Baptism of Repentance
December 7, 2014 Year B
Like many prophets before him, John used a visual illustration (an object) to show a Biblical truth. John preached a message of repentance. He shared the good news that said this:
God forgives you and you can show that by changing your life. You can show that you have changed your life by being baptized.
So from the beginning of John’s ministry, baptism was always a symbol. Baptism showed that God had forgiven sins and that one could be Christian by showing that they were forgiven by changing their life.
The power of life change can only happen because of Jesus’ death on the cross. So John’s baptism only pointed to what Jesus would do later by dying on the cross. This is why Jesus could later be baptized by John. That baptism was before Jesus’ salvific act and therefore only pointed to a future event. In itself, the baptism of Jesus had no power. It only foreshadowed what He would later do.When a Christian gets baptized, that person is showing what Jesus has already done in the past. Because the baptism occurs after Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection, it is a symbol with power. a Christian can trust in God’s gift of salvation and receive forgiveness of sins. The baptism which came after that point of trust would reveal the power which Christ had to change the person.
So baptism never changes you. Baptism only reveals how that change was made possible. Just as in John’s time, every Christian gives a personal object lesson to the world of the change in their lives.
Prayer: God, thank you that my baptism was a powerful picture of how Jesus changed my life. Let me continue to show how important a baptism of repentance is in the life of a believer.