Summa Th. III EN Qu.46 a.9

Whether Christ suffered at a suitable time?

Objection: 1. It would seem that Christ did not suffer at a suitable time. For Christ's Passion was prefigured by the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb: hence the Apostle says (1Co 5,7): "Christ our Pasch is sacrificed." But the paschal lamb was slain "on the fourteenth day at eventide," as is stated in Ex 12,6. Therefore it seems that Christ ought to have suffered then; which is manifestly false: for He was then celebrating the Pasch with His disciples, according to Mark's account (Mc 14,12): "On the first day of the unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Pasch"; whereas it was on the following day that He suffered.
2. Further, Christ's Passion is called His uplifting, according to Jn 3,14: "So must the Son of man be lifted up." And Christ is Himself called the Sun of Justice, as we read Mal. 4:2. Therefore it seems that He ought to have suffered at the sixth hour, when the sun is at its highest point, and yet the contrary appears from Mc 15,25: "It was the third hour, and they crucified Him."
3. Further, as the sun is at its highest point in each day at the sixth hour, so also it reaches its highest point in every year at the summer solstice. Therefore Christ ought to have suffered about the time of the summer solstice rather than about the vernal equinox.
4. Further, the world was enlightened by Christ's presence in it, according to Jn 9,5: "As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world." Consequently it was fitting for man's salvation that Christ should have lived longer in the world, so that He should have suffered, not in young, but in old, age.

On the contrary It is written (Jn 13,1): "Jesus, knowing that His hour was come for Him to pass out of this world to the Father"; and (Jn 2,4): "My hour is not yet come." Upon which texts Augustine observes: "When He had done as much as He deemed sufficient, then came His hour, not of necessity, but of will, not of condition, but of power." Therefore Christ died at an opportune time.
I answer that As was observed above (Article [1]), Christ's Passion was subject to His will. But His will was ruled by the Divine wisdom which "ordereth all things" conveniently and "sweetly" (Sg 8,1). Consequently it must be said that Christ's Passion was enacted at an opportune time. Hence it is written in De Qq. Vet. et Nov. Test., qu. lv: "The Saviour did everything in its proper place and season."

Reply to Objection: 1. Some hold that Christ did die on the fourteenth day of the moon, when the Jews sacrificed the Pasch: hence it is stated (Jn 18,28) that the Jews "went not into Pilate's hall" on the day of the Passion, "that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the Pasch." Upon this Chrysostom observes (Hom. lxxxii in Joan.): "The Jews celebrated the Pasch then; but He celebrated the Pasch on the previous day, reserving His own slaying until the Friday, when the old Pasch was kept." And this appears to tally with the statement (Jn 13,1-5) that "before the festival day of the Pasch . . . when supper was done" . . . Christ washed "the feet of the disciples."But Matthew's account (Mt 26,17) seems opposed to this; that "on the first day of the Azymes the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Pasch?" From which, as Jerome says, "since the fourteenth day of the first month is called the day of the Azymes, when the lamb was slain, and when it was full moon," it is quite clear that Christ kept the supper on the fourteenth and died on the fifteenth. And this comes out more clearly from Mc 14,12: "On the first day of the unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Pasch," etc.; and from Lc 22,7: "The day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the Pasch should be killed."Consequently, then, others say that Christ ate the Pasch with His disciples on the proper day---that is, on the fourteenth day of the moon---"showing thereby that up to the last day He was not opposed to the law," as Chrysostom says (Hom. lxxxi in Matth.): but that the Jews, being busied in compassing Christ's death against the law, put off celebrating the Pasch until the following day. And on this account it is said of them that on the day of Christ's Passion they were unwilling to enter Pilate's hall, "that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the Pasch."But even this solution does not tally with Mark, who says: "On the first day of the unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Pasch." Consequently Christ and the Jews celebrated the ancient Pasch at the one time. And as Bede says on Lc 22,7-8: "Although Christ who is our Pasch was slain on the following day---that is, on the fifteenth day of the moon---nevertheless, on the night when the Lamb was sacrificed, delivering to the disciples to be celebrated, the mysteries of His body and blood, and being held and bound by the Jews, He hallowed the opening of His own immolation---that is, of His Passion."But the words (Jn 13,1) "Before the festival day of the Pasch" are to be understood to refer to the fourteenth day of the moon, which then fell upon the Thursday: for the fifteenth day of the moon was the most solemn day of the Pasch with the Jews: and so the same day which John calls "before the festival day of the Pasch," on account of the natural distinction of days, Matthew calls the first day of the unleavened bread, because, according to the rite of the Jewish festivity, the solemnity began from the evening of the preceding day. When it is said, then, that they were going to eat the Pasch on the fifteenth day of the month, it is to be understood that the Pasch there is not called the Paschal lamb, which was sacrificed on the fourteenth day, but the Paschal food---that is, the unleavened bread---which had to be eaten by the clean. Hence Chrysostom in the same passage gives another explanation, that the Pasch can be taken as meaning the whole feast of the Jews, which lasted seven days.
2. As Augustine says (De Consensu Evang. iii): "'It was about the sixth hour' when the Lord was delivered up by Pilate to be crucified," as John relates. For it "was not quite the sixth hour, but about the sixth---that is, it was after the fifth, and when part of the sixth had been entered upon until the sixth hour was ended---that the darkness began, when Christ hung upon the cross. It is understood to have been the third hour when the Jews clamored for the Lord to be crucified: and it is most clearly shown that they crucified Him when they clamored out. Therefore, lest anyone might divert the thought of so great a crime from the Jews to the soldiers, he says: 'It was the third hour, and they crucified Him,' that they before all may be found to have crucified Him, who at the third hour clamored for His crucifixion. Although there are not wanting some persons who wish the Parasceve to be understood as the third hour, which John recalls, saying: 'It was the Parasceve, about the sixth hour.' For 'Parasceve' is interpreted 'preparation.' But the true Pasch, which was celebrated in the Lord's Passion, began to be prepared from the ninth hour of the night---namely, when the chief priests said: 'He is deserving of death.'" According to John, then, "the sixth hour of the Parasceve" lasts from that hour of the night down to Christ's crucifixion; while, according to Mark, it is the third hour of the day.Still, there are some who contend that this discrepancy is due to the error of a Greek transcriber: since the characters employed by them to represent 3 and 6 are somewhat alike.
3. According to the author of De Qq. Vet. et Nov. Test., qu. lv, "our Lord willed to redeem and reform the world by His Passion, at the time of year at which He had created it---that is, at the equinox. It is then that day grows upon night; because by our Saviour's Passion we are brought from darkness to light." And since the perfect enlightening will come about at Christ's second coming, therefore the season of His second coming is compared (Mt 24,32-33) to the summer in these words: "When the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh: so you also, when you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh even at the doors." And then also shall be Christ's greatest exaltation.
4. Christ willed to suffer while yet young, for three reasons. First of all, to commend the more His love by giving up His life for us when He was in His most perfect state of life. Secondly, because it was not becoming for Him to show any decay of nature nor to be subject to disease, as stated above (Question [14], Article [4]). Thirdly, that by dying and rising at an early age Christ might exhibit beforehand in His own person the future condition of those who rise again. Hence it is written (Ep 4,13): "Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ."

Whether Christ suffered in a suitable place?

Objection: 1. It would seem that Christ did not suffer in a suitable place. For Christ suffered according to His human nature, which was conceived in Nazareth and born in Bethlehem. Consequently it seems that He ought not to have suffered in Jerusalem, but in Nazareth or Bethlehem.
2. Further, the reality ought to correspond with the figure. But Christ's Passion was prefigured by the sacrifices of the Old Law, and these were offered up in the Temple. Therefore it seems that Christ ought to have suffered in the Temple, and not outside the city gate.
3. Further, the medicine should correspond with the disease. But Christ's Passion was the medicine against Adam's sin: and Adam was not buried in Jerusalem, but in Hebron; for it is written (Josue 14:15): "The name of Hebron before was called Cariath-Arbe: Adam the greatest in the land of [Vulg.: 'among'] the Enacims was laid there."

On the contrary It is written (Lc 13,33): "It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem." Therefore it was fitting that He should die in Jerusalem.
I answer that According to the author of De Qq. Vet. et Nov. Test., qu. lv, "the Saviour did everything in its proper place and season," because, as all things are in His hands, so are all places: and consequently, since Christ suffered at a suitable time, so did He in a suitable place.

Reply to Objection: 1. Christ died most appropriately in Jerusalem. First of all, because Jerusalem was God's chosen place for the offering of sacrifices to Himself: and these figurative sacrifices foreshadowed Christ's Passion, which is a true sacrifice, according to Ep 5,2: "He hath delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odor of sweetness." Hence Bede says in a Homily (xxiii): "When the Passion drew nigh, our Lord willed to draw nigh to the place of the Passion"---that is to say, to Jerusalem---whither He came five days before the Pasch; just as, according to the legal precept, the Paschal lamb was led to the place of immolation five days before the Pasch, which is the tenth day of the moon.Secondly, because the virtue of His Passion was to be spread over the whole world, He wished to suffer in the center of the habitable world---that is, in Jerusalem. Accordingly it is written (Ps 73,12): "But God is our King before ages: He hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth"---that is, in Jerusalem, which is called "the navel of the earth" [*Cf. Jerome's comment on Ez 5,5].Thirdly, because it was specially in keeping with His humility: that, as He chose the most shameful manner of death, so likewise it was part of His humility that He did not refuse to suffer in so celebrated a place. Hence Pope Leo says (Serm. I in Epiph.): "He who had taken upon Himself the form of a servant chose Bethlehem for His nativity and Jerusalem for His Passion."Fourthly, He willed to suffer in Jerusalem, where the chief priests dwelt, to show that the wickedness of His slayers arose from the chiefs of the Jewish people. Hence it is written (Ac 4,27): "There assembled together in this city against Thy holy child Jesus whom Thou hast anointed, Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel."
2. For three reasons Christ suffered outside the gate, and not in the Temple nor in the city. First of all, that the truth might correspond with the figure. For the calf and the goat which were offered in most solemn sacrifice for expiation on behalf of the entire multitude were burnt outside the camp, as commanded in Lv 16,27. Hence it is written (He 13,27): "For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the holies by the high-priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His own blood, suffered without the gate."Secondly, to set us the example of shunning worldly conversation. Accordingly the passage continues: "Let us go forth therefore to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach."Thirdly, as Chrysostom says in a sermon on the Passion (Hom. i De Cruce et Latrone): "The Lord was not willing to suffer under a roof, nor in the Jewish Temple, lest the Jews might take away the saving sacrifice, and lest you might think He was offered for that people only. Consequently, it was beyond the city and outside the walls, that you may learn it was a universal sacrifice, an oblation for the whole world, a cleansing for all."
3. According to Jerome, in his commentary on Mt 27,33, "someone explained 'the place of Calvary' as being the place where Adam was buried; and that it was so called because the skull of the first man was buried there. A pleasing interpretation indeed, and one suited to catch the ear of the people, but, still, not the true one. For the spots where the condemned are beheaded are outside the city and beyond the gates, deriving thence the name of Calvary---that is, of the beheaded. Jesus, accordingly, was crucified there, that the standards of martyrdom might be uplifted over what was formerly the place of the condemned. But Adam was buried close by Hebron and Arbe, as we read in the book of Jesus Ben Nave." But Jesus was to be crucified in the common spot of the condemned rather than beside Adam's sepulchre, to make it manifest that Christ's cross was the remedy, not only for Adam's personal sin, but also for the sin of the entire world.

Whether it was fitting for Christ to be crucified with thieves?

Objection: 1. It would seem unfitting for Christ to have been crucified with thieves, because it is written (2Co 6,14): "What participation hath justice with injustice?" But for our sakes Christ "of God is made unto us justice" (1Co 1,30); whereas iniquity applies to thieves. Therefore it was not fitting for Christ to be crucified with thieves.
2. Further, on Mt 26,35, "Though I should die with Thee, I will not deny Thee," Origen (Tract. xxxv in Matth.) observes: "It was not men's lot to die with Jesus, since He died for all." Again, on Lc 22,33, "I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison and death," Ambrose says: "Our Lord's Passion has followers, but not equals." It seems, then, much less fitting for Christ to suffer with thieves.
3. Further, it is written (Mt 27,44) that "the thieves who were crucified with Him reproached Him." But in Lc 22,42 it is stated that one of them who were crucified with Christ cried out to Him: "Lord, remember me when Thou shalt come into Thy kingdom." It seems, then, that besides the blasphemous thieves there was another man who did not blaspheme Him: and so the Evangelist's account does not seem to be accurate when it says that Christ was crucified with thieves.

On the contrary It was foretold by Isaias (53:12): "And He was reputed with the wicked."
I answer that Christ was crucified between thieves from one intention on the part of the Jews, and from quite another on the part of God's ordaining. As to the intention of the Jews, Chrysostom remarks (Hom. lxxxvii in Matth.) that they crucified the two thieves, one on either side, "that He might be made to share their guilt. But it did not happen so; because mention is never made of them; whereas His cross is honored everywhere. Kings lay aside their crowns to take up the cross: on their purple robes, on their diadems, on their weapons, on the consecrated table, everywhere the cross shines forth."As to God's ordinance, Christ was crucified with thieves, because, as Jerome says on Mt 27,33: "As Christ became accursed of the cross for us, so for our salvation He was crucified as a guilty one among the guilty." Secondly, as Pope Leo observes (Serm. iv de Passione): "Two thieves were crucified, one on His right hand and one on His left, to set forth by the very appearance of the gibbet that separation of all men which shall be made in His hour of judgment." And Augustine on Jn 7,36: "The very cross, if thou mark it well, was a judgment-seat: for the judge being set in the midst, the one who believed was delivered, the other who mocked Him was condemned. Already He has signified what He shall do to the quick and the dead; some He will set on His right, others on His left hand." Thirdly, according to Hilary (Comm. xxxiii in Matth.): "Two thieves are set, one upon His right and one upon His left, to show that all mankind is called to the sacrament of His Passion. But because of the cleavage between believers and unbelievers, the multitude is divided into right and left, those on the right being saved by the justification of faith." Fourthly, because, as Bede says on Mc 15,27: "The thieves crucified with our Lord denote those who, believing in and confessing Christ, either endure the conflict of martyrdom or keep the institutes of stricter observance. But those who do the like for the sake of everlasting glory are denoted by the faith of the thief on the right; while others who do so for the sake of human applause copy the mind and behavior of the one on the left."

Reply to Objection: 1. Just as Christ was not obliged to die, but willingly submitted to death so as to vanquish death by His power: so neither deserved He to be classed with thieves; but willed to be reputed with the ungodly that He might destroy ungodliness by His power. Accordingly, Chrysostom says (Hom. lxxxiv in Joan.) that "to convert the thief upon the cross, and lead him into paradise, was no less a wonder than to shake the rocks."
2. It was not fitting that anyone else should die with Christ from the same cause as Christ: hence Origen continues thus in the same passage: "All had been under sin, and all required that another should die for them, not they for others."
3.As Augustine says (De Consensu Evang. iii): We can understand Matthew "as putting the plural for the singular" when he said "the thieves reproached Him." Or it may be said, with Jerome, that "at first both blasphemed Him, but afterwards one believed in Him on witnessing the wonders."

Whether Christ's Passion is to be attributed to His Godhead?

Objection: 1. It would seem that Christ's Passion is to be attributed to His Godhead; for it is written (1Co 2,8): "If they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory." But Christ is the Lord of glory in respect of His Godhead. Therefore Christ's Passion is attributed to Him in respect of His Godhead.
2. Further, the principle of men's salvation is the Godhead Itself, according to Ps 36,39: "But the salvation of the just is from the Lord." Consequently, if Christ's Passion did not appertain to His Godhead, it would seem that it could not produce fruit in us.
3. Further, the Jews were punished for slaying Christ as for murdering God Himself; as is proved by the gravity of the punishment. Now this would not be so if the Passion were not attributed to the Godhead. Therefore Christ's Passion should be so attributed.

On the contrary Athanasius says (Ep ad Epict.): "The Word is impassible whose Nature is Divine." But what is impassible cannot suffer. Consequently, Christ's Passion did not concern His Godhead.
I answer that As stated above (Question [2], Articles [1],2,3,6), the union of the human nature with the Divine was effected in the Person, in the hypostasis, in the suppositum, yet observing the distinction of natures; so that it is the same Person and hypostasis of the Divine and human natures, while each nature retains that which is proper to it. And therefore, as stated above (Question [16], Article [4]), the Passion is to be attributed to the suppositum of the Divine Nature, not because of the Divine Nature, which is impassible, but by reason of the human nature. Hence, in a Synodal Epistle of Cyril [*Act. Conc. Ephes., P. i, cap. 26] we read: "If any man does not confess that the Word of God suffered in the flesh and was crucified in the flesh, let him be anathema." Therefore Christ's Passion belongs to the "suppositum" of the Divine Nature by reason of the passible nature assumed, but not on account of the impassible Divine Nature.

Reply to Objection: 1. The Lord of glory is said to be crucified, not as the Lord of glory, but as a man capable of suffering.
2. As is said in a sermon of the Council of Ephesus [*P. iii, cap. 10], "Christ's death being, as it were, God's death"---namely, by union in Person---"destroyed death"; since He who suffered "was both God and man. For God's Nature was not wounded, nor did It undergo any change by those sufferings."
3. As the passage quoted goes on to say: "The Jews did not crucify one who was simply a man; they inflicted their presumptions upon God. For suppose a prince to speak by word of mouth, and that his words are committed to writing on a parchment and sent out to the cities, and that some rebel tears up the document, he will be led forth to endure the death sentence, not for merely tearing up a document, but as destroying the imperial message. Let not the Jew, then, stand in security, as crucifying a mere man; since what he saw was as the parchment, but what was hidden under it was the imperial Word, the Son by nature, not the mere utterance of a tongue."


We have now to consider the efficient cause of Christ's Passion, concerning which there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether Christ was slain by others, or by Himself?

(2) From what motive did He deliver Himself up to the Passion?

(3) Whether the Father delivered Him up to suffer?

(4) Whether it was fitting that He should suffer at the hands of the Gentiles, or rather of the Jews?

(5) Whether His slayers knew who He was?

(6) Of the sin of them who slew Christ.

Whether Christ was slain by another or by Himself?

Objection: 1. It would seem that Christ was not slain by another, but by Himself. For He says Himself (Jn 10,18): "No men taketh My life from Me, but I lay it down of Myself." But he is said to kill another who takes away his life. Consequently, Christ was not slain by others, but by Himself.
2. Further, those slain by others sink gradually from exhausted nature, and this is strikingly apparent in the crucified: for, as Augustine says (De Trin. iv): "Those who were crucified were tormented with a lingering death." But this did not happen in Christ's case, since "crying out, with a loud voice, He yielded up the ghost" (Mt 27,50). Therefore Christ was not slain by others, but by Himself.
3. Further, those slain by others suffer a violent death, and hence die unwillingly, because violent is opposed to voluntary. But Augustine says (De Trin. iv): "Christ's spirit did not quit the flesh unwillingly, but because He willed it, when He willed it, and as He willed it." Consequently Christ was not slain by others, but by Himself.

On the contrary It is written (Lc 18,33): "After they have scourged Him, they will put him to death."
I answer that A thing may cause an effect in two ways: in the first instance by acting directly so as to produce the effect; and in this manner Christ's persecutors slew Him because they inflicted on Him what was a sufficient cause of death, and with the intention of slaying Him, and the effect followed, since death resulted from that cause. In another way someone causes an effect indirectly---that is, by not preventing it when he can do so; just as one person is said to drench another by not closing the window through which the shower is entering: and in this way Christ was the cause of His own Passion and death. For He could have prevented His Passion and death. Firstly, by holding His enemies in check, so that they would not have been eager to slay Him, or would have been powerless to do so. Secondly, because His spirit had the power of preserving His fleshly nature from the infliction of any injury; and Christ's soul had this power, because it was united in unity of person with the Divine Word, as Augustine says (De Trin. iv). Therefore, since Christ's soul did not repel the injury inflicted on His body, but willed His corporeal nature to succumb to such injury, He is said to have laid down His life, or to have died voluntarily.

Reply to Objection: 1. When we hear the words, "No man taketh away My life from Me," we must understand "against My will": for that is properly said to be "taken away" which one takes from someone who is unwilling and unable to resist.
2. In order for Christ to show that the Passion inflicted by violence did not take away His life, He preserved the strength of His bodily nature, so that at the last moment He was able to cry out with a loud voice: and hence His death should be computed among His other miracles. Accordingly it is written (Mc 15,39): "And the centurion who stood over against Him, seeing that crying out in this manner, He had given up the ghost, said: Indeed, this man was the Son of God." It was also a subject of wonder in Christ's death that He died sooner than the others who were tormented with the same suffering. Hence John says (19:32) that "they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with Him," that they might die more speedily; "but after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs." Mark also states (15:44) that "Pilate wondered that He should be already dead." For as of His own will His bodily nature kept its vigor to the end, so likewise, when He willed, He suddenly succumbed to the injury inflicted.
3. Christ at the same time suffered violence in order to die, and died, nevertheless, voluntarily; because violence was inflicted on His body, which, however, prevailed over His body only so far as He willed it.

Whether Christ died out of obedience?

Objection: 1. It would seem that Christ did not die out of obedience. For obedience is referred to a command. But we do not read that Christ was commanded to suffer. Therefore He did not suffer out of obedience.
2. Further, a man is said to do from obedience what he does from necessity of precept. But Christ did not suffer necessarily, but voluntarily. Therefore He did not suffer out of obedience.
3. Further, charity is a more excellent virtue than obedience. But we read that Christ suffered out of charity, according to Ep 5,2: "Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and delivered Himself up for us." Therefore Christ's Passion ought to be ascribed rather to charity than to obedience.

On the contrary It is written (Ph 2,8): "He became obedient" to the Father "unto death."
I answer that It was befitting that Christ should suffer out of obedience. First of all, because it was in keeping with human justification, that "as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners: so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just," as is written Rm 5,19. Secondly, it was suitable for reconciling man with God: hence it is written (Rm 5,10): "We are reconciled to God by the death of His Son," in so far as Christ's death was a most acceptable sacrifice to God, according to Ep 5,2: "He delivered Himself for us an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odor of sweetness." Now obedience is preferred to all sacrifices. according to 1S 15,22: "Obedience is better than sacrifices." Therefore it was fitting that the sacrifice of Christ's Passion and death should proceed from obedience. Thirdly, it was in keeping with His victory whereby He triumphed over death and its author; because a soldier cannot conquer unless he obey his captain. And so the Man-Christ secured the victory through being obedient to God, according to Pr 21,28: "An obedient man shall speak of victory."

Reply to Objection: 1. Christ received a command from the Father to suffer. For it is written (Jn 10,18): "I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it up again: (and) this commandment have I received of My Father"---namely, of laying down His life and of resuming it again. "From which," as Chrysostom says (Hom. lix in Joan.), it is not to be understood "that at first He awaited the command, and that He had need to be told, but He showed the proceeding to be a voluntary one, and destroyed suspicion of opposition" to the Father. Yet because the Old Law was ended by Christ's death, according to His dying words, "It is consummated" (Jn 19,30), it may be understood that by His suffering He fulfilled all the precepts of the Old Law. He fulfilled those of the moral order which are founded on the precepts of charity, inasmuch as He suffered both out of love of the Father, according to Jn 14,31: "That the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given Me commandment, so do I: arise, let us go hence"---namely, to the place of His Passion: and out of love of His neighbor, according to Ga 2,20: "He loved me, and delivered Himself up for me." Christ likewise by His Passion fulfilled the ceremonial precepts of the Law, which are chiefly ordained for sacrifices and oblations, in so far as all the ancient sacrifices were figures of that true sacrifice which the dying Christ offered for us. Hence it is written (Col 2,16-17): "Let no man judge you in meat or drink, or in respect of a festival day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is Christ's," for the reason that Christ is compared to them as a body is to a shadow. Christ also by His Passion fulfilled the judicial precepts of the Law, which are chiefly ordained for making compensation to them who have suffered wrong, since, as is written Ps 68,5: He "paid that which" He "took not away," suffering Himself to be fastened to a tree on account of the apple which man had plucked from the tree against God's command.
2. Although obedience implies necessity with regard to the thing commanded, nevertheless it implies free-will with regard to the fulfilling of the precept. And, indeed, such was Christ's obedience, for, although His Passion and death, considered in themselves, were repugnant to the natural will, yet Christ resolved to fulfill God's will with respect to the same, according to Ps 39,9: "That I should do Thy will: O my God, I have desired it." Hence He said (Mt 26,42): "If this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, Thy will be done."
3. For the same reason Christ suffered out of charity and out of obedience; because He fulfilled even the precepts of charity out of obedience only; and was obedient, out of love, to the Father's command.

Whether God the Father delivered up Christ to the Passion?

Objection: 1. It would seem that God the Father did not deliver up Christ to the Passion. For it is a wicked and cruel act to hand over an innocent man to torment and death. But, as it is written (Dt 32,4): "God is faithful, and without any iniquity." Therefore He did not hand over the innocent Christ to His Passion and death.
2. Further, it is not likely that a man be given over to death by himself and by another also. But Christ gave Himself up for us, as it is written (Is 53,12): "He hath delivered His soul unto death." Consequently it does not appear that God the Father delivered Him up.
3. Further, Judas is held to be guilty because he betrayed Christ to the Jews, according to Jn 6,71: "One of you is a devil," alluding to Judas, who was to betray Him. The Jews are likewise reviled for delivering Him up to Pilate; as we read in Jn 18,35: "Thy own nation, and the chief priests have delivered Thee up to me." Moreover, as is related in Jn 19,16: Pilate "delivered Him to them to be crucified"; and according to 2Co 6,14: there is no "participation of justice with injustice." It seems, therefore, that God the Father did not deliver up Christ to His Passion.

On the contrary It is written (Rm 8,32): "God hath not spared His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all."
I answer that As observed above (Article [2]), Christ suffered voluntarily out of obedience to the Father. Hence in three respects God the Father did deliver up Christ to the Passion. In the first way, because by His eternal will He preordained Christ's Passion for the deliverance of the human race, according to the words of Isaias (53:6): "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquities of us all"; and again (Is 53,10): "The Lord was pleased to bruise Him in infirmity." Secondly, inasmuch as, by the infusion of charity, He inspired Him with the will to suffer for us; hence we read in the same passage: "He was offered because it was His own will" (Is 53,7). Thirdly, by not shielding Him from the Passion, but abandoning Him to His persecutors: thus we read (Mt 27,46) that Christ, while hanging upon the cross, cried out: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" because, to wit, He left Him to the power of His persecutors, as Augustine says (Ep. cxl).

Reply to Objection: 1. It is indeed a wicked and cruel act to hand over an innocent man to torment and to death against his will. Yet God the Father did not so deliver up Christ, but inspired Him with the will to suffer for us. God's "severity" (Rm 11,22) is thereby shown, for He would not remit sin without penalty: and the Apostle indicates this when (Rm 8,32) he says: "God spared not even His own Son." Likewise His "goodness" (Rm 11,22) shines forth, since by no penalty endured could man pay Him enough satisfaction: and the Apostle denotes this when he says: "He delivered Him up for us all": and, again (Rm 3,25): "Whom"---that is to say, Christ---God "hath proposed to be a propitiation through faith in His blood."
2. Christ as God delivered Himself up to death by the same will and action as that by which the Father delivered Him up; but as man He gave Himself up by a will inspired of the Father. Consequently there is no contrariety in the Father delivering Him up and in Christ delivering Himself up.
3. The same act, for good or evil, is judged differently, accordingly as it proceeds from a different source. The Father delivered up Christ, and Christ surrendered Himself, from charity, and consequently we give praise to both: but Judas betrayed Christ from greed, the Jews from envy, and Pilate from worldly fear, for he stood in fear of Caesar; and these accordingly are held guilty.

Summa Th. III EN Qu.46 a.9