Sunday, October 16, 2011

Apostles Creed: Part 2

Note:  I have decided to combine two parts of the Apostles Creed.  I have skipped over the “he descended into hell” part, but that is only temporary.  I’ll get there next. 

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried…  On the third day He rose again from the dead.  

I am not usually this forward with what I believe.  I think if people get to know me they will see that I believe in Christ, so I don’t feel the need to profess that part of me very often.  Let me take this time to do that though.  I do, in fact believe in Jesus. 

That being said, I’m not 100% sure why Jesus’ virgin birth matters in the scheme of things.  I mean, would the work on the cross be undone if Jesus was actually Joseph’s biological son?  I don’t know.  I suppose it would make a difference.

I mean, we are all children of God (1 John 3:1), but we are also imperfect.  We are unholy*, and that leads to us being part of the dead.  (Ephesians 2:1)  So, here is my question; how can the dead bring back the dead?  They can’t.  This is why the virgin birth is important.  Because Jesus is God’s “biological” child, then he is part of the living not the dead. 

Now, if you have grown up in the church at all, the next part of the creed is very familiar.  Jesus was crucified on the Good Friday, and came back to life on Easter Sunday.  This sounds incredible and hard to believe when you think about it.  Short of instances in Hollywood, how often do you see someone come back from the dead?  Even with our advances in medicine, I have never heard of someone coming back to life after having been buried for three days. 

Well, that’s not entirely true.  There is Lazarus.  Lazarus died before Jesus made it to his house.  When Jesus accompanied Mary and Martha to the grave, Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away from Lazarus’ grave.  Martha protested saying that Lazarus had been dead for four days and that the stench was going to be overwhelming.  In the end, Jesus called Lazarus back from the dead and Lazarus came back to life. 

The precedent of God bringing someone back from the dead is there in Lazarus.  The difference between Lazarus and Jesus is the same between the opening act and the main event.  Lazarus’ restoration was meant to show people who Jesus really was.  Jesus’ death and resurrection served the same purpose, but also to restore human kind as well.

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (John 10:10)  In his death and, more importantly resurrection, we are able to more than just survive; we can thrive. 

One of my biggest pet-peeves is the way Christians focus so much on the death of Christ.  Without the resurrection, his death would have meant nothing.  Jesus would have just been another Jew the Romans wrongfully crucified.  It is only in his resurrection that we know who he is. 

So there you have it.  I may not be very forthcoming with my believe using my words, I still have laid out part of what I believe.  I hope people can see my belief in the way that I live, but I feel it may be necessary to say it sometimes. 
*I really dislike the word sin, because of how often it is used in the Christian culture.  We use it to judge those we disagree with and rarely use it in a self-reflective way.

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