Some complain that the Apostles’ Creed doesn’t say much about humans– it’s all about Christ and God, but what about us? But here, hidden in what might seem strange and esoteric claims, we find a key truth about humanity:
Christ descended into hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. . .
When I read those words about Christ’s descent, I think of William Styron’s profound account of his depression, Darkness Visible. Even while we live, sometimes we descend into hell – a place of despair, pain, fear, violent anger — from which there seems no escape.
We know that many have experienced that sort of hell during our challenging year of quarantine, suffering crushing loss: jobs, precious time with family and friends, goals for the future, health.
The claim that Christ descended into hell contains a profound and essential truth about us humans. At some point in our lives we may descend into darkness, but Christ promises we can ascend, with his rescuing love.
Frankly, Christian denominations and churches disagree vehemently on just what Jesus “did” in hell. Perhaps their official representatives haven’t yet returned with their report.
This week we’ll explore the “descent into hell,” as we continue our sermon series about Christian beliefs. Bob Axley, Church Board member and Texas BFF, leads our pastoral prayers. And we’ll hear the personal creed of Bruce Rosnes, a man of great heart and faith.
(Don’t miss those other personal creeds from the past two Sundays! Find them here — click to view.)