After a run, bike ride, or workout there are few things more enjoyable than a shower. It washes away the sweat and toxins purged from the body during the exercise.
On some levels baptism makes sense to us. It’s a thing we do when we become a follower of Jesus like a shower after a workout.
It represents how God cleans us from all our sins – the things that make our souls dirty. That doesn’t seem to difficult to understand, right?
Baptism as a bath or shower that washes away our filth falls a little short.
Why? Because we’re going to get dirty again.
We don’t take one shower and then coast through the rest of life because we already had one shower so we’re good now (though my kids try to convince me that’s true).
In the Scriptures there’s a bigger story happening than just getting clean.
The children of Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures had been enslaved and oppressed for over 400 years. God heard their cries and rescued them through a series of miraculous events.
The last of which involved the people on the run from their oppressors and being faces with a “no way out” scenario. They were up against the Red Sea, surrounded by impassable terrain on three sides and chased by their former masters from behind.
God then does something incredible. He has Moses hold out his hands, the sea parts and the people walk through on dry ground.
They were delivered through water.
From that moment on this event marks their lives.
Not just their lives but the lives of generations after.
Whenever the people doubted or struggled with their past captivity they looked back to that moment God delivered them through the water.
The water represented God’s deliverance. It was a marker in their lives that reminded the people of what God had done and could do for them again.
They didn’t need to go back through the water every time they were struggling.
That one moment of rescue was enough to remind them of God’s deliverance.
There was no need to keep showering.
Today, when we follow Jesus we also take part in that baptism but we don’t keep doing it every time we struggle with our past or present. Our baptism serves as a moment in our lives where we became free from our oppression. A moment we were delivered into new life, new opportunity, and freedom in Christ.
As believers (like the Israelites) we can be haunted by our past as it tries to influence our present decisions but we have that moment of baptism which works like our Red Sea moment.
When the enemy tries to destroy us we look back to that baptism and remember the freedom and deliverance we received.
Baptism becomes our Red Sea experience.
We can move forward in new life because of what God did for us in that moment of baptism.
There’s no need to keep getting wet.