February 10, 2010

Chapter 8 Crucified for us

For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered death and was buried.

  1. The section of the creed that deals with Christ's crucifixion is notably short - very basic.  Probably because there was no argument around it - it was a basic fact of the faith.
  2. It bears some elaboration today because there are those who deny the reality of the crucifixion and its vital work as Christ offered himself for our atonement.
  3. The doctrine of the "harrowing of hell" teaches that Jesus, while he was buried, actually descended into hell and preached to those in hell and then 'broke free', taking some souls with him. **Personally I have never read anything in the Bible that teaches this doctrine specifically and have never been part of a church that teaches it to my knowledge.
  4. Jesus' death on the cross provides salvation for sinners.
  5. Atonement means 'a covering', which Jesus' death provides for us. His blood covers us, pays out debt, our penalty due for sin.
  6. Irenaeus taught that the incarnation of Jesus was a recapitulation on behalf of sinners.  He became man in order to take man's place for the punishment of sin.
  7. Athanasius said, "...He surrendered His body to death instead of all,and offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished..."
  8. St. Anselm likened it to the payment of debt to divine honor, which was offended by sin.
  9. Romans 5 describes how Christ is the second Adam who brings life instead of death.
  10. Divine love is the motivation for the atonement. Such amazing love - so powerful and perfect - we can scarcely comprehend it.
  11. Verses:
    Isaiah 53:5   But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
    Galatians 2:20   I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
    Ephesians 1:3-8   Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.