This is part of a series of reflections on the Apostles’ Creed
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, dead, and buried.
He descended into hell,
The third day, He rose from the dead.
He ascended into heaven,
And sitting on the right hand of God the Father almighty
from thence He shall come to judge the quick 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.
Isaiah made many prophesies about the Messiah. One however, is particularly alarming:
“Yet, It was the will of the Lord to crush him
he has put him to grief”
This causes us to wonder why. Why does the Lord send the Christ and then “crush him?”
The answer goes all the way back to the beginning. Well, almost the beginning. It goes back to that moment when humanity determined that we wanted to know what God knows, rather than to rely on God. Let us see for ourselves! We liked what we saw. We saw and took.
And the fall of man, brought the curse of sin. All manner of nature became broken, and what was created for our pleasure became wrought with grief.
Right then and there, God announced that He would set things right.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
In other words, someone would be born into the world that would destroy sin and its curse. That redemption would come through suffering.
The rest of the Old Testament points to this. At the passover, a beloved lamb dies but the people in the house are spared. In the tabernacle, an offering is made every year for atonement, and that offering is death. Jesus even told them that he was manna; food from heaven. His followers must live at his expense.
When the time came, the tragedy of injustice caused even nature itself to react. Yet, it was God’s will for this tragedy to take place. It was indeed unfair, for in that moment on the cross, all of my sin was placed on someone else. At the cross I find that I do not get what I deserve. I trade my sin for Christ’s righteousness. It was not just the Christ, but every transgression I ever committed or will commit was crucified. That sin was dead, buried, setting the stage for creation to begin anew.
This is part 3 of Reflections on the Apostle's Creed. Be sure to also see Part 1 and Part 2
Having made the brave choice to believe in God, and then acknoweledged him as that Father of all Fathers, that One who may know me more intimately than anyone else possibly is able, I now must consider another atributre of God. Now I must consider that He is the Creator.
A few years ago, I visited the Chicago Art Institute. I have never been the kind of person that spend a lot of time in Art museums. I appreciate art, yes, but it has never captured my attention. At least is had not until that day. The Van Gogh room changed everything for me. To see his work in person made a profound impact. Much has been said of Van Gogh. Some say he was a madman. Others say he forsook the powerful life of a clergyman in order to live among the poor. All I know of him is what I see in his work. There is passion there. That is evident by the sheer amount of pain on the canvas. I cannot fathom that he ever considered a work finished. I imagine that he painted and painted, always creating, always striving for that perfect image he had in his mind. Such it is to be a creator.
It is easy enough to believe that God is creative. If I bear even a broken image of him, then the fact that I want to create things, to write songs, to tell stories, to share poetry suggests something about his nature. All humanity has this innate love of creating. There is a satisfaction like no other than to be able to say, "I imade this." I cannot help but to think I inherited this creative nature.
However, it is not enough to suggest that God is creative. In the Apostles' Creed, I now come to a place where I affirm that not only has He created, but that He is the creator of all things. For there is nothing that exisits outside of Heaven and Earth except for God Himself. The natural world, all I know of it, all I do not know, and all that is unknowable is within his handiwork.
"I made the earth
and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded all their host." Isaiah 45:12, ESV
Consider this claim. As far as the heavens stretch (infinite), God has created and commanded. This claim is made in the context of the the LORD using for all accounts, an unbeliever, to deliver His people. God reminds his prophet Isaiah that no one is outside of his creation that He cannot command and use.
This claim that God created Heaven and Earth, is far more than just a creation myth. All religions have creation myths and most are satisfied with the notion that "my god created me, and your god created you." But this claim is larger. This claim is that God created all things. He created the known, the unknown, and even the unkowable. He created those who do not claim Him. Nothing is beyond his inherint authority as Creator.
And yet, in all this, He created man on it. The Father Almighty has chosen to place me in his creation. Not at its center. There is enough narcisism in the world without me thinking that God has made everything for me. No, He created for His own purpose, but it is enough to realize that in a work that encompasses all things, He found a place for me.
Author, Parent, Husband, Christ-follower