Lent 3 - The Baptism
1 Peter 3:18-22
Just before Jesus retreated into the wilderness, he was baptised by John the Baptist in the River Jordan.
Peter compares this event to God's cleansing of humanity in the story of Noah that we looked at yesterday.
While only eight people were saved in the ark during the great flood, God's offer of salvation through Jesus' life, death and resurrection is for all of humanity.
The act of baptism symbolises the cleansing that takes place when we become children of God. As Peter notes, it is not a removal of dirt from the body, but the removal of our sins and transgressions against God.
Peter also reminds us that it is not because of any doing of our own that we are saved. We are saved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
As we reflect on this story of Jesus' baptism, may we be reminded of our own baptism.
Being baptised with water is a sign that we have been made clean in Christ. All of our sins have been forgiven and we have been made new. It is good to be reminded of this truth.
Baptisms are also always performed in the presence of fellow Christians as a symbol of being welcomed into the fellowship of the Church. While we are cleansed by Christ's saving works, we need the support and encouragement of our fellow Christians to help us along our journey to becoming Christ-like.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, just as You were baptised in the River Jordan, we too have been baptised into Your living water. Thank You that You have wiped our slate clean and forgiven us our past transgressions. Thank you that You have welcomed us into the communion of saints. Let Your Holy Spirit guide us as we become vessels of your living water in the world, permeating every person and every place that we find ourselves. Amen.
Image Source: Gary Meulemans