We’ve asked that question over the past couple of weeks to some of our people who’ve been baptized in the past few years. This week we got to pose the same question to a few who’ll be baptized today.
What’s the big deal about baptism?
Let’s look. Jesus was baptized. He instructed his disciples to baptize. So it seems there’s gotta be something to this, right?
There are two ordinances of the church, and this is true all over the world. One is communion, where we remember the obedience, the sacrifice and the redemption through Jesus. We do this together. It serves to remind us that he did all of this to save all of us.
The second ordinance is baptism. Jesus made his way through the crowd gathered by the river. It’s symbolic, this immersion into water and emergence from it. For John the Baptist and Jesus and those alive in those days, it was foreshadowing the transformation that would be brought to all of us through Messiah.
They did this together, to remind each other that there is life after this life. Death is not the end. And for us now, on this side of the story, it is how we identify with what Christ did, defeating death, hell and the grave and bringing new life to us in the world in which we live. For Jesus and John and their contemporaries, this was a communal thing.
And today, some of us will observe from the banks of Deep Creek. But there are others who will enter that water and remind us of what we’ve been given – new life.