Catechism of the Catholic Church

162 Part One Paragraph 3. Jesus Christ Was Buried 624 “By the grace of God” Jesus tasted death “for every one.” 459 In his plan of salvation, God ordained that his Son should not only “die for our sins” 460 but should also “taste death,” expe- rience the condition of death, the separation of his soul from his body, between the time he expired on the cross and the time he was raised from the dead. The state of the dead Christ is the mystery of the tomb and the descent into hell. It is the mystery of Holy Saturday, when Christ, lying in the tomb, 461 reveals God’s great sabbath rest 462 after the fulfillment 463 of man’s salvation, which brings peace to the whole universe. 464 Christ in the tomb in his body 625 Christ’s stay in the tomb constitutes the real link between his passible state before Easter and his glorious and risen state today. The same person of the “Living One” can say, “I died, and behold I am alive for evermore”: 465 God [the Son] did not impede death from separating his soul from his body according to the necessary order of nature, but has reunited them to one another in the Resurrection, so that he himself might be, in his person, the meeting point for death and life, by arresting in himself the decomposition of nature produced by death and so becoming the source of reunion for the separated parts. 466 626 Since the “Author of life” who was killed 467 is the same “living one [who has] risen,” 468 the divine person of the Son of God necessarily continued to possess his human soul and body, sepa- rated from each other by death: By the fact that at Christ’s death his soul was separated from his flesh, his one person is not itself divided into two persons; for the human body and soul of Christ have existed in the same way from the beginning of his earthly existence, in the divine person of the Word; and in death, although separated 459 Heb 2:9. 460 1 Cor 15:3. 461 Cf. Jn 19:42. 462 Cf. Heb 4:7-9. 463 Cf. Jn 19:30. 464 Cf. Col 1:18-20. 465 Rev 1:18. 466 St. Gregory of Nyssa, Orat. catech., 16: PG 45, 52D. 467 Acts 3:15. 468 Lk 24:5-6. 1005, 362 349 470, 650