TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Today, we are continuing with the fifth message in this series as we look at the Biblical basis for the statement of faith known as the Apostles’ Creed. Let’s begin by reading a newer version of the Apostles’ Creed.
The Old Roman Form of the Apostles’ Creed reads as follows:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, who under Pontius Pilate was crucified, and buried. On the third day rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Spirit, the holy Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, the life everlasting. Amen.
Today, we are looking at the next two lines of the creed which reads: “On the third day he rose again from the dead, He ascended into Heaven.” The more recent version form of the creed adds just before that “He descended into hell.” Notice three things from the biblical foundation for this creed
1. We see the totality of Jesus’ death. Once again, we turn to I Corinthians 15:3 which tells us that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” What do we mean by the “totality” of Jesus’ death. Well, we mean simply that Jesus Christ really died. He did not swoon; He did not fake His death. He really, truly, undeniably died.
2. We see the necessity of Jesus’ resurrection. Just as Jesus had to die, Jesus had to rise from the dead. Look again at First Corinthians 15:4. The Bible says that “was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” The reliability of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son is at stake. Jesus predicted that He would rise from the dead before He died. If He did not rise from the dead, then we are in a lot of trouble.
3. We see Jesus paving a way for us. The next clause in the Apostle’ Creed simply states, “He ascended into Heaven.” After His last discussion with His disciples on earth, Acts 1:9-10 tells us that “while they [Jesus' followers] beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up…”
Each of us today have to bear our cross like Jesus did. We must bear our cross all the way to the day we die. And one day, because of Jesus’ resurrection, we will make that majestic leap from the grave to the sky where we will live with Jesus Christ forever on high.