Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Crux of the Christian Faith

He is Risen!

What is expressed in these few words is the very crux of the Christian faith. One may debate exactly what one means by this affirmation - how he is risen, in what sort of body, and so forth - but without the resurrection of Jesus there is not much to Christianity. It becomes merely one more probable philosophy among others. The teachings of Jesus are good, but by themselves they are no more than that. Loving one's neighbor is always good, but without the resurrection it is little more than a helpful practice. Going to church together may keep the family intact, but without the resurrection the church itself cannot hold together. ...

The center of what the Creed says about Jesus is the resurrection. The resurrection is not just God's affirmation that this one who was crucified is indeed God's Son. It is not just a final miracle among many showing the power and authority of Jesus. It is the very heart of the gospel! ...

Since the early Middle Ages, Christians have dwelt so much on the cross and the suffering of Christ that the message of his victory has been eclipsed. Jesus Christ is not only the victim of Good Friday; he is also the victor of Easter Sunday! The one we follow and serve is not only the crucified One; he is also the risen One. HE is the victor over death and evil, and it is in his victory that we too are victors.

Justo L. González, The Apostles' Creed for Today (Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), pp. 54, 55, 56-57.

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