Jesus’ death on the cross was a sacrifice of expiation; it makes us understand both the gravity of sin as a rebellion against God and a rejection of his love, and the marvelous saving work of Christ which was offered humanity and which has restored us to grace and therefore to participation in God’s Trinitarian life and to the inheritance of eternal happiness.

Jesus’ passion and death on the cross give us the true and definitive meaning of life where the redemption is already realized in the perspective of eternity. Just as Christ is risen, so too we will rise in glory, if we have accepted his message and mission.

Saint Pope John Paul II
General Audience, March 1, 1989