“He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried…”
With these words, we confess a profound and mysterious truth. We worship a God who suffered. We worship a God who was humiliated. We worship a God who was crucified. Not only was God incarnate in the person of Jesus but this incarnate God actually suffered and died.
Christ crucified, as the Apostle Paul points out, is foolishness to the Greeks and a stumbling block to the Jews (1 Cor. 1:23). Why would God possibly suffer for His people? How could God, the maker of heaven and earth, die a brutal, human death? More than that, why would God, who spoke all things into being, suffer such a death? What could possibly move God to do this?
In a word? Love.
The God who created us also loves us, His creation, with an eternal, never-ending, divine love. And because of that love, in Christ, God was willing to suffer, to die, and to be laid in a tomb to ensure that our redemption from sin, death, and the devil would be secured. Our Heavenly Father was willing to give it all up so that our relationship with Him could be restored.
So the next time we recite the creed, take these words in. Be amazed by them. You are one for whom Christ was willing to go to the cross. Indeed, each and every person you meet is one for whom Christ was willing to die. No humiliation was too great. No cross was too heavy. No sin too much.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate for you.