For an introduction to the series, read this.
Today we come to the last line of the Apostles’ Creed:
Memorization for the Week
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. The third day he rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there 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 the life everlasting. Amen.
Thoughts for Discussion with Children
Have you ever wondered why Jesus’ disciples (especially Thomas) had such a hard time believing that he had been raised from the dead until they saw him? Part of the reason was because they had no idea that this was how the story was supposed to go. The Jews who lived at that time believed that a resurrection would happen, but they thought it would be a resurrection of all people at the end of the world. At that time, when all the dead were raised, God would judge them and divide between his people and those who were not his people, welcoming his people into his kingdom and sending the unrighteous away from him to eternal punishment. So they were expecting the resurrection of all people at the end of the story. That’s why they had trouble taking in the fact that God had raised one person (Jesus) from the dead in the middle of the story.
But our problem is just the opposite. We have no problem believing that God raised one person (Jesus) in the middle of the story. We don’t talk as much about the fact that God is going to raise all people at the end of the story. But the Bible does talk about this, and the Creed rightly includes it as a teaching from the Bible. The truth is, we need to think of those two things–the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of all people–as being connected.
Paul explains it like this in 1 Corinthians 15: he says that the resurrection of Jesus in the middle of the story is really just the beginning of the resurrection of all of God’s people. In other words, the reason we will be raised from the dead to have eternal life is because Jesus has already been raised, and what is true of him is (and will become) true of all who belong to him. What that means for you, if you are a believer in Jesus, is that death is not a big deal anymore. Jesus has already overcome it, and that guarantees that you will too. Your greatest hope is that one day you will be raised from the dead, never to die again (just like Jesus!) and live with him in a new world forever.
Set your hope on that day, not on this world. This world is full of troubles, and nothing from this world will last. If the Apostles’ Creed teaches you anything, it teaches you to put all of your hope in Jesus.
Reading for the Week: John 20-21; 1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 21.