Mark Has Some Good News, Part 1, Examples And Milestones
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:9-11 (ESV)
I'm going to try to keep this simple and show what I think Jesus and Mark are trying to teach us as leaders and young people alike in this gospel.
Like why Baptism is important. It can seem trivial with some baptisms happening in the pristine chapels of a cathedral, while some are held in the youth pastor’s hot tub.
(Man that feels creepy writing it down for once.)
Here's something to chew on for the youth though. Why did Jesus get baptized?
The baptism John gave people was for repentance or (turning away from sin). And then after he was baptized the spirit came upon Jesus, and he started doing his miraculous and power filled ministry. If he didn't need to turn from sin, because he knew no sin then why get baptized? And why did he unlike the rest of those John was dunking, receive the whole spirit.
I think this public display was Jesus showing us what he would do for us and then in us.
You see baptism for the Christian is us publicly and symbolically showing how we die to sin and are raised in Christ. How we were dead in our sins but Jesus raised us out of them to life with him. And what Mark is showing us here is Jesus giving us the memo of salvation. Letting us know what will and did happen even how he'd like us to respond.
Jesus shows us here how to show his great work in our lives. By showing us how the gospel can be preached without words.
You see by being baptized we're not only doing what Jesus did. But saying what Jesus said by declaring to the world that we identify as belong to God. I think that in his baptism Jesus was making the promise of his redemptive death. I think this way because the timeless Father God was please in him after he was baptized. With time and space as a theater for his will the Father would have seen Jesus promise of sacrifice and knew that Christ Himself being God would keep it.
By being baptized like Christ we make that promise just as publicly as Christ did. And because of Christ’s death and resurrection it’s true even if we fail afterwards and sin. Baptism is the point where a Christian can look back and say I choose to follow Christ here. Christ gave us a milestone in baptism to mark in our lives on earth with the change he made possible to our eternal lives later in heaven.
So like the curious Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:36, if there is water and opportunity why shouldn't you be baptized. It's unity with Christ and a decision that will define your life as a believer forever.