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Baptism of Jesus Christ

Baptism of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not have to be baptised. He was sinless. So why was He baptised then? The word baptism comes from a Greek word meaning ‘to dunk' or to submerge into a body of water. Just as a biscuit is ‘dunked’ in a cup of tea where it absorbs the tea into itself, so to be a Believer is to be immersed in God, having him soak into every part of your life and change you from within into a person that you were always meant to be.

Baptism is symbolic of this process of immersion.

The body of Christ have variety of ways of conducting Baptism. Some sprinkle droplets of water on the head of the person receiving baptism, while others dip their fingers into a container of water and mark a sign of the cross on the forehead of the baptisee with their wet fingers. Others practise full immersion in water. Even the full immersions have slightly different procedures. Some lean forward into the water, while others lay backwards into the water.

Baptism has its roots in Judaism. Then, early in the first century, John the Baptist emerged. His role was to prepare the way for God’s promised Son, who we now know to be Yahshua Meshiach or Jesus Christ as He is commonly known. John warned people that they needed to turn away from the things that they were doing which were disgusting to God, and to ‘repent of their sins’. As a sign of this, he called them to be baptised, which he did by submersing them in the River Jordan. However, he always pointed people to Jesus who, he said, would baptise people with the Holy Spirit and with fire, not simply with water.

Jesus himself came to John and was baptised, despite John’s humble protests. Baptism of Jesus took place in river Jordan. As he came up out of the water the heavens were parted, the Holy Spirit came like a dove and rested on him, and the Father spoke, saying, This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased. In this moment of baptism of Jesus, we glimpse God in all his trinitarian fullness.

We have records of Jesus’ followers, his disciples, baptising people during Jesus’ earthly ministry, and many accounts of people being baptised in the early church, so we are in no doubt that this is a practice that is at the very heart of the church. Yahshua’ last recorded words, according to Matthew, were ‘Go and make disciples… baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.’

There is much debate in the church recently as to whether people should be baptised as children or as adult believers, and how much water should be used. Baptism of Jesus Christ took place when he was about 30 years old. He was never baptised as a child.

Baptism of Jesus in itself has great significance in the life of a Christian. It signifies:

Cleansing: you cannot be baptised without repenting of your sins. Baptism is a symbol of God washing you clean.

Saving grace: the waters of baptism signify the waters of the Red Sea through which the Jews were rescued from Egypt. Yahshua saves us from a far greater captivity.

New birth: the waters of baptism remind us of the waters of birth. We cannot come to God without being born afresh in Christ.

New life: water is a clear enough sign of refreshing, but going down into the waters of baptism also represents our spiritual journey into the tomb with Yahshua and those who die with him also share in his resurrection.

Immersion and filling: on the day of Pentecost we saw the Holy Spirit poured out as Jesus promised, He really does ‘baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire’.

Jesus did not have to be baptised per-se. He was sinless. Baptism is for the repentance of sin. He however asked John to immerse Him into the water so that the scripture be fulfilled. The act of Him going under the body of the water symbolises His death as a result of our sins but He rises again out of that water (out of death), cleansed of all our sins, and to be received into the father's hand.

Therefore when we follow the process of the baptism of Jesus, we fullfill Eph 1:4 where it says, "... Even before the world was made, God had already choosen us to be His through our union (or our death) with Christ, so that (when we rise again with Him - coming out of that body of water) we would be HOLY and WITHOUT BLAME before Him, in love.

Beloved, when we decide to accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord and go through the process of baptism, we come out of that baptism being made "holy and without blame" before God's eyes. What a wonderful God we serve. HalleluYah.

May God be lifted on high and may His Name be Praised.

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