Jesus Baptized for Us

2020-01-12 – Year A – Epiphany 1 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 89:20-29; Acts 10:34-38; Matthew 3:13-17

  • Imagine Jeremy Camp asking for guitar lessons at Guitar Center while he is in town.
  • When Jesus comes to be baptized by John, John is confused. Matthew 3:14.
    • Perhaps this passage confuses you as well.
      • John’s job was to prepare the way for Jesus, the Messiah.
      • John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. Matthew 3:11-12
      • Jesus was without sin, so why would Jesus need to be Baptized?

Identity and Anointing

  • Two things happen after Jesus’ Baptism.
    • The Holy Spirit Descends on him in the form of a Dove.
    • The voice of the Father makes a declaration.
  • The voice of the Father – Matthew 3:17
    • God wanted it to be clear who Jesus was 
    • This is the reason why this event is alway remembered on the first Sunday of Epiphany. It reveals the true nature of Jesus.
    • I mentioned last week how the star in the sky at the time of Jesus’s birth was like a proud father putting a sign in the yard to celebrate the birth of his new child.
    • Isaiah 42:1
    • This event is like a proud father who has seen his son grow to maturity and is impressed with who he has become.
  • Descent of the Holy Spirit – Matthew 3:16
    • Acts 10:37-38a – Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power.
      • Does this mean the Holy Spirit was not with him before his baptism?
    • N T Wright “He became, in a new and deeper way, what he already was, much as a king’s firstborn son, born to rule after his father, would still be anointed for the task when the time came.”
    • A coronation is a decisive moment that helps people to remember what has happened.
      • Psalm 89:20-21

Preparing the Waters of Baptism for Us

  • John’s baptism was a mere symbol. An outward expression of a person’s repentance.
  • Jesus takes the symbolism of John’s baptism and enriches it. Now, instead of being something we do, Baptism is something God does in us.
    • In the 1662 BCP it says “…by the Baptism of thy well-beloved Son Jesus Christ, in the river Jordan, didst sanctify Water to the mystical washing away of sin…”
  • Baptism is a sacrament, which means it is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. It is a tangible assurance from God that what he promised has taken place. This is why, in our tradition, we only get baptized once.
  • There are many things that we receive through Baptism, but the forgiveness of our sins is the first one.

What Does this Mean for You?

  • What else does Baptism mean? The other two major things we receive in Baptism are parallel to what happened to Jesus after his baptism.
  • We are adopted as God’s children
    • Jesus didn’t become God’s Son through his baptism. He is “eternally begotten of the Father.” He has been the Son of God since before time began.
    • We, one the other hand, are not God’s children naturally.
      • John 1:12 – “…to all who did receive him…”
    • Just as the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus in the form of a dove and the voice of the Father declares that Jesus is his son. So to, in Baptism we are declared sons and daughters of our heavenly father by adoption. This is remarkable!
  • We are anointed with the Holy Spirit
    • Immediately after Baptism we make the sign of the cross on the forehead of the newly baptized person using the oil of Chrism and saying,
      • “you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own for ever. Amen” (BCP 2019).
      • Just as Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit, so are we!
    • Anointed for what?
      • “receive the sign of the Cross as a token of your new life in Christ, in which you shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, to fight bravely under his banner against the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to continue as his faithful soldier and servant to the end of your days. Amen.” (BCP 2019)
        • We are anointed to live the Christian life.
        • We are annointed to confess the Faith. Jesus was sent, and by giving us his Holy Spirit he sends us too.
          • Acts 1:5, 8 – We are Baptized with the Holy Spirit to be his witnesses.
          • It that seems daunting, remember, we are not left alone in this, the Holy Spirit leads us, and empowers us.
  • Through Baptism, God now says over you what he said over Jesus: Isaiah 42:1

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