9:50 PM This question arrived via e-mail from someone who hear my sermon yesterday—on the phrase from the Apostles’ Creed: “On the third day he rose again from the dead.”
There is one thing I’m still not clear on, and this is the use of the word “again” in the phrase we looked at yesterday, “he rose again from the dead”. Is this something so basic that I’m completely skipping over something of my faith. I’m just unclear on this. Maybe you talked about this and I just missed it or maybe you thought it wasn’t important enough to go into detail about. But my thought is each word of the Apostle’s Creed is important and as long as we’re looking at the creed, I figure I’d better know what the again is all about.
Here is my answer:
Great question. I asked several others about that and at least one person had wondered about “again” as well. A check of the dictionary gives us the answer. When we heard the word “again,” we tend to think it means “a second time,” as if Jesus had previously risen from the dead. But “again” also means “anew” or “afresh.” In the context of the Creed, the word “again” emphasizes that Jesus was alive again after being dead between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. The Creed would be just as true if it said “On the third day he rose from the dead.” But by adding the word “again,” it emphasizes the fact that he rose from the dead and came back to life once again. One of our great Easter hymns says, “Lives again our glorious King.” The Creed uses the word “again” in precisely that sense.
9:48 PM Don’t forget to pray for our Allied Force spring break mission team in Memphis, TN this week. 9:47 PM We had 1519 in the worship services yesterday. We received $42,000 in the General Fund and $17,000 in the Legacy Campaign Building Fund. 9:27 PM Easter Weekend Remembered: Choir and orchestra dressed in black for “The Seven Last Words of Christ” … “Jesus, you are guilty” … “Vah!” … Between services, sitting with Amy, Heidi, Erika, Nicole, Ryan and Natalie in the Dining Room … The stunning power of music to recreate the events of Good Friday … Hundreds of people filing out of the sanctuary in silence … Listening before the first service on Sunday morning as the choir practiced “The Hallelujah Chorus” … “He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!” … singing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” … Skip Olson leading the responsive reading … Adam singing “He’s Alive!” in the Upper Room” … Watching the choir clap and sway (most of them) in the contemporary services … Jean Boerman singing in the traditional service … Joy Johnson’s violin rendition of “My Redeemer Lives” in the contemporary services.” … “Because He Lives” … “He is Lord” … The call to go “All In” on the resurrection of Jesus… . Meeting missionaries from Swaziland … our college students home for the weekend … Ray Sherman serving as an usher … I met one of my neighbors who came to the service yesterday … As a side note, tonight Marlene and I ate supper with Dave and Esther Claus as the New Rebozo Restaurant in Oak Park. When the owner greeted us, he said, “Aren’t you the pastor?” Turns out he visited Calvary yesterday for the first time—and loved it… . A whole row of Nigerians dressed in colorful African dress for Easter Sunday and sitting on the front row … The man who shouted out “None at all” in the 10 AM service when I asked what difference it would make if the Chicago Tribune announced that they had found the bones of Jesus in the Holy Land. (He probably shouted too soon—but I knew what he meant—That headline wouldn’t matter because it wouldn’t be true. Not exactly my point—but he’s right—it wouldn’t be true even if the newspaper printed it.) … Shaking hands with the folks in the gym before the Upper Room Service started … Having all my boys home for Easter and sharing Easter dinner with Christine Stout and Morgan and with Brian and Tracie Howes and Brennan and with a Moody student Mark brought home… . Cheering when Phil Mickelson won the Masters Tournament… . Flipping channels between a special on Billy Graham and a report on “The Bible Code.”