Who Was Conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate; Was Crucified, Died and Was Buried
“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”
Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
The Creed affirms, Jesus Christ “suffered under Pontius Pilate.” But didn’t Pilate try to do the right thing in releasing Jesus, in whom he found no fault? He even tried to wash his hands of guilt, blaming it on the people. Yet Pilate is forever enshrined as a villain. Of the three human beings named in the Creed, Pontius Pilate is the designated bad guy. (Though it’s about twenty clicks beyond ironic, another Roman, one of Pilate’s henchmen, makes the creedal claim at the cross of Jesus, “Truly this man was the son of God.”)
Why do you think Pilate gets all the credit in the creed? What are the implications of this? Ponder this: Though Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, it was our sin that brought about his suffering.
It was by surrendering to death the body which He had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from every stain, that He forthwith abolished death for His human brethren by the offering of the equivalent. For naturally, since the Word of God was above all, when He offered His own temple and bodily instrument as a substitute for the life of all, He fulfilled in death all that was required.
—From On the Incarnation
Express your questions, doubts, curiosities, and conundrums.
Write any fresh affirmation stirring in your heart and mind from today.
Now affirm the Apostles’ Creed aloud:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord . . .
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