The Apostles' Creed: Jesus Christ, Crucified

The Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.


The Word

1 Corinthians 1:21–25 (CSB) For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of what is preached. For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

The Belief

was crucified, died, and was buried.

Here is the summation of what it means for the crucified, death, and burial of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:1–11 (CSB)
1 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply?

2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

4 Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection.

6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin,

7 since a person who has died is freed from sin.

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him,

9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over him.

10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Or to put it in one line:

Matthew 1:21 (CSB) She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Not when Christ lived on the earth. Not when he was resurrected. But Christ, Son of God, who is God, died on that cross in Golgotha, that was the precise moment that the sins for his people--past, present, and future--were all taken away forever. And therefore his people, that's you and me, were made righteous in the sight of God.

Hebrews 9:22 (CSB) According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Make no mistake. God doesn't forgive sin because he says, "Your sins are forgiven--go and sin no more" like some kind of magic spell hocus pocus.

For the forgiveness of sins, there must be the shedding of blood. Without the shedding of blood--without a death for the punishment of sins--there is no forgiveness of sin.

But here's the thing. If I died then I am still not forgiven. My death means nothing towards my holiness and righteousness before God because my life is marked with sin, wickedness and iniquity. I know this because I have broken at least one of God's commands. God's law is holy. We don't get to pick and choose which commands to follow because his law is wholly holy or not holy at all.

James 2:10 (CSB) For whoever keeps the entire law, and yet stumbles at one point, is guilty of breaking it all.

But because I am in him and he is in me, my sins were placed on the cross more than 2,000 years ago.

Romans 5:8 (CSB) But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I am saved by Christ. I was saved 2,000 years ago. And if Ephesians 1, Romans 8, and the Gospel of John stands correct, then I was saved before Genesis 1:1:

Ephesians 1:4-6 (CSB) For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One.

Upon the cross, where Jesus died, I am made alive, forgiven of all my sins, my the debt and my obligations stripped away, and every single opposition that kept me from God died on that day and brought me into the family of God forever.

Colossians 2:13-15 (CSB) And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in him.

Let Charles Spurgeon exposit this text:

Let us muse upon the fact that Jesus was conducted without the gates of the city. It was the common place of death. That little rising ground, which perhaps was called Golgotha, the place of a skull, from its somewhat resembling the crown of a man's skull, was the common place of execution. It was one of Death's castles; here he stored his gloomiest trophies; he was the grim lord of that stronghold. Our great hero, the destroyer of Death, bearded the lion in his den, slew the monster in his own castle, and dragged the dragon captive from his own den. Methinks Death thought it a splendid triumph when he saw the Master impaled and bleeding in the dominions of destruction; little did he know that the grave was to be rifled, and himself destroyed, by that crucified Son of man.

Charles Spurgeon. The Procession of Sorrow. Sermon 497. March 1, 1863.

For my sake, I belong to Christ because he died for me:

Galatians 2:20 (CSB) I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

He descended into hell.

To save his people, Christ on the cross was done. But to redeem all of creation aside those who would not trust and obey including Satan and his demons. One last step must take place.

Hosea 13:14 (CSB) I will ransom them from the power of Sheol. I will redeem them from death. Death, where are your barbs? Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.

Psalms 24:7-10 (CSB)
Lift up your heads, you gates!
Rise up, ancient doors!
Then the King of glory will come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates!
Rise up, ancient doors!
Then the King of glory will come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD of Armies,
he is the King of glory. Selah

Acts 2:24 (CSB) God raised him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by death.

Ephesians 4:9-10 (CSB) But what does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower parts of the earth? The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things.

Revelation 1:17-18 (CSB) When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look — I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Shall what beheld Christ since he has done everything--fixed everything once broken by the first Adam?

Daniel 7:9-14 (CSB) “As I kept watching,
thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was white like snow,
and the hair of his head like whitest wool.
His throne was flaming fire;
its wheels were blazing fire.
A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from his presence.
Thousands upon thousands served him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was convened,
and the books were opened.

“I watched, then, because of the sound of the arrogant words the horn was speaking. As I continued watching, the beast was killed and its body destroyed and given over to the burning fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was removed, but an extension of life was granted to them for a certain period of time. I continued watching in the night visions,
and suddenly one like a son of man
was coming with the clouds of heaven.

He approached the Ancient of Days
and was escorted before him.
He was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
so that those of every people,
nation, and language
should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that will not pass away,
and his kingdom is one
that will not be destroyed.

From the decree and the sovereign grace of the Father by the power of the Almighty Spirit, all authority and dominion and power and honor has been given to Christ our Savior. That is why we call him King of kings and Lord of lords.

Philippians 2:5-11 (CSB)
Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,
who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be exploited.
Instead he emptied himself
by assuming the form of a servant,
taking on the likeness of humanity.
And when he had come as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death —
even to death on a cross.
For this reason God highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow —
in heaven and on earth
and under the earth —
and every tongue will confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.