For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: how Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, rose again the third day according to the Scriptures
—1 Corinthians 15:3-4
The Apostles’ Creed is the oldest condensation of all of the beliefs of Christianity. What does it have to say about the teachings of Jesus or the preaching of Jesus or the example of Jesus? Absolutely nothing. It says, “[He was] conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary [that’s His birthday] . . .” Immediately contiguous with that, “[He] suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried . . .”
And so it goes from His birthday to His death-day with absolutely nothing in between, because Christianity is based upon Christ and Him crucified. He came not to teach, but to die. In the mind of God, He was crucified before the world began.
This does not mean that Jesus’ teaching or preaching was unimportant. What it does mean is that it is His person—who He was, is, and will be—that outshines what He said and thought. As the Apostle’s Creed states, we believe in our crucified and resurrected Savior who is coming again with life and liberty to all who believe.
Question to ponder: What place, if any, do the historic creeds of the Christian church have in your life and worship?