John the Baptist's main message, proclaimed regularly was, 'Repent, for the kingdom of God is near.' His persistent message was that the only power which can match the power of sin and overcome it, is the power of person or the power of Saviour he called, 'the lamb of God.' The power of sin lies in its cunning attractiveness which results in separation from God in fact is the most attractive, loving and powerful being in the universe. The power of sin is in its counterfeiting similarity to the real deal which is God and His gospel. This is what tricks us and fools us. John put the spotlight on this. He pointed to the misplaced heart's desire from which people needed to repent. People at the edge of Jordan river fully realised this and agreed with his assessment and sorrowfully repented from their sin. However, to close the deal John pointed the people to the One who was close at hand and who needed to be their real heart’s desire.Then suddenly there at the bank of Jordan river John saw the One of whom He just spoke. He saw Someone whose heart’s desire has never been misplaced. He was in the presence of the One who never sinned. He was in the presence of perfect love, ‘the perfect lamb of God.’
"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Baptism Signifies and Unleashes the Very Power of the Gospel
Sinners needed a change and idol worshipers needed turning from their idols to God. They needed switch from one to another. They needed this separation from the kind of life which fooled them into promising much but delivering nothing except for the life of bondage. Baptism signified this separation from one heart’s condition to being now drawn, attracted and devoted to God. However, why would Jesus need the baptism? One thing is certain, He needed no separation from sin to God. However, did Jesus’ baptism signify some kind of separation on the part of Jesus? Did it potentially signify a separation from one reality and the attraction to the other reality? Here lies the beauty of Jesus’ baptism, His mission and death on the cross - there was a separation of eternal Jesus to human Jesus who became incarnate God with us. Baptism of Jesus signified this change that took place through incarnation. Not only that, but it pointed to the loving attraction which God has had towards humanity all along. Eternal Jesus separated Himself from full divinity in order to join Himself to us as this was the only way to accomplish the greatest mission, which was the mission of salvation. This past act has been a portrayal of loving attraction which God has towards you and me personally. So, baptism becomes this moment whereby the sinner who was separated from God becomes united back to God. In the process the attractive power of sin gets buried and a sinner experiences the change from the attraction to sin to attraction and unity with God. God on the other hand, who became incarnated in Jesus underwent a change and became united to us, sinners. In other words, the change is experienced by both and it has consequences for both God and a sinner. God in Jesus would have to die as this uniting with sinners take place. On the other hand, a sinner experiences saving transformation as a result. Now, look what Father said as He observed that act of baptism by His Son. When Jesus got out of the water, Father said, ‘This is my son with whom I am well pleased’.
Father is Pleased
What is father pleased with? He is pleased with the fact that Jesus embraces sinners lovingly as they turn away from their idols. However, this would bring death to Jesus and father is pleased about it. Why? How come? Father is only pleased because He loves us so much that eternity with Him matters to Him the most. The baptism of Jesus is prophetic foreshadowing of Jesus’ salvation which will take place 3 and half years later. It is continuation of a statement given by angels, ‘His name will be Jesus, for He will save people from their sins.’ It’s continuation of a theme uttered by John the Baptist, ‘look at the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’ It now culminates in the waters of baptism which foreshadow Saviour’s uniting with a sinner which will bring about His death and sinner’s salvation. This act is something with which Father is pleased. My salvation is something Father ultimately desires. Salvation is something Jesus wants and He accomplished. Salvation is something that Holy Spirit who lives in us ultimately wants to accomplish for us. Heaven’s trio is supremely interested in our salvation. From now on, heaven would do everything to accomplish salvation through Jesus. And yes, this salvation was accomplished. Jesus understood the high calling of His mission as heaven opened up and Father spoke to him. We are also to understand the high calling from the Father that we are saved in Jesus and that nothing is to separate us from His loving salvation in Jesus. Once we are united back to God devil will do everything possible to separate us.