Why Did Jesus Need to Be Baptized?

Why Was Jesus Baptized?

Featured imageMark 1:4-11, Romans 6:1-11

May the blessing of Christ’s baptism and yours, continue to astound you, as you realize the love of God which bound you to Him, as the water and word made you and God inseparable!

I want you to picture yourself in John the Baptist’s sandals this morning.

You are well aware of the Spirit’s work in your life, you see people coming to repentance in a way not seen in centuries.  You know the prophecies, you’ve had to explain them to so many…

“No, I am not the Messiah”

“Yes, he is coming”,

“what will He be like?  I cannot even begin to think of it, but His ministry to mankind will be more than you can explain.  I can explain this – but the ministry of the Messiah, the Christ?  It will be so amazing that I can’t even compare it to a king and his lowest servant….”

You look up from those you are teaching, and He is there.  Your soul leaps, as it did the day when your mothers met, and both of you were still in the womb.  You know, He knows you do.

Jesus, your cousin, your Lord, your God is here.  Asking to get baptized, by you…

As the other gospels describe this, you would tell him, “No, this doesn’t make sense, I should be the one baptized…”

Jesus response, “no this is right.  I will be baptized by you.”

John obeys, as I hope each of us would…

But the question remains… why does Jesus need to be baptized?

Why is it… right?

Baptism into Death

You into His

          He into ours

When you study baptism throughout the scriptures, it is always connected to death,

We see this clearly in Romans 6 – where Paul tells us that we’ve died with Christ.  That in our baptism, we are joined to death on the cross, to his burial. The scriptures that talk of being born again, that talk of those who trust in God are a new creation.

It all happens in this sacrament.

We need to join into His death… if we are to have the hope of being cleansed of sin of being granted repentance, of being able to live this new life.  That is what the glorious power of God does to us, as God claims us as His children.

This even is true in the Old Testament, where one separated from God and His people because of sin, was sent out of the camp.  They were separated for a time, and prior to rejoining the people of God – had to ceremoniously wash.  It was part of their psyche, their community, that the washing was a sign of repentance. Not only washing the person, but also various things that have come into contact with sin… or with blood.

Sin has to be washed away… it has to be dealt with, and in our baptism, it was… once and for all.   12  For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ through your faith in the active power of God, who raised him from death. 13  You were at one time spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were Gentiles without the Law. But God has now brought you to life with Christ. God forgave us all our sins; Colossians 2:12-13 (TEV)

I will say we need to be reminded of it often…we need to know the promises of baptism…

the removal of sin

the blessing of repentance

the promise of eternal life,

the promise of the Holy Spirit, entering into an intimate fellowship with God

So we get back to the original question… why did Jesus have to be baptized?

If baptism is the joining in the death of someone, then perhaps we find the answer there.  In His baptism, Jesus must be baptized into our death, to take on those sins, He must die for us, and His baptism is a picture of His death, his willingness to take our death, so that we can rise.

In his baptism – it is right and necessary, that He join us in our death, so that He can defeat it. 

He joins us to bear our death…. We join Him, to be rid of the death, and rise again.  He is baptized to take our sin, we are baptized so He could as well.

But there is one thing point in which we share in baptism with Jesus….

With you I am well pleased…. Sound familiar?

As Jesus was baptized, as He joined himself to us, the heavens opened wide, they split open as we heard Isaiah pray for just a few weeks ago….

What happens next to Him, happens to us…

The Spirit descends on Him, Just as the sins are taken/removed – so to the picture of the Spirit’s descent is true.  We don’t talk about it much, but in each of you, the Holy Spirit dwells.

The Holy Spirit, who sanctifies us, who keeps us in the presence of God, who testifies to us of God’s love, yes, through word and sacrament, through our being reminded of the promises of baptism, in the feast of the Lord’s Supper, who testifies to us in words of absolution, and in times of prayer, and in those times we serve each other….

God is here…

He calls us His sons, His daughters, His children.

And He says to all those, united to His Son in baptism, you are my beloved child, and you bring me great joy…


About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on January 12, 2015, in Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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