Monday, September 27, 2010

Baptism: The Great Exchange

On our way to church, Larry and I were discussing the Ark of the Covenant, or Ark of the Testimony, and Joshua 3-5. God parted the Jordan, just like the Red Sea; this time the Israelites were out to conquer, rather than fleeing. While talking about this, my thoughts jumped to Jesus' baptism.

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." Mark 1, ESV

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3, ESV

John the Baptizer was also puzzled as to why Jesus, the sinless One, was asking to be baptized. John baptized for repentance. We also wonder along with John. Jesus was baptized to identify with us; to take our sin. This is the beginning of Jesus' ministry for you and for me. He took our sin in His baptism. He took the sin of the whole world in His baptism. He became sin for us.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5, ESV

In our baptism, we put on Christ. Scripture is clear on this. We are told many times we put on Christ in baptism. The Great Exchange takes place, our sin for His righteousness.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3, ESV

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6, ESV

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me this. Praise God!
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