When Jesus started his ministry he went to John the Baptist (John the Immerser) who was dunking people as an act of repentance before God and said, 'Okay, I'm ready to follow my Father into this ministry and this sacrifice that I've been called to do. And I need to symbolize it someway, so baptize me.'
John said – 'Hey, I can't do that. You are the Son of God and I'm just cousin John. I'm just here to start things off. I'm not worthy to tie your shoe.'
I love John the Baptist. He’s one of my heroes – not just because he ate bugs and ticked off the religious people. He was also humble!
But Jesus wanted to do the right thing. What was the right thing? SUBMISSION TO SUBMERSION
Jesus didn’t have to do this. He didn’t have anything to repent from. What? “I’m sorry for loving you all so much that I gave up being God and came down here to live with you.” What? He was perfect.
Why did he do it?
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Matthew 3:13-15
IT IS PROPER TO DO THIS – TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Submission to submersion is proper – to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus was setting yet another example for us on how to be righteous.
And do you wonder what God thought about it?
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
Wasn’t he well-pleased before Jesus got dunked? Of course he was. But this public act of obedience – SUBMISSION TO SUBMERSION - pleased God in such an extra way that he actually stuck his face out through the clouds and said, “WAY TO GO SON – I’M PROUD OF YOU.”
SUBMISSION TO SUBMERSION
Do you ever think about how to be like Christ? Do you have a WWJD bracelet in a drawer somewhere? The problem with that is it’s really hard. Jesus was the perfect Son of God. I can’t fast for 40 days. We can’t do miracles; raise the dead; sacrifice ourselves on a cross for the world – but there is one thing we can do that Jesus did and it made his father happy. HE GOT DUNKED.
If you haven’t been baptized - what are you waiting for?
We have mass baptisms planned for this weekend. Palm Sunday is a perfect time. Be ready to celebrate Easter.
Just bring some clothes to change into – or go home wet – either way. We have towels and I’ll be in the tub ready to go at the end of every service. Come on in, the water’s fine!
If you have questions – here is a paper I adapted from my friend and mentor Bob Russell that will answer a ton of your questions. Download Why Immersion And one of my sermons on baptism. Download Why Baptism Sermon
And don’t forget. There are 12 Easter services for you to attend - nine at Orland, three at Lockport. None of the Orland times are the same as normal so please pay attention to them.
EASTER SERVICE TIMES
Thursday, April 5 – 7 pm
Friday, April 6 – 5 and 7 pm
Saturday, April 7 – 3, 5, and 7 pm
Sunday, April 8 – 8:30, 10:30, and 12:30 pm
Saturday, April 7 – 5 pm
Sunday, April 8 – 9 and 11 am
It’s going to be an awesome week!!