St. Mary's Anglican Catholic Church

Diocese of the Midwest

Catechist. Rehearse the Articles of thy Belief. 

Answer. I believe in… Jesus Christ… who… Suffered under Pontius Pilate….

In our examination of the third article of the Apostles’ Creed we examined the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. With the fourth article of the Creed we affirm why God the eternal Son was “made flesh.” (St John 1:14) “He suffered under Pontius Pilate.” This refers primarily to the Passion of Christ—those sufferings He endured from His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane to His last breath on the cross on Golgotha. Other that the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pontius Pilate is the only other person specifically named in the Creeds. This is primarily to root the events in history. Unlike the myths of the pagan gods that take place in some shadowy place at no particular time, the life & death of our Lord too place in “real time.” 

It was only after God the Son took our human nature at the Incarnation that He was able to experience & suffer His passion & death. But Christ’s sufferings did not begin in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus the Son of God lived as we do, yet without sin; and though He was and is fully God, Christ was not immune to our sufferings when He dwelt among us. The Prophet Isaiah foretold the suffering & passion of Christ in his “Servant Song.” (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) Isaiah described the coming Christ as a “man of sorrows.” For he shall grow up before him [God] as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:2-3) 

As we noted last month, Jesus was born into very humble circumstances; and He lived His entire earthly life in worldly poverty. As He told a would-be disciple: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (St Matthew 8:20) At the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus endured and overcame the temptations of the devil. (St Matthew 4:1-11) As the Gospels tell us, He suffered hunger and fatigue. (St Matthew 4:2; St John 4:6) He was an object of contempt in the eyes of the world and was rejected by His own people. (St Luke 16:14; 19:41; St John 1:11; 8:48) His own family and even His disciples did not understand Him much of the time; and some turned away from Him. (St Matthew 17:17; St Mark 3:21; 6:52; St John 6:66; 7:3-7) He suffered grief & sorrow; for He grieved for Jerusalem, the Holy City that rejected her Savior, and what was about to befall her as a result; and He wept at the grave of His friend Lazarus. (St Matthew 23:37; St