Feb 10, 2011 The Beauty Of Our Savior In His Baptism
Originally posted on December 15, 2005
“I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire
Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:16, 21-22
The Beauty Of Our Savior In His Baptism
When John the Baptist looked into the face of Jesus, he saw the “One mightier than I.” John knew Jesus to be the One Isaiah spoke of when he said, “all flesh will see the glory of the Lord.” (Isaiah 40:5) So John must have been startled when Jesus came to him to be baptized. What is the mighty One doing being baptized? Baptism is for sinners, not Saviors.
Therein lies the beauty of our Savior. He became one of us. Jesus stepped into the waters of baptism as an act of prophecy; He was declaring His death, burial and resurrection. His baptism was an act of submission; He was doing what the Father commanded Him to do though He did not need the baptism of repentance for Himself. And, by being baptized Jesus was identifying with the sinful humanity He came to save.
In His baptism, Jesus was pointing to the cross of His death where He would become sin on our behalf. There He would take the wrath of God for our sin in His own body, and thereby win freedom and righteousness for us.
John the Baptist not only baptized Jesus but he also prophesied that Jesus would baptize us in the Holy Spirit and fire. John said He was “coming” to do this. This is why He came to earth. His baptizing us in the Holy Spirit is the reason for His coming to us as a baby. When Simeon saw the baby (Luke 2:28) and John saw the man to be baptized, they both saw the same thing- a beautiful Savior.
You may have never connected Christmas with baptism. I have, because I was baptized on Christmas night many years ago. But, the connection is beyond my personal experience. Luke is telling us that the purpose of the Son of God taking on the form of a baby at this birth and of Jesus stepping into the waters of baptism are the same. He was identifying with us by becoming one of us in order to offer Himself for us on the cross so that He may baptize us in the Holy Spirit. The message of Christmas includes the prophecy of being baptized by Jesus in the Holy Spirit.
So what does that mean? Luke also wrote the book of Acts. There we see the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the first followers of Jesus. The Holy Spirit filled them with new life and power. He animated them, motivated them, gave them power, was the constant presence of God among them, helped them in their weakness to be pure, made them bold for witness, gave them gifts for ministry, and guided their steps in life and mission. Just as Jesus was God among them, so the Holy Spirit is God in them (Romans 8:9-11).
The biblical witness is that a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit at the time of conversion, which is by faith in Christ. To be saved by Jesus is to have the Spirit of Jesus. Jesus is a beautiful Savior and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is His Christmas gift to us. Repent of your sins, believe on His name, and receive Him by faith.