Q. 37. What dost thou understand by the words, “He suffered”?
That He, all the time that He lived on earth, but especially at the end of His life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind; that so by His passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, He might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favour of God, righteousness and eternal life.
 1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:12;  1 John 2:2; Romans 3:25.
Q. 38. Why did He suffer under Pontius Pilate, as judge?
That He, being innocent, and yet condemned by a temporal judge, might thereby free us from the severe judgment of God to which we were exposed.
 Luke 23:14; John 19:4; Psalm 69:4;  Galatians 3:13–14.
Q. 39.Is there anything more in His being crucified, than if He had died some other death?
Yes [there is]; for thereby I am assured, that He took on Him the curse which lay upon me; for the death of the cross was accursed of God.
 Deuteronomy 21:23; Galatians 3:13.
Whenever we think of the Lord’s suffering, most of us would think of the events leading up to the Cross, as well as His suffering on the Cross. However, we must realise that the Lord’s suffering on our behalf did not only begin after Gethsemane. He was no doubt suffering, afflicted, and ready to die from His youth up (Ps 88:15). This is why the prophet Isaiah tells us that He would be “acquainted with grief” (Isa 53:3). The Lord is fully God, but He took on human nature, was born of a virgin and lived as man, in order to represent men. We need have no doubt that He suffered from birth, for He must have suffered the natural pangs of hunger and thirst, and sorrow, as well as constant vexation in His soul as He beheld evil in the world and experienced the effects of wicked works. For ordinary men, we may not call these suffering, but remember that the Lord was perfectly holy and righteous. He needed not to suffer the consequences of the Fall. Yet, He suffered for our sakes, that we might be reconciled to God.
Heidelberg Catechism >