May 6 I Thursday
1 Kings 21-22
“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death?” —Romans 6:3
Baptism is a symbol of a bath; it is also a symbol of a burial. Paul tells us, “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4). Paul, in essence, is saying, “Don’t you know when you were baptized, what you were saying is, I identify and am united with Jesus Christ in His death, His burial and His resurrection to walk in newness of life.”
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He was not simply dying for us; there was a deeper thing that was taking place too––we died in Christ. While God holds us responsible for our sin, and the consequence of sin is death, Peter tells us, “‘He Himself bore our sins’ in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins...” (1 Peter 2:24). In other words, Jesus died on our behalf, and as far as God is concerned, we died too. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “…we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.”
When we baptize by immersion, the symbolism of going down into the water is death, going under the water is burial and coming out of the water is resurrection. When a person is being baptized, what they are saying is, “I want you to know when Jesus Christ died, although it was over two thousand years ago, I died with Him. In God’s legal reckoning, I have died to pay for my sins through Christ, was buried in Christ, the old is gone and I have risen with Christ to walk in newness of life.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!”
Although we are a new creation, it does not mean we will no longer struggle with temptation or sin on this side of heaven. John says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves...” (1 John 1:8). Until we see the Lord face to face, we will still struggle with temptation and sin, but since we have legally passed through death and come out on the other side, we are no longer accountable for our sin. The power of sin is broken in that it no longer produces its consequence in us, because it already had in Christ. Baptism is a symbol that our old nature is buried.
Prayer: Merciful Jesus, thank You for dying for my sins, and putting my old nature to death. I am a new creation because of You. Praise You!