This weekend we recognize and celebrate the baptism of Jesus. This event we share with Him, unlike other aspects of His life and ours. We are not sinless; He was, though tempted in just the ways we are. We cannot do miracles like He did; we are bound by the laws of nature. Baptism, however, we share with Him.
Today we meet Jesus with John at the Jordan. John has been baptizing all who would come out to the river, a washing with water for repentance and the forgiveness of sin that God promises as we confess. And then when Jesus is baptized, not only does the dove descend – the Holy Spirit – but God speaks from heaven and all hear Him. Jesus and John stand at the intersection of the Old Testament and the New, and we stand there alongside them.
The promises God has made are delivered in His son. In baptism, as Paul says, we are baptized into a death like His, and also a resurrection like His, the promise God makes of life in eternity with Him. These are mighty moments, vital to us as Christians, reassured as we witness the very first Christian baptism, and thinking of our own as we watch the two at the Jordan.
Without these moments, the beginning of His ministry among us, we would have nothing. His ministry ends on a cross, or rather with His rising from death on a cross, defeating for us sin and death and the devil himself. So celebrate with us the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ! Look! There they are at the river!