Faithlife Sermons

I believe in the life, death, and resurrection

Apostle's Creed  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Mark 15:9–15 NIV
“Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Mark 15:33–37 NIV
At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
Mark 16:1–7 NIV
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”
attended this AME church when I was seminary. The blood is enough.
Well, what about his life?!
“We should should not think the swift move from birth to death has an indication that what took place is of no importance/significance.”
The church’s message is much more than the creed. This framing has purposes.....
In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the only word used in connection with the entire span of Jesus’ life is “suffered.” “Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.” Who, today, notices how extraordinary this is? What a way to describe the life and ministry of a man so famous for his teachings, parables, healings, exorcisms, and other works! None of these things are even mentioned in the creeds, and very little is said of them in the various New Testament epistles. The wording of the creeds is a vivid demonstration of the early Christians’ conviction that the passion was the culmination and consummation of everything that Jesus accomplished, so as to subsume everything else in the magnitude of its significance. Yet various versions of Christianity stripped of suffering and devoid of crucifixion are more common than ever in affluent America.
Last week, fully God and fully man, comes together fully this week.
two questions I want us to try and answer in our time together today:
Why the crucifixion?
Why is the resurrection important?

Why the crucifixion?

So I wanted to press on some flat beliefs we have about the death of Christ and maybe offer to you a couple of new things that bring a fuller picture.
three bad points: (NT Wright)
1. so that we could go to heaven
2. we are all sinners
3. God had to punish us and fortunately he punished himself

He died in solidarity with humanity

The whole incarnation showed his solidarity with the human race…from a birth through suffering and in death. Jesus became one of us so that we could become like him.
Especially in suffering....
Hebrews 2:10 NIV
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.
This is an intriguing passage....another translation says that he was made perfect in suffering. This does not mean that suffering perfected him, but that they confirmed his fellowship with us in our suffering.
Lakeview this week. At least 10 kids shared some sort of suffering. One girl…I came here looking for a reason to live.
Jesus is in our suffering.

Substitutionary atonement

Sin has, then, a twofold aspect: 1. Sin is a responsible guilt for which atonement must be made. It follows that the crucifixion is understood as a sacrifice for sin. 38
Hebrews 2:9 NIV
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
This is the part of atonement that we hear all the time in evangelical church. This is the belief that Jesus stood in our place. We willfully joined in the rebellion as we chose ourselves over God and others.
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, as scripture puts it.
The story of Barrabbas, but also for the disciples that abandoned, the thief on the cross…even the enemies at the cross....Forgive them for they know not what they do.
Injustice requires justice.
The only problem here in the bible belt south is we overemphasize this and miss some of the depth that comes from the other aspects of Jesus’ death. Take for example, this theory of atonement....

Christus Victor

Sin is not just problem of us being bad people.
2. Sin is an alien power that must be driven from the field. All human beings are enslaved by this power (Rom. 3: 9; John 8: 34) and must be liberated by a greater power. The crucifixion is therefore understood to be Christ’s victory over the Powers of Sin and Death, commonly called Christus Victor. 39
Because When Jesus laid it down it was for everyone. The violence of the cross and the magnitude of the God-man of Jesus giving himself in this way so completely... speaks of the depth and the colossal weight of sin in the world. From apathy to murder. From child abuse to human trafficking. The damage in the world and in relationships.
Many interpreters have chosen to emphasize either one or the other of these, but both categories were of utmost importance to the apostles and Evangelists, and therefore are to us.
Specifically, Christus victor states that Jesus has....

He died to defeat the one who holds the power of death

Jesus death and subsequent activity, as we will see, has defeated not only personal sin, but epistemic sin, evil, and brokenness of our world.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The problem with Capital punishment. We have a weak view of sin.
In Jesus death, the victory of the source of death has been defeated. This is part of the already and not yet. Even as evil seems to persist in our world, it is like evil is scoring some touchdowns in garbage time so the scoreboard looks closer but its over. We has Christians now have power to resist and drive out this evil in anticipation of the full consummation.
Also, descended into hell.....
Ok this is where I need to stop and add another layer. Have you ever heard another line in the creed here?
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified, dead and buried, descended into hell or to the dead, then rose from the dead. The church modern has grown uneasy with this because it is a pretty weird thing for our sensibilities but it existed in the earliest forms of the creed. Based on scriptures like 1 Peter....
1 Peter 3:18–20 NIV
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
full defeat of Satan
Preaching the word to those that have come before Christ. This makes sense though....if we as evangelicals make such a big deal about profession of faith in Christ....what do you do with those who were before Jesus?
Priest goes to buy a piece of jewelry for his daughter as a graduation present. Jeweler, definitely not a Christian, asks the question…do you want one with the guy on it or without it?
With the man on it.
Have you ever thought about how peculiar it is that we put this cross everywhere and wear it? like wearing an electric chair.

Why is the resurrection important?

Now even with all that we talked about today....none of this matter if Christ is not raised. It is not complete without Jesus walking out of the grave.

“The resurrection is the public demonstration of God’s victory over sin, death, evil.”

This is the Flag planted, beachhead.
“Jesus's resurrection is the beginning of God's new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven.”
“The resurrection completes the inauguration of God's kingdom. . . . It is the decisive event demonstrating that God's kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven."
When life poured forth from the tomb, life for all poured forth.
Matthew 28:2–4 NIV
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
I wonder if in the same way that the guards were confused and shocked and wondering what could have happened to Jesus....Satan was the same. Even in Matthew the guards come up with a plan to cover it up.
This is the public demonstration of life.
and lastly....

“Resurrection is the guarantee and firstfruits of our future resurrected bodies.”

Jesus’ resurrection is the firstfruits of our own resurrection. We learn about eternal life when we see Jesus and his resurrected body. God has come for the redemption of all of us. Spirit, mind, body. Jesus is physical and can be touched. He eats. And yet there is something different about his bodily experience at this point. We could talk about this for a while, but the short of it is....
We believe in our own resurrection as well because of Jesus’ resurrection.
My baptism.
I have often regretted how weird that was. I didnt have the space to process what was happening. Early in ministry, I secretly wanted a redo. But we make baptism too much about us. Going through the waters is all about God and this work. It is our joining to him and all we have talked about here.
brought up into him. Family that comes through death, and life in the waters
The blood is still enough. And resurrected life is already here.
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