Ever wondered why Jesus persuaded John the Baptist to allow Him to be baptized when He had lived a sinless life? After all, baptism is a beautiful ceremony symbolizing the believer dying to the sinful self and way and rising to spiritual newness of life, having been washed clean. And yet, Jesus insisted on being baptized. Why? Well, one reason we know is that we who are His follow His example, and we surely do need to be baptized. But, there’s more!
Consider what happened after Jesus emerged from that watery grave. The heavens opened, and God the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus “like a dove”. Do you get that? Jesus was illustrating by example that what happened to Him would happen to us.
I don’t know about you, but after baptism, a local elder laid hands on my head and prayed for my spiritual newness of life. As he prayed, I literally felt a tingling on my scalp. It was later that I came to understand the God the Holy Spirit had come to indwell me and guide my Christian walk. That, too was a beautiful thing, as it still is to this day.
So, a sequence emerges: first comes baptism, and then spiritual rebirth follows. Jesus says He makes all things new, and that includes us. How amazing is that?
Here’s the text for you to read:
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.
Isn’t it exciting to see God’s process? I wonder what God the Father said after we were baptized and indwelled by God the Holy Spirit.
Let’s Pray: Father God, thanks for teaching us through Your word things we may not have seen or begun to understand before now. Thanks for allowing us to perceive Your process, and thanks to You, Jesus, for Your willing example in illustrating that process. Holy Spirit, thanks for guiding me into the truth about Jesus and what it means to follow Him in every way. In Jesus’ name, amen.
copyright 2014, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved