PFOA Apostles' Creed: [Jesus Christ] suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried:

Read Luke 23:1-25

Very often at Good Friday services, the topic of the sermon will be on the suffering of Christ at the hands of theJewish and Roman authorities culminating with His crucifixion on the cross. Some preachers dwell on the physical suffering, drawing in graphic detail the pain inflicted by the whip, the thorny crown and the nails being hammered through His hands and feet. If your imagination fails, you can get help from the Jesus Film.

But can we truly comprehend His suffering? He suffered the penalty of all our sins, bore our griefs, settled the wages the of sin that is our due. He paid the debt of every sinner that enters by faith into His Kingdom, past, present and future. That's a very large number, not infinite, for God knows those that are His. And Jesus is able to do that because He is God infinite.

But why did Jesus have to die? When the Revised Standard Version (RSV) was published there was a debate about its translation of Rom 3:25, 1 John 2:2, 4:10. The RSV used "expiation" whereas the KJV used "propitiation". Lookup these verses to see how the version you use translate them.

Among Almighty God's many attributes are: He is just, holy, merciful, gracious and full of love. Because God is holy, sin is an abomination in God's sight. Because God is just, sin, which is the transgression of God's law cannot go unpunished. The punishment for sin, which is death, must be carried out. The sinner, whom God loves, must be cleansed. By Jesus' death, the wages of sin is settled. Jesus suffered death, which is separation from God--thus the cry "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" God is propitiated or appeased. Because God is merciful and gracious, the blood of Jesus, which is able to cleanse us from the stain of sin, is applied to every sinner who by faith trusts in Him and receives His forgiveness. He is cleansed, his sin is expiated.

And because God is almighty, Christ rose victorious from the grave, triumphing over sin and death. Satan is defeated, the war is won. In desperation, Satan is fighting his last ditch battles, trying to keep as many as he can from hearing and accepting the Good News.

Yes, we believe Jesus Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell--all because and for us.