After Chris’s sermon on Sunday, I had to ask myself, “When was the last time I celebrated my union with Christ in my baptism?” The truth is, I hadn’t given that concept much thought. Yes, I knew that Jesus was baptized at the beginning of his public ministry, but I hadn’t made the connection between my Savior’s baptism, mine and my daily walk with Him.
One of the passages that Chris mentioned when talking about this subject is Romans 6. Meditating on that scripture laid out a clear view of what this should look like in a believer’s life, which left me in awe because of how many times I have read this exact passage and missed the reference to baptism! My baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection represented my identity changing from a “slave to sin” (Romans 6:6) to a “slave of righteousness” (Romans 6:18)!
Unlike me, Christ wasn’t baptized to represent laying aside His old self for a new one. Instead, He took up my identity as a sinner on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins, as Chris mentioned. I know the weight of my sin, the depths of my depravity and the just punishment I deserve. I also know the indescribable relief of having that lifted off of my heart through becoming one of his children, something that is represented in the act of baptism.
I can’t imagine, instead, trading a sinless life in perfect fellowship with the Father in order to come to earth and TAKE ON not only the weight of my sin, but the weight of the sin of the world. What amazing, unfathomable, awesome, immeasurable, marvelous, incredible (there aren’t enough adjectives to describe it) LOVE! How could my response to this be anything but a life of obedience, living as a “slave of righteousness?”
I can’t describe the thankfulness of being able to cry “Abba! Father! (Galatians 4:6). I love seeing the joy on every Christian’s face when he or she comes up out of the water during baptism, and I can only imagine what it would have been like to be at Jesus’s baptism, hearing the Father say “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” (Mark 1:11)