|Baptism in the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ|
|Written by arkwriter|
|Sunday, 14 June 2009 01:46|
BAPTISM INTO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
3. Baptism in the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ
Throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation we can trace God’s plan of redemption had included the shedding of blood. After the Fall, Adam and Eve made for themselves aprons of fig leaves but they were unacceptable to God. Covering for sin (atonement for sin) cannot be woven by human hands. God slew an innocent animal so that blood was shed, and the coats of skins that He made for them was to let them know what it meant to die because of sin. This is the first sacrifice, and it was offered by the hand of the Almighty God. In the Garden of Eden as God covered the nakedness of the man and the woman, He turned to Satan and said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:15) It speaks of Jesus at Calvary where He shed His blood. His heel was bruised. But in that bruising, He defeated once and for all the power of that old serpent, the devil (Heb. 2:14).
It was the Abel’s offering with the shedding of the blood that God respected over the bloodless offering of Cain. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Heb. 9:22). Then came the Flood, which was God’s judgment on sin, and the first recorded act of Noah, after he had left the ark, was the offering of a burnt sacrifice to God. Abraham’s divine call to form the chosen people of God could only be accomplished through circumcision, the shedding of blood of every male person. God’s requirement of Abraham to sacrifice Isaac points to the sacrifice of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. The timely intervention of provision of a ram to die in Isaac’s place was the foreshadowing of the substitutionary sacrifice and shedding of blood of His only begotten Son for the sins of humanity. By the sprinkling of the door frames of the Israelites with the blood of the Passover lamb, the people were taught that only through the blood could the lives of their firstborn be spared.
There is a clear statement in the Bible that gives the reason why God places so much importance in the blood. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” (Lev. 17:11) The value of the “life” is the measure of the value of the “blood”. This gives the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ its inconceivable value. When it was shed the sinless God-man gave His life. The blood of Christ is seen as surpassing the blood of the Old Covenant and eternally satisfying the requirements of a holy God (Heb. 9:12). We are informed that Christians are washed and redeemed by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:5; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). How does the blood, which was shed nearly two thousand years ago, do that in our time? To understand this truth we must go back to Calvary where our Lord was crucified. “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” (Jn. 19:34) The blood and water that came out from the Lord’s side is indeed the “fountain for sin and uncleanness” that Zechariah had prophesied about 500 years before it happened (Zec. 13:1). The apostle John had personally witnessed this phenomenal miracle and he later wrote in his epistle:
The phrase “He who came by water and blood” refers to the two important events in the life of Jesus Christ. The first one was His water baptism. Our Lord was not baptized for the remission of His sins because He was sinless and He had never sinned. He was baptized because “it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Mt. 3:15). “To fulfill all righteousness” means to accomplish God’s purpose of remitting sins and placing man in the right relationship with Him. The second reference is the Lord’s shedding of His blood on the cross for the remission of sins. In the statement “this is He who came by water and blood” John had connected water baptism with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul had also linked the two events together: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:3) Can you visualize yourself going into the baptismal water with your crucified Savior and being washed in His blood? This is what John and Paul saw when they wrote their epistles.
To better understand how the blood and water that flowed together from the Lord’s side can wash away man’s sins, let us look at the ritual cleansing of the leper. We have studied before that leprosy symbolizes man’s sins. In the Old Testament time the leper must go to the priest for the ritual cleansing (Lev. 14:1-7). The priest takes two clean and living birds, along with some cedar wood, scarlet wool, and hyssop. One of the birds was killed over running water, that is water from a spring or stream, in such a way that the blood would flow into the water. He then dipped the living bird into the flowing blood and water. This symbolizes the purification of the living bird by flowing blood and water. The priest would sprinkle it seven times upon the leper, after which the living bird was set free, thus symbolizing that the leper was at liberty to return to society. This could be seen as the imagery of a repentant sinner who became free after his sins are washed by the blood and water that flowed from the crucified Lord Jesus Christ.
How does the blood and water that flowed from our Lord’s side nearly two thousand years ago wash away our sins today? John had given us the answer.
The Holy Spirit was present when the blood and water flowed from the Lord’s side. The blood of Christ was offered “through the eternal Spirit” (Heb. 9:14). Today, through the witness of the Spirit of truth, the blood of Jesus Christ is also present with the water when the Christian is baptized into Him. Let us look at an example. About two thousand years ago God bore witness “both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His will.” (Heb. 2:4) Today, God is also bearing witness through the presence of the Holy Spirit with those same signs, wonders and miracles. At different times and in several places all over the world hundreds of people have witnessed and seen visions of the Lord’s blood in the water during the baptism. “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” (Mk.16:20)
It is important for Christians to believe the blood of Jesus Christ flowing with the water during the baptism. We are “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in ‘Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness , because in His forbearance God passed over the sins that were previously committed,” (Rom. 3:24-25) Here the Bible tells us that our sins are remitted through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. Without the presence of the Holy Spirit and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, the water alone by itself cannot wash away the sins. “And there are three that bear witness on the earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.” (1 Jn. 5:8) In what way does the Spirit, water, and the blood agree as one? We are washed of our sins, sanctified and justified by the Spirit, the water, and the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:26; Rev. 1:5). How critical is the faith in the blood of Jesus Christ during the water baptism? Water, in itself, has no power to wash away sins. Without the witness of the Holy Spirit and the presence of the blood of Jesus Christ the baptism has no effect of washing away sins. God told the Israelites: “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 12:13). Will you be washed of your sins in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ?
May God bless you
- to be continued -
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