We had an incredibly moving baptism service on what is traditionally known as “Silent Wednesday”, but it wasn’t so silent at Crossroads Church! There was rejoicing and celebration as many declared their commitment to Jesus Christ through baptism. Did you know that the scripture actually links baptism and Easter? That’s right, the resurrection of Jesus is what makes baptism under the New Covenant so powerful.
Before Jesus, baptism was a Jewish ritual cleansing that was done as a repentant response toward God. This is why John was baptizing in the Jordan river declaring, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” But the bad news for those who were being baptized under the Old Covenant (with the exception of Jesus), was that the water represented a grave that you could never truly rise from. You would be baptized, but come up from the water the same as when you went in:
- No new heart
- No new desires
- No new power
- No new ability to serve God acceptably
Under the Old Covenant, baptism was a continual death, but that all changed with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus was laid in a grave completely lifeless, but three days later walked out alive forevermore! This is what makes baptism in Christ so powerful for the believer. Paul puts it like this in Romans 6:3-6:
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
For the Christian, baptism doesn’t merely symbolize a repentant death to our old nature, but the assured hope of resurrection power! We go into the water as dying to the past, but in Christ, we come out of the water with new life, a new heart, new passions, and the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish for God what we could have never done on our own! What an amazing reality baptism portrays! Peter also links the two:
1 Peter 3:21 – “…Baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”
For all people, young and old, baptism is an exciting expression of a new reality. Do you believe in Jesus? Have you been baptized? You should!
Matthew 28:19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”