What a great service we had again at our church. Military chaplain the Rev. Keith Lingsch was our guest preacher, and his sermon on Christ’s baptism, commemorated on this day of the
Epiphany, gave me epiphanies of my own.
He pointed out that John’s was baptism explicitly for SINNERS. (“Repent! Flee the wrath to come!”) So no wonder he was surprised that Jesus wanted this baptism. But Jesus’s baptism marked His identification with sinners and His taking their sins into Himself. “A sinner’s baptism prefigured a sinner’s death.”
This would have been plenty for a good sermon, but then Rev. Lingsch built up to this epiphany: Because of this exchange, what God said of Christ’s baptism applies now to YOU and YOUR baptism. The heavens open for YOU. The Holy Spirit descends on YOU. God in His Word says, ” YOU are my beloved son. In YOU I am well well pleased.”