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The Baptism of Our Lord

January 8, 2006

The Baptism of Our Lord                                        Trinity Lutheran Church
8 January 2006                                                        Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +

Mark 1:4-11

What’s the Lord doing?  Somebody stop Him!  Cut Him off before He gets in that water!  He can’t start His ministry this way!  After all, He’s the Son of God.  He’s the everlasting King. 

Stop right there Jesus!  John, don’t do it!  John, your baptism is for sinners.  For the low lifes and losers of the world.  They need to repent.  You don’t Jesus.  They need to have their sins washed away.  You don’t have any sins Jesus.  You’re the sinless royal Son of God. 

So don’t go there Jesus!  You’re not a sinner.  You’ve got no sins to confess.  The Jordan River banks are full of rotten to the core sinners.  This Jordan River water swarms with the reeky and venomous sins of bottom feeders.  You should not be here Jesus!  You’re better than this!   

The Lord’s selective listening skills kick in.  He ignores us.  Goes right ahead and does the unthinkable.  The completely shocking.  The downright outrageous.  The out-and-out scandalous.

He steps right into that sin-infested water!  It reeks with sin!  Enough to make you retch!  Polluted with every kind of noxious sin of every sinner imaginable.  You name it and Jesus is hip deep in it.  He’s covered with the sins of idolatry.  Adultery.  Sexual immorality.  Sex offender.  Rape.  Murder.  Theft.  Cursing.  Hate.  Prejudice. Lying.  Unforgiveness.  Love of the self.  Self-justification. 

And Jesus jumps right in to that toxic water!  Rancid!  Putrid!  Rotten!  Malignant!  With nothing at all to protect Him!  No sin resistant water suit.  No sin protective goggles.  He dives in completely unprotected.  His Body is covered with it all.   

Downright disgusting isn’t it?  We’d never do anything like this.  Not even on Fear Factor. Not even an angel from heaven would do this.  Maybe now you understand why the Lord’s own family thought he was crazy (Mark 4:21).

God the Father doesn’t.  He’s delighted.  So’s the Holy Spirit.  The First and Third Persons of the Holy Trinity are thrilled that Second Person of the Trinity Son of God King Jesus receives John’s baptism.  Elated that He’s washed with this sin-plagued water.  That Jesus is drenched in this sin-infested baptismal water.

So we’re repulsed.  We’d run.  But the Father attends.  And the Holy Spirit descends.  “As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open.”    So right there on the banks of the Jordan we get a good look at heaven.  And heaven gets a good look at Jesus in that water.

Maybe the Father and the Holy Spirit will miraculously save Jesus from this poisonous sin-infected water.  After all, this sin-polluted water will kill Jesus! 

Precisely!  Now you’ve got the hang of it!  The sins in the water will kill Him!  He’s taking the sin of the world in His Body at this Baptism.  He’s going to shoulder them all – all the way to Calvary.  Where He does His Good Friday.  Answering for the world’s sins.  In His death as the Suffering Servant Son of God King. 

The world’s sins are His.  He takes them in the water.  He becomes the Sinner.  In the world’s place.  To take the full punishment for all the world’s sins.  That’s death and hell.  That’s salvation.  A new creation.  For the world.  Already being done in this water.

No wonder the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus in the form of a dove.  In, with and under the baptized body of Jesus the world is being re-created.  It’s a new and greater Genesis in and with Jesus’ baptized body.  The Holy Spirit hovered over the water in the first creation.  That’s Genesis 1.  Now it’s a Mark 1.  Another Genesis.  Water.  Holy Spirit.  Jesus, the Word made flesh.  A fresh start. 

No wonder the Father is delighted.  Just like He was with Genesis’ “very good.” So now with Jesus and what He’s doing.  “And a voice came from heaven:  ‘You are my Son.’”  There’s no mistake.  Jesus is God’s Son.  Jesus is the Savior King.  His savior-ing of the world is being done in this water.  He’s going to the Cross with the world’s sin to die.

The Father’s not offended.  He loves His Savior-ing The World Son as He saviors the world in this particular way.  “And a voice came from heaven:  ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well-pleased.’”  

What a Savior!  He’s your Savior too.  His Good Friday death is for you.  Proof of that is your Baptism.  Jesus clothed you with His dying and rising at the font.  Took you into His sin forgiving death at the font.  Holied you. Holy Spirit-ed you.  Forgiven, holied, and Holy Spirit-ed at the font because of Jesus’ Baptism, death and resurrection, heaven is cracked wide open for you.  And God the Father looks at you, voices His love for you, and tells you how well pleased He is with you. 

Your Baptism with water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit means that you are a new creation.  Listen to the consequences of Jesus being baptized in the Jordan and your being baptized with water at the font.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God who has reconciled us to himself through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).

Let us pray.  Thank you Jesus.  Thank you for not listening to us.  Thank you for outrageously receiving John’s Baptism.  For our Baptism.  For being our Savior at the Jordan, the Cross, the font, and even on the Last Day when you will raise our baptized bodies.  In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.         

From → Sermons

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