as a kind of atonement of the sins of mankind. According to Christianity I'm still a sinner. So what has changed for me practically through Christ's death and resurrection?

Or to put the question in different words: What would be the scenario / world be like if Christ's death and resurrection would not have happened?

I'm interested in the Roman Catholic viewpoint of the topic.


Effects of Christ's passion

Because of Christ's passion, we are, according to St. Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica III q. 49),

  1. freed from sin,
  2. delivered from the power of the devil,
  3. freed from our debt of punishment,
  4. reconciled with God,
  5. able to go to heaven.

Since we have freewill, we can continue sinning, but we can also choose to apply the effects of Christ's passion to our lives by uniting ourselves with Christ's suffering, "fill[ing] up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church" (Col. 1:24).

Effects of Christ's resurrection

St. Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica III q. 56) writes that Christ's resurrection is the cause of

  1. cause of our resurrection,
  2. cause of our justification.

"if Christ's death and resurrection would not have happened" we would all be condemned to hell.


I will give a very simple answer for your good question.

In simple terms if the death and resurrection did not happened then we have no way to enter God's Kingdom.But since it happened we must be thankful for the Mercy of God thru Jesus Christ offering of his own life for our redemption and opening again the door for us towards salvation.

In Catholic Faith, three things are essential Baptism, Reconcilliation and Holy Eucharist.

1.The Sacrament of Baptism washes away the original sin we contracted thru Adam's fault to restore Divine Life in our soul. 2.But since a Christian journey does not end in Baptism and a faithful is commanded to perfection like our Father in Heaven, the Sacrament of Reconcilliation was also instituted for us be healed again whenever we fall into sin.God infinite mercy is being offered to us by our loving and merciful Father to continue to restore us again. 3.Since the blood of Christ washes away our sins but the stain of the original sin in our soul remains, what the Catholic Faith called concupiscence, one will need the Holy Eucharist to wash away the stain of one soul.Since the very body,blood, soul & divinity of Christ enters our inner being it help us overcome our concupiscence or inclination to sin.

The results of this three essential sacraments is, by Baptism the Divine Life was restored and if we fall back into sin the Sacrament of Reconcilliation restore back the Divine Life again and the most important thing for us Catholic is the Holy Eucharist because partaking it will give us Eternal Life.(John6:53-55)

From restoration of Divine Life to possessing Eternal Life is the sweet christian journey of every catholic faith.But ofcourse the road to salvation that Jesus teaches as he came down to show us the way, is the Way of the Cross.

In the end we can confidently echo what St.Paul had exclaimed that earn him his own perfect and complete salvation, "I have crucified my flesh, it is no longer I who lived but Jesus"(Galatians2:20)

Like St.Paul, we fulfilled what the Abba Father had required of us to merit Heaven " Be perfect therefore as your Heavenly Father is perfect".Our perfection is based on our cooperation and union to God's Will and it is not a freegift like other christian faith teaches.Our perfection was earn by embracing our own Way of the Cross for our own glorious resurrection like Christ.

When we reach Heaven with our resurrected bodies, we will be crown according the works we had done and not simply claiming what Jesus had given us as a freegift, the crown is really is our cooperation and we merit it like all the Saints and Martyrs in Heaven had gone thru.

This is the simple summary of Catholic Faith about the meaning of Christ death and resurrection, for full explanation see the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  • "In simple terms if the death and resurrection did not happened then we have no way to enter God's Kingdom." What is the justification for this statement?
    – WolfgangP
    May 24 '19 at 18:20
  • There is no redemption if Jesus did not offer his life to free us from the slavery of satan.1John3:8..and Jesus was sent only to become the Redeemer or Savior of all sinners John3:16-17 May 25 '19 at 11:28

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