This is the Sunday in the Church Year where we typically celebrate the Baptism of Jesus and we will do that at Oak Hill as I share a message on Romans 6:1-11. For a good portion of my life I had no concept of why this event was worthy of a celebration. But now I truly find it an absolutely mind-boggling event. Let’s take a look.
First off, I would like to remind you that elements of Jesus’ Baptism were clearly referred to in the Old Testament. For instance, we have the prophet Isaiah in chapter 40 declaring the message that John the Baptizer would be delivering when Jesus went out to meet him in the wilderness. We read from Luke 3:
3 He [John] went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
5 Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
6 And all people will see God’s salvation.’”
We are told that crowds were going out to hear John and to receive a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Therein lies the reason why Jesus being baptized is so interesting and important. John himself recognized how unexpected and mind-blowing it would be for the Messiah to be baptized by him since he possessed no sinfulness at all. John said it like this in Luke 3:16, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
But Jesus was baptized by John. When Jesus did this, He transformed baptism into a place where we become united to Jesus. God tells us in Romans 6:1-11 that because of what Jesus did by humbling Himself into our baptism we are now “baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus.”
Therefore, I am amazed and thankful that the Father’s declaration at Jesus baptism now includes us because that is simply what Scripture says in Galatians 3:26-27, "So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
Here is the reason why Jesus’ Baptism is so clearly something I should celebrate. The Heavenly Father, along with the Holy Spirit plainly stated the position of Jesus which now includes us by God’s promise that we are mysteriously united with Jesus by grace through faith. We continue reading in Luke 3:21-22, “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
You are so deeply connected with Jesus that you can rest in God Almighty assuring you personally, “You are my Child, whom I love, with you I am well pleased.” It is simply a gift from God to you.
Now, that is something to celebrate!
Pastor Nick Mundis