Jesus Doesn’t Belong There
He poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many. Isaiah 53:12
For many people, Jesus’ coming out to the River Jordan to be baptized by John is a confusing event in the life and ministry of our Savior. Why does Jesus need to be baptized? The answer is simple. He doesn’t need to be baptized. Nor does He need to be born. This is all part of God’s plan of redemption.
Our Lord Jesus Christ became like one of us, yet without sin, so that He might fulfill the Law in our place. received a sinner’s baptism just like on the cross He died a sinner’s death. The prophet Isaiah wrote in the last of the Songs of the Suffering Servant, “he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many.” (53:12) He was indeed numbered with sinners in the Jordan and on Calvary and in the Garden Tomb so that we might be numbered with Him in His resurrection.
Therefore our baptism connects us to Jesus’ baptism, perfect life, suffering, death and resurrection. His entire life was a sin offering in our place and on our behalf. The Baptism of our Lord is a date on that calendar that we celebrate because it provides a great opportunity to put the saints of God in mind of their own baptism and how they are thus connected with Jesus. It is why we make the sign of the cross to remember who we are on account of our baptism, not some single event from the past, but our present reality and primary identity as children of God who have been baptized into Christ.
Jesus did not need to be there at the River Jordan, but you needed Him there. May we be reminded of that our primary identity is not one of geography or occupation, ethnicity or viewpoints, but through our being baptized into Christ, His baptism, life, death and resurrection.
Prayer - Father in heaven, at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River You proclaimed Him Your beloved Son and anointed Him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized in His name faithful in their calling as You children and inheritors with Him of everlasting life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan