Signs of Jesus’ Baptism

The ritual of the sacrament of Holy Baptism symbolizes the  washing away of our sins, the beginning of a new and transformed life in Christ's love and the entry into the church, the body of all believers in God through Jesus our Savior. A baptismal candidate can go through the ritual of Holy Baptism either by being totally immersed in a pool of water and quickly brought back up, by pouring water over the head of the baptismal candidate, or by applying water by hand onto the head of the baptismal candidate. The candidate can be of any age from an infant to a senior citizen. The ritual of baptism, in all its various forms, is symbolic and not meant to replace what is to take place in the heart and mind of the one who is submitting themselves for baptism.

So, looking at the Bible reading from Matthew 3:13-17, why then did Jesus go through baptism as the only human to never have sinned and never needing to be made right with God? Jesus came willingly, submitting to a sacred ritual that symbolized human freedom from sin and entry into a loving family who all have sinned and need release from the negative effects of their collective sin. 

Jesus came to John the Baptizer and John questioned Jesus wanting to prevent him from going through with it, saying that he felt that he needed to be baptized by Jesus, and not Jesus coming to him as a sinless man to be baptized. There were signs of why Jesus offered himself to be baptized by John in the passage from Matthew 3:13-17. However, are we aware of what those signs are and why those signs point to the reason that baptism is a sacrament and central to our understanding of our belief in God and the need to be saved from our sins?

Please read this week's Bible reading and think about why you believe in Holy Baptism. Are you clear about what baptism symbolizes and how it affects you personally?

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