Saturday, January 9, 2016

Baptism of our Lord

The Baptism of our Lord
Luke 3; 15-22
Heaven is open to you

The baptism of Jesus fits into the season of Epiphany perfectly.  It is the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. In this season, we finally see all things clearly. The one true God is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. In the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ haven is open to you. You see Jesus as He is. Not and the babe in Bethlehem’s stall. Not the inquisitive child held up in the temple. But as God’s man for the saving of humankind.

In mercy, Jesus will take His place with sinners. But He will do more than merely associate with sinners. He will do more than share an occasional meal He does more then spend time with them. As the friend of sinners, He takes the place of sinners. He receives their sin to Himself. He bears them. He carries them.

Luke reminds us, “When all the people were baptized…It happened. Right then and there – Jesus was also baptized.” 
The story of redemption began –way before the Father’s voice of approval on the Mt. of Transfiguration. Way before His trip to Jerusalem. Way before His trudge to the cross. Way before His dying words – “It is finished!”    Jesus submits Himself to a baptism for the

Jesus has no sin of His own. Yet He will take the sins of the world upon Himself. These are great words of hope as we enter the New Year. When you were baptized, you were baptized into the death and life of Jesus. You were baptized into His own death; You were baptized into His resurrection.

In this New Year, when you, “pass through the waters,” when you encounter difficult and challenging times, you shall not be harmed. Says the prophet Isaiah, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” Isaiah 43:2-3

Fear not I am with thee, O be not dismayed
For I am Thy God, I will still give thee aid
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

When thro’ the deep waters I call thee to go
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
For I will be with thee, thy trials to bless
And sanctify to thee, thy deepest distress.

When thro fiery trials thy pathways shall rise
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply
The flams shall not hurt thee, I only design
Try dross to consume and thy gold to refine.1

Jesus has created you for glory. Heaven is open to you. He has redeemed you with His blood that you might be His own, and live with Him in His kingdom.

As you are baptized with a baptism like His, so also you are united with Him in His death and resurrection. He unites with you that You might walk in newness of life with Him.  For all who are baptized into Christ Jesus receive His anointing of the Holy Spirit and so are named by His Father a beloved and well pleasing sons and daughters.

We are just a few days into this New Year. But through it all in ever circumstance, in every situation, in every nuance may Jesus be your center.

Jesus – direct my beginning
Jesus – remain ever near me.
Jesus- refuge in temptation.
Jesus- be my sole desire.
Jesus – be ever in my thoughts.
Jesus – let me never falter!  2
[1] How Firm a foundation, stanza 2-4, John Rippon’s Selection of Hymns, 1787 Sing to the Lord Hymnal © 1993 Lillenas Publishing, Kansas City, MO
[1] Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, New Year #7, #42 Choral

Passive Sentences –8%
Readability –83

Reading Level-4.2

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