October 03, 2007

Jesus, the Wet King

Luke 3:21-23

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too.

—  Luke 3:21

Picture Jesus rising from the shallow waters of the lazy little Jordan River. He wipes the water from his eyes and sloshes back to shore.

The people watch him intently because, as we read in Matthew's gospel, John the Baptist objected when Jesus came to be baptized. John said that Jesus should be the one doing the baptizing! But Jesus said it was proper for him to be baptized "to fulfill all righteousness" (Mat­thew 3:14-15).

What John and the crowds hadn't realized was that Jesus' baptism was his way of identifying with his sin-stained people. He became one with all who, unlike him, had sins to repent of and be forgiven. In a sense, Jesus was taking their place at the river, in anticipation of doing so later, through his death on a cross.

At the cross all righteousness would be fulfilled. It would be accomplished for all through the sacrifice of Jesus' perfect life.

Jesus' baptism ended with a prayer. And his heavenly Father responded with words similar to those in Psalm 2-an enthronement psalm.

Jesus had just sealed his place on the throne over God's people by making his commitment to die in their place. This wet King would eventually become a crucified King and then a victorious resurrected King.

Father, your Son pleases not just you--He thrills us with his willingness to identify with sinners like us. Thank you for sending him. Jesus, thank you for dying for us. Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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