April 22 I Friday
2 Samuel 14-15
“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death?” —Romans 6:3
I once guest preached at a church where the title of the sermon was, “Welcome to Your Funeral.” Before the first service, a few of us were in the back room talking about what would be happening in the morning. One of the men, who was on the planning committee, said, “That’s an intriguing sermon title. What’s it about?” I answered, “It’s about welcome to your own funeral.” He goes, “What do you mean?” I asked, “Who died on Good Friday?” He said, “Jesus Christ did.” I pressed, “Who else died on Good Friday?” He responded, “Two thieves.” I revealed, “Who else died on Good Friday? The answer: You died on Good Friday.”
There are two ordinances that the Christian church celebrates: communion or the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. Both of these events focus on the cross of Christ, but with one major difference. In communion, it is about Christ dying for me; the bread represents the body of Jesus and the wine represents the blood of Jesus. Baptism, however, is about me dying in Christ. Paul explains, “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).
What the Christian message is all about and what baptism portrays is that the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday was our death. Acting on behalf of me as my sin substitute, in the eyes of God, I was crucified with Christ. But not only that, I was buried with Him, raised again, and now walk in the newness of life. Scripture is very personal about this, as Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). What does being “crucified with Christ’’ mean? Basically, what happened to Jesus Christ happened to me.
Jesus Himself never deserved death because He never committed sin. I, on the other hand, never deserved life because I committed sin. Yet, Jesus took my sin on Himself. Hence, when He was crucified, I was crucified. In other words, Jesus stepped into our situation, took our place, and in consequence, purchased our salvation. There is an old hymn that goes,
I had a debt I could not pay,
He paid the debt He did not owe,
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And now I sing a brand new song,
“Amazing grace” all day long,
Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.
What an amazing grace indeed!
Prayer: Precious Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for paying my debt when You owed nothing. I can never thank You enough for the sacrifice that You made on my behalf. Praise You!