St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province

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Deinde considerandum est de sepultura Christi. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor. We have now to consider Christ's burial, concerning which there are four points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum conveniens fuerit Christum sepeliri. (1) Whether it was fitting for Christ to be buried?
Secundo, de modo sepulturae eius. (2) Concerning the manner of His burial;
Tertio, utrum corpus eius fuerit in sepulcro resolutum. (3) Whether His body was decomposed in the tomb?
Quarto, de tempore quo iacuit in sepulcro. (4) Concerning the length of time He lay in the tomb.

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Whether it was fitting for Christ to be buried?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non fuerit conveniens Christum sepeliri. De Christo enim dicitur in Psalmo, factus est sicut homo sine adiutorio, inter mortuos liber. Sed in sepulcro includuntur corpora mortuorum, quod videtur libertati esse contrarium. Ergo non videtur fuisse conveniens quod corpus Christi sepeliretur. Objection 1: It would seem unfitting for Christ to have been buried, because it is said of Him (Ps. 87:6): "He is [Vulg.: 'I am'] become as a man without help, free among the dead." But the bodies of the dead are enclosed in a tomb; which seems contrary to liberty. Therefore it does not seem fitting for Christ to have been buried.
Praeterea, nihil circa Christum fieri debuit quod non esset salutiferum nobis. Sed in nullo videtur ad salutem hominum pertinere quod Christus fuit sepultus. Ergo non fuit conveniens Christum sepeliri. Objection 2: Further, nothing should be done to Christ except it was helpful to our salvation. But Christ's burial seems in no way to be conducive to our salvation. Therefore, it was not fitting for Him to be buried.
Praeterea, inconveniens esse videtur quod Deus, qui est super caelos excelsos, in terra sepeliretur. Sed illud quod convenit corpori Christi mortuo, attribuitur Deo, ratione unionis. Ergo inconveniens videtur Christum fuisse sepultum. Objection 3: Further, it seems out of place for God who is above the high heavens to be laid in the earth. But what befalls the dead body of Christ is attributed to God by reason of the union. Therefore it appears to be unbecoming for Christ to be buried.
Sed contra est quod dominus dicit, Matth. XXVI, de muliere quae eum inunxit, opus bonum operata est in me, et postea subdit, mittens unguentum hoc in corpus meum, ad sepeliendum me fecit. On the contrary, our Lord said (Mt. 26:10) of the woman who anointed Him: "She has wrought a good work upon Me," and then He added (Mt. 26:12)---"for she, in pouring this ointment upon My body, hath done it for My burial."
Respondeo dicendum quod conveniens fuit Christum sepeliri. Primo quidem, ad comprobandum veritatem mortis, non enim aliquis in sepulcro ponitur, nisi quando iam de veritate mortis constat. Unde et Marci XV legitur quod Pilatus, antequam concederet Christum sepeliri, diligenti inquisitione cognovit eum mortuum esse. Secundo, quia per hoc quod Christus de sepulcro resurrexit, datur spes resurgendi per ipsum his qui sunt in sepulcro, secundum illud Ioan. V, omnes qui in monumentis sunt, audient vocem filii Dei, et qui audierint, vivent. Tertio, ad exemplum eorum qui per mortem Christi spiritualiter moriuntur peccatis, qui scilicet absconduntur a conturbatione hominum. Unde dicitur Coloss. III, mortui estis, et vita vestra abscondita est cum Christo in Deo. Unde et baptizati, qui per mortem Christi moriuntur peccatis, quasi consepeliuntur Christo per immersionem, secundum illud Rom. VI, consepulti sumus cum Christo per Baptismum in mortem. I answer that, It was fitting for Christ to be buried. First of all, to establish the truth of His death; for no one is laid in the grave unless there be certainty of death. Hence we read (Mk. 15:44,45), that Pilate by diligent inquiry assured himself of Christ's death before granting leave for His burial. Secondly, because by Christ's rising from the grave, to them who are in the grave, hope is given of rising again through Him, according to Jn. 5:25,28: "All that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God... and they that hear shall live." Thirdly, as an example to them who dying spiritually to their sins are hidden away "from the disturbance of men" (Ps. 30:21). Hence it is said (Col. 3:3): "You are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Wherefore the baptized likewise who through Christ's death die to sins, are as it were buried with Christ by immersion, according to Rm. 6:4: "We are buried together with Christ by baptism into death."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Christus etiam sepultus ostendit se inter mortuos liberum fuisse, in hoc quod per inclusionem sepulcri non potuit impediri quin ab eo resurgendo exiverit. Reply to Objection 1: Though buried, Christ proved Himself "free among the dead": since, although imprisoned in the tomb, He could not be hindered from going forth by rising again.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Christi mors efficienter operata est nostram salutem, ita etiam et eius sepultura. Unde Hieronymus dicit, super Marc., sepultura Christi resurgimus. Et Isaiae LIII, super illud, dabit impios pro sepultura, dicit Glossa, idest, gentes, quae sine pietate erant, Deo patrique dabit, quia mortuus et sepultus eos acquisivit. Reply to Objection 2: As Christ's death wrought our salvation, so likewise did His burial. Hence Jerome says (Super Marc. xiv): "By Christ's burial we rise again"; and on Is. 53:9: "He shall give the ungodly for His burial," a gloss says: "He shall give to God and the Father the Gentiles who were without godliness, because He purchased them by His death and burial."
Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut dicitur in quodam sermone Concilii Ephesini, nihil horum quae salvant homines, iniuriam Deo facit, quae ostendunt eum, non passibilem, sed clementem. Et in alio sermone eiusdem Concilii legitur, nihil putat iniuriam Deus quod est occasio salutis hominibus. Tu quidem non ita vilem Dei naturam arbitreris, tanquam quae aliquando subiecta possit esse iniuriis. Reply to Objection 3: As is said in a discourse made at the Council of Ephesus [*P. iii, cap. 9], "Nothing that saves man is derogatory to God; showing Him to be not passible, but merciful": and in another discourse of the same Council [*P. iii, cap. 10]: "God does not repute anything as an injury which is an occasion of men's salvation. Thus thou shalt not deem God's Nature to be so vile, as though It may sometimes be subjected to injuries."

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Whether Christ was buried in a becoming manner?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur non convenienti modo Christum fuisse sepultum. Sepultura enim eius respondet morti ipsius. Sed Christus fuit passus mortem abiectissimam, secundum illud Sap. II, morte turpissima condemnemus eum. Ergo inconveniens videtur fuisse quod Christo exhibita fuit honorabilis sepultura, inquantum a magnatibus fuit tumulatus, scilicet a Ioseph ab Arimathaea, qui erat nobilis decurio, ut habetur Marci XV, et a Nicodemo, qui erat princeps Iudaeorum, ut habetur Ioan. III. Objection 1: It would seem that Christ was buried in an unbecoming manner. For His burial should be in keeping with His death. But Christ underwent a most shameful death, according to Wis. 2:20: "Let us condemn Him to a most shameful death." It seems therefore unbecoming for honorable burial to be accorded to Christ, inasmuch as He was buried by men of position---namely, by Joseph of Arimathea, who was "a noble counselor," to use Mark's expression (Mk. 15:43), and by Nicodemus, who was "a ruler of the Jews," as John states (Jn. 3:1).
Praeterea, circa Christum non debuit aliquid fieri quod esset superfluitatis exemplum. Videtur autem superfluitatis fuisse quod ad sepeliendum Christum Nicodemus venit ferens mixturam myrrhae et aloes quasi libras centum, ut dicitur Ioan. XIX, praesertim cum mulier praevenerit corpus eius ungere in sepulturam, ut dicitur Marci XIV. Non ergo fuit hoc convenienter circa Christum factum. Objection 2: Further, nothing should be done to Christ which might set an example of wastefulness. But it seems to savor of waste that in order to bury Christ Nicodemus came "bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes about a hundred pounds weight," as recorded by John (19:39), especially since a woman came beforehand to anoint His body for the burial, as Mark relates (Mk. 14:28). Consequently, this was not done becomingly with regard to Christ.
Praeterea, non est conveniens ut aliquod factum sibi ipsi dissonum sit. Sed sepultura Christi fuit simplex ex una parte, quia scilicet Ioseph involvit corpus eius in sindone munda, ut dicitur Matth. XXVII, non autem auro aut gemmis aut serico, ut Hieronymus ibidem dicit, ex alia vero parte videtur fuisse ambitiosa, inquantum eum cum aromatibus sepelierunt. Ergo videtur non fuisse conveniens modus sepulturae Christi. Objection 3: Further, it is not becoming for anything done to be inconsistent with itself. But Christ's burial on the one hand was simple, because "Joseph wrapped His body in a clean linen cloth," as is related by Matthew (27:59), "but not with gold or gems, or silk," as Jerome observes: yet on the other hand there appears to have been some display, inasmuch as they buried Him with fragrant spices (Jn. 19:40). Consequently, the manner of Christ's burial does not seem to have been seemly.
Praeterea, quaecumque scripta sunt, et praecipue de Christo, ad nostram doctrinam scripta sunt, ut dicitur Rom. XV. Sed quaedam scribuntur in Evangeliis circa sepulcrum quae in nullo videntur ad nostram doctrinam pertinere, sicut quod fuit sepultus in horto, quod in monumento alieno, et novo, et exciso in petra. Inconveniens igitur fuit modus sepulturae Christi. Objection 4: Further, "What things soever were written," especially of Christ, "were written for our learning," according to Rm. 15:4. But some of the things written in the Gospels touching Christ's burial in no wise seem to pertain to our instruction---as that He was buried "in a garden... "in a tomb which was not His own, which was "new," and "hewed out in a rock." Therefore the manner of Christ's burial was not becoming.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Isaiae XI, et erit sepulcrum eius gloriosum. On the contrary, It is written (Is. 11:10): "And His sepulchre shall be glorious."
Respondeo dicendum quod modus sepulturae Christi ostenditur esse conveniens quantum ad tria. Primo quidem, quantum ad confirmandam fidem mortis et resurrectionis ipsius. Secundo, ad commendandam pietatem eorum qui eum sepelierunt. Unde Augustinus dicit, in I de Civ. Dei, laudabiliter commemorantur in Evangelio qui corpus eius, de cruce acceptum, diligenter atque honorifice tegendum sepeliendumque curarunt. Tertio, quantum ad mysterium, per quod informantur illi qui Christo consepeliuntur in mortem. I answer that, The manner of Christ's burial is shown to be seemly in three respects. First, to confirm faith in His death and resurrection. Secondly, to commend the devotion of those who gave Him burial. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei i): "The Gospel mentions as praiseworthy the deed of those who received His body from the cross, and with due care and reverence wrapped it up and buried it." Thirdly, as to the mystery whereby those are molded who "are buried together with Christ into death" (Rm. 6:4).
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, circa mortem Christi, commendantur patientia et constantia ipsius qui mortem est passus, et tanto magis, quanto mors fuit abiectior. Sed in sepultura honorifica consideratur virtus morientis, qui, contra intentionem occidentium, etiam mortuus honorifice sepelitur, et praefiguratur devotio fidelium, qui erant Christo mortuo servituri. Reply to Objection 1: With regard to Christ's death, His patience and constancy in enduring death are commended, and all the more that His death was the more despicable: but in His honorable burial we can see the power of the dying Man, who, even in death, frustrated the intent of His murderers, and was buried with honor: and thereby is foreshadowed the devotion of the faithful who in the time to come were to serve the dead Christ.
Ad secundum dicendum quod in hoc quod Evangelista dicit quod sepelierunt eum sicut mos est Iudaeis sepelire, sicut Augustinus dicit, super Ioan., admonuit in huiusmodi officiis quae mortuis exhibentur, morem cuiusque gentis esse servandum. Erat autem illius gentis consuetudo ut mortuorum corpora variis aromatibus condirentur, ut diutius servarentur illaesa. Unde et in III de Doct. Christ. dicitur quod in omnibus talibus non usus rerum, sed libido utentis in culpa est. Et postea subdit, quod in aliis personis plerumque flagitium est, in divina vel prophetica persona magnae cuiusdam rei signum est. Myrrha enim et aloes, propter sui amaritudinem, significant poenitentiam, per quam aliquis in seipso Christum conservat absque corruptione peccati. Odor autem aromatum significat bonam famam. Reply to Objection 2: On that expression of the Evangelist (Jn. 19:40) that they buried Him "as the manner of the Jews is to bury," Augustine says (Tract. in Joan. cxx): "He admonishes us that in offices of this kind which are rendered to the dead, the custom of each nation should be observed." Now it was the custom of this people to anoint bodies with various spices in order the longer to preserve them from corruption [*Cf. Catena Aurea in Joan. xix]. Accordingly it is said in De Doctr. Christ. iii that "in all such things, it is not the use thereof, but the luxury of the user that is at fault"; and, farther on: "what in other persons is frequently criminal, in a divine or prophetic person is a sign of something great." For myrrh and aloes by their bitterness denote penance, by which man keeps Christ within himself without the corruption of sin; while the odor of the ointments expresses good report.
Ad tertium dicendum quod myrrha et aloes adhibebantur corpori Christi ut immune a corruptione servaretur, quod videbatur ad quandam necessitatem pertinere. Unde datur nobis exemplum ut licite possimus aliquibus pretiosis uti medicinaliter pro necessitate nostri corporis conservandi. Sed involutio corporis pertinebat ad solam quandam decentiam honestatis. Et in talibus, simplicibus debemus esse contenti. Per hoc tamen significabatur, ut Hieronymus dicit, quod ille in sindone munda involvit Iesum, qui mente pura eum susceperit. Et hinc, ut Beda dicit, super Marc., Ecclesiae mos obtinuit ut sacrificium altaris non in serico neque in panno tincto, sed in lino terreno celebretur, sicut corpus domini est in sindone munda sepultum. Reply to Objection 3: Myrrh and aloes were used on Christ's body in order that it might be preserved from corruption, and this seemed to imply a certain need (in the body): hence the example is set us that we may lawfully use precious things medicinally, from the need of preserving our body. But the wrapping up of the body was merely a question of becoming propriety. And we ought to content ourselves with simplicity in such things. Yet, as Jerome observes, by this act was denoted that "he swathes Jesus in clean linen, who receives Him with a pure soul." Hence, as Bede says on Mark 15:46: "The Church's custom has prevailed for the sacrifice of the altar to be offered not upon silk, nor upon dyed cloth, but on linen of the earth; as the Lord's body was buried in a clean winding-sheet."
Ad quartum dicendum quod Christus sepelitur in horto, ad significandum quod per mortem et sepulturam ipsius liberamur a morte, quam incurrimus per peccatum Adae in horto Paradisi commissum. Ideo autem salvator in aliena ponitur sepultura, ut Augustinus dicit, in quodam sermone, quia pro aliorum moriebatur salute, sepulcrum autem mortis est habitaculum. Per hoc etiam considerari potest paupertatis abundantia pro nobis susceptae. Nam qui domum in vita non habuit, post mortem quoque in alieno sepulcro reconditur, et nudus existens a Ioseph operitur. In novo autem ponitur monumento, ut Hieronymus dicit, ne, post resurrectionem, ceteris corporibus remanentibus, surrexisse alius fingeretur. Potest autem et novum sepulcrum Mariae virginalem uterum demonstrare. Per hoc etiam datur intelligi quod per Christi sepulturam omnes innovamur, morte et corruptione destructa. In monumento autem deciso in petra conditus est, ut Hieronymus dicit, ne, si ex multis lapidibus aedificatum fuisset, tumuli fundamentis suffossis, sublatus furto diceretur. Unde et saxum magnum quod appositum fuit, ostendit non absque auxilio plurimorum sepulcrum potuisse reserari. Si etiam sepultus fuisset in terra, dicere poterant, suffoderunt terram, et furati sunt eum, sicut Augustinus dicit. Significatur autem mystice per hoc, ut Hilarius dicit, quod per apostolorum doctrinam in pectus duritiae gentilis, quodam doctrinae opere excisum, Christus infertur, rude scilicet ac novum, nullo antea ingressu timori Dei pervium. Et quia nihil oporteat praeter eum in pectora nostra penetrare, lapis ostio advolvitur. Et, sicut Origenes dicit, non fortuito scriptum est, Ioseph involvit corpus Christi sindone munda, et posuit in monumento novo, et quod advolvit lapidem magnum, quia omnia quae sunt circa corpus Iesu, munda sunt, et nova, et valde magna. Reply to Objection 4: Christ was buried "in a garden" to express that by His death and burial we are delivered from the death which we incur through Adam's sin committed in the garden of paradise. But for this "was our Lord buried in the grave of a stranger," as Augustine says in a sermon (ccxlviii), "because He died for the salvation of others; and a sepulchre is the abode of death." Also the extent of the poverty endured for us can be thereby estimated: since He who while living had no home, after death was laid to rest in another's tomb, and being naked was clothed by Joseph. But He is laid in a "new" sepulchre, as Jerome observes on Mt. 27:60, "lest after the resurrection it might be pretended that someone else had risen, while the other corpses remained. The new sepulchre can also denote Mary's virginal womb." And furthermore it may be understood that all of us are renewed by Christ's burial; death and corruption being destroyed. Moreover, He was buried in a monument "hewn out of a rock," as Jerome says on Mt. 27:64, "lest, if it had been constructed of many stones, they might say that He was stolen away by digging away the foundations of the tomb." Hence the "great stone" which was set shows that "the tomb could not be opened except by the help of many hands. Again, if He had been buried in the earth, they might have said: They dug up the soil and stole Him away," as Augustine observes [*Cf. Catena Aurea]. Hilary (Comment. in Matth. cap. xxxiii) gives the mystical interpretation, saying that "by the teaching of the apostles, Christ is borne into the stony heart of the gentile; for it is hewn out by the process of teaching, unpolished and new, untenanted and open to the entrance of the fear of God. And since naught besides Him must enter into our hearts, a great stone is rolled against the door." Furthermore, as Origen says (Tract. xxxv in Matth.): "It was not written by hazard: 'Joseph wrapped Christ's body in a clean winding-sheet, and placed it in a new monument,'" and that "'he rolled a great stone,' because all things around the body of Jesus are clean, and new, and exceeding great."

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Whether Christ's body was reduced to dust in the tomb?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod corpus Christi in sepulcro fuerit incineratum. Sicut enim mors est poena peccati primi parentis, ita etiam incineratio, dictum est enim primo homini post peccatum, pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris, ut dicitur Gen. III. Sed Christus mortem sustinuit ut nos a morte liberaret. Ergo etiam incinerari debuit corpus eius, ut nos ab incineratione liberaret. Objection 1: It would seem that Christ's body was reduced to dust in the tomb. For just as man dies in punishment of his first parent's sin, so also does he return to dust, since it was said to the first man after his sin: "Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return" (Gn. 3:19). But Christ endured death in order to deliver us from death. Therefore His body ought to be made to return to dust, so as to free us from the same penalty.
Praeterea, corpus Christi fuit eiusdem naturae cum corporibus nostris. Sed corpora nostra statim post mortem resolvi incipiunt et ad putrefactionem disponuntur, quia, exhalante calido naturali, supervenit calor extraneus, qui putrefactionem causat. Ergo videtur quod similiter in corpore Christi acciderit. Objection 2: Further, Christ's body was of the same nature as ours. But directly after death our bodies begin to dissolve into dust, and are disposed towards putrefaction, because when the natural heat departs, there supervenes heat from without which causes corruption. Therefore it seems that the same thing happened to Christ's body.
Praeterea, sicut dictum est, Christus sepeliri voluit ut daret hominibus spem resurgendi etiam de sepulcris. Ergo etiam incinerationem pati debuit, ut spem resurgendi incineratis post incinerationem daret. Objection 3: Further, as stated above (Article [1]), Christ willed to be buried in order to furnish men with the hope of rising likewise from the grave. Consequently, He sought likewise to return to dust so as to give to them who have returned to dust the hope of rising from the dust.
Sed contra est quod in Psalmo dicitur, non dabis sanctum tuum videre corruptionem, quod Damascenus exponit, in III libro, de corruptione quae est per resolutionem in elementa. On the contrary, It is written (Ps. 15:10): "Nor wilt Thou suffer Thy holy one to see corruption": and Damascene (De Fide Orth. iii) expounds this of the corruption which comes of dissolving into elements.
Respondeo dicendum quod non fuit conveniens corpus Christi putrefieri, vel quocumque modo incinerari. Quia putrefactio cuiuscumque corporis provenit ex infirmitate naturae illius corporis, quae non potest amplius corpus continere in unum. Mors autem Christi, sicut supra dictum est, non debuit esse cum infirmitate naturae, ne crederetur non esse voluntaria. Et ideo non ex morbo, sed ex passione illata voluit mori, cui se obtulit sponte. Et ideo Christus, ne mors eius naturae infirmitati adscriberetur, noluit corpus suum qualitercumque putrefieri, aut qualitercumque resolvi, sed, ad ostensionem virtutis divinae, voluit corpus illud incorruptum permanere. Unde Chrysostomus dicit quod, viventibus aliis hominibus, his scilicet qui egerunt strenue, arrident propria gesta, his autem pereuntibus, pereunt. Sed in Christo est totum contrarium, nam ante crucem, omnia sunt maesta et infirma; ut autem crucifixus est, omnia clariora sunt facta, ut noscas non purum hominem crucifixum. I answer that, It was not fitting for Christ's body to putrefy, or in any way be reduced to dust, since the putrefaction of any body comes of that body's infirmity of nature, which can no longer hold the body together. But as was said above (Question [50], Article [1], ad 2), Christ's death ought not to come from weakness of nature, lest it might not be believed to be voluntary: and therefore He willed to die, not from sickness, but from suffering inflicted on Him, to which He gave Himself up willingly. And therefore, lest His death might be ascribed to infirmity of nature, Christ did not wish His body to putrefy in any way or dissolve no matter how; but for the manifestation of His Divine power He willed that His body should continue incorrupt. Hence Chrysostom says (Cont. Jud. et Gent. quod 'Christus sit Deus') that "with other men, especially with such as have wrought strenuously, their deeds shine forth in their lifetime; but as soon as they die, their deeds go with them. But it is quite the contrary with Christ: because previous to the cross all is sadness and weakness, but as soon as He is crucified, everything comes to light, in order that you may learn it was not an ordinary man that was crucified."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Christus, cum non esset subiectus peccato, neque morti erat obnoxius neque incinerationi. Voluntarie tamen mortem sustinuit propter nostram salutem, propter rationes supra dictas. Si autem corpus eius fuisset putrefactum vel resolutum, magis hoc fuisset in detrimentum humanae salutis, dum non crederetur in eo esse virtus divina. Unde ex persona eius in Psalmo dicitur, quae utilitas in sanguine meo dum descendo in corruptionem? Quasi dicat, si corpus meum putrescat, perdetur effusi sanguinis utilitas. Reply to Objection 1: Since Christ was not subject to sin, neither was He prone to die or to return to dust. Yet of His own will He endured death for our salvation, for the reasons alleged above (Question [51], Article [1]). But had His body putrefied or dissolved, this fact would have been detrimental to man's salvation, for it would not have seemed credible that the Divine power was in Him. Hence it is on His behalf that it is written (Ps. 19:10): "What profit is there in my blood, whilst I go down to corruption?" as if He were to say: "If My body corrupt, the profit of the blood shed will be lost."
Ad secundum dicendum quod corpus Christi, quantum ad conditionem naturae passibilis, putrefactibile fuit, licet non quantum ad meritum putrefactionis, quod est peccatum. Sed virtus divina corpus Christi a putrefactione reservavit, sicut et resuscitavit a morte. Reply to Objection 2: Christ's body was a subject of corruption according to the condition of its passible nature, but not as to the deserving cause of putrefaction, which is sin: but the Divine power preserved Christ's body from putrefying, just as it raised it up from death.
Ad tertium dicendum quod Christus de sepulcro resurrexit virtute divina, quae nullis terminis coarctatur. Et ideo hoc quod a sepulcro surrexit, sufficiens argumentum fuit quod homines erant resuscitandi virtute divina non solum de sepulcris, sed etiam de quibuscumque cineribus. Reply to Objection 3: Christ rose from the tomb by Divine power, which is not narrowed within bounds. Consequently, His rising from the grave was a sufficient argument to prove that men are to be raised up by Divine power, not only from their graves, but also from any dust whatever.

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Whether Christ was in the tomb only one day and two nights?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Christus non fuerit in sepulcro solum una die et duabus noctibus. Dicit enim ipse, Matth. XII, sicut fuit Ionas in ventre ceti tribus diebus et tribus noctibus, ita filius hominis erit in corde terrae tribus diebus et tribus noctibus. Sed in corde terrae fuit in sepulcro existens. Non ergo fuit in sepulcro solum una die et duabus noctibus. Objection 1: It would seem that Christ was not in the tomb during only one day and two nights; because He said (Mt. 12:40): "As Jonas was in the whale's belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights." But He was in the heart of the earth while He was in the grave. Therefore He was not in the tomb for only one day and two nights.
Praeterea, Gregorius dicit, in homilia paschali, quod sicut Samson abstulit media nocte portas Gazae, ita Christus media nocte, auferens portas Inferni, resurrexit. Sed postquam resurrexit, non fuit in sepulcro. Ergo non fuit in sepulcro duabus noctibus integris. Objection 2: Gregory says in a Paschal Homily (Hom. xxi): "As Samson carried off the gates of Gaza during the night, even so Christ rose in the night, taking away the gates of hell." But after rising He was not in the tomb. Therefore He was not two whole nights in the grave.
Praeterea, per mortem Christi lux praevaluit tenebris. Sed nox ad tenebras pertinet, dies autem ad lucem. Ergo convenientius fuit quod corpus Christi fuerit in sepulcro duabus diebus et una nocte, quam e converso. Objection 3: Further, light prevailed over darkness by Christ's death. But night belongs to darkness, and day to light. Therefore it was more fitting for Christ's body to be in the tomb for two days and a night, rather than conversely.
Sed contra est quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in IV de Trin., a vespere sepulturae usque ad diluculum resurrectionis triginta sex horae sunt, idest, nox tota cum die tota et nocte tota. On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. iv): "There were thirty-six hours from the evening of His burial to the dawn of the resurrection, that is, a whole night with a whole day, and a whole night."
Respondeo dicendum quod ipsum tempus quo Christus in sepulcro mansit, effectum mortis eius repraesentat. Dictum est enim supra quod per mortem Christi liberati sumus a duplici morte, scilicet a morte animae et a morte corporis. Et hoc significatur per duas noctes quibus Christus in sepulcro permansit. Mors autem eius, quia non fuit ex peccato proveniens sed ex caritate suscepta, non habuit rationem noctis, sed diei. Et ideo significatur per diem integram qua Christus fuit in sepulcro. Et sic conveniens fuit quod Christus una die et duabus noctibus esset in sepulcro. I answer that, The very time during which Christ remained in the tomb shows forth the effect of His death. For it was said above (Question [50], Article [6]) that by Christ's death we were delivered from a twofold death, namely, from the death of the soul and of the body: and this is signified by the two nights during which He remained in the tomb. But since His death did not come of sin, but was endured from charity, it has not the semblance of night, but of day: consequently it is denoted by the whole day during which Christ was in the sepulchre. And so it was fitting for Christ to be in the sepulchre during one day and two nights.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro de consensu Evang., quidam, modum Scripturae nescientes, noctem voluerunt animadvertere tres illas horas, a sexta usque ad nonam, quibus sol obscuratus est; et diem, tres horas alias quibus iterum terris est redditus, idest a nona usque ad eius occasum. Sequitur enim nox futura sabbati, qua cum suo die computata, erunt iam duae noctes et duo dies. Post sabbatum autem, sequitur nox primae sabbati, idest illucescentis diei dominici, in qua tunc dominus resurrexit. Et ita adhuc non constabit ratio trium dierum et trium noctium. Restat ergo ut hoc inveniatur illo Scripturarum usitato loquendi modo quo a parte totum intelligitur, ita scilicet quod unam noctem et unam diem accipiamus pro uno die naturali. Et sic primus dies computatur ab extrema parte sui, qua Christus in sexta feria est mortuus et sepultus; secunda autem dies est integra cum viginti quatuor horis nocturnis et diurnis; nox autem sequens pertinet ad tertium diem. Sicut enim primi dies, propter futurum hominis lapsum, a luce in noctem; ita isti, propter hominis reparationem, a tenebris computantur in lucem. Reply to Objection 1: Augustine says (De Consens. Evang. iii): "Some men, ignorant of Scriptural language, wished to compute as night those three hours, from the sixth to the ninth hour, during which the sun was darkened, and as day those other three hours during which it was restored to the earth, that is, from the ninth hour until its setting: for the coming night of the Sabbath follows, and if this be reckoned with its day, there will be already two nights and two days. Now after the Sabbath there follows the night of the first day of the Sabbath, that is, of the dawning Sunday, on which the Lord rose. Even so, the reckoning of the three days and three nights will not stand. It remains then to find the solution in the customary usage of speech of the Scriptures, whereby the whole is understood from the part": so that we are able to take a day and a night as one natural day. And so the first day is computed from its ending, during which Christ died and was buried on the Friday; while the second. day is an entire day with twenty-four hours of night and day; while the night following belongs to the third day. "For as the primitive days were computed from light to night on account of man's future fall, so these days are computed from the darkness to the daylight on account of man's restoration" (De Trin. iv).
Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in IV de Trin., Christus in diluculo resurrexit, in quo aliquid lucis apparet, et adhuc tamen aliquid remanet tenebrarum noctis, unde de mulieribus dicitur, Ioan. XX, quod cum tenebrae adhuc essent, venerunt ad monumentum. Ratione ergo harum tenebrarum, Gregorius dicit Christum media nocte surrexisse, non quidem divisa nocte in duas partes aequales, sed infra illam noctem. Illud enim diluculum et pars noctis et pars diei dici potest, propter communicantiam quam habet cum utroque. Reply to Objection 2: As Augustine says (De Trin. iv; cf. De Consens. Evang. iii), Christ rose with the dawn, when light appears in part, and still some part of the darkness of the night remains. Hence it is said of the women that "when it was yet dark" they came "to the sepulchre" (Jn. 20:1). Therefore, in consequence of this darkness, Gregory says (Hom. xxi) that Christ rose in the middle of the night, not that night is divided into two equal parts, but during the night itself: for the expression "early" can be taken as partly night and partly day, from its fittingness with both.
Ad tertium dicendum quod in tantum lux in morte Christi praevaluit, quod significatur per unam diem, quod tenebras duarum noctium, idest duplicis mortis nostrae, removit, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 3: The light prevailed so far in Christ's death (which is denoted by the one day) that it dispelled the darkness of the two nights, that is, of our twofold death, as stated above.

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