There is something truly satisfying about the Christian rite of baptism. I’ve baptized a lot of people in my time, and I never tire of seeing the joy on the faces of people who are simply starting their life over again with a clean slate and that they can put all that past behind them with God and go forward. It’s a tremendous thing to see. It’s been so long since I was baptized myself that I kind of lost touch with the feeling. I don’t know exactly how they feel, but it’s very obvious in the working of the face and the tears running down their cheeks that this is the turning point of their life. It means more to them than anything they could ever explain to anyone else.
And I suppose that might be one of the reasons why one of our listeners asked me if I would do a program about baptism. And so I thought “Let’s do a program about baptism.”
One of the most fascinating things about baptism is that Jesus himself was baptized. When you consider the meaning of Christian baptism, it is the idea of washing away our sins. It’s a matter of cleaning up a sinful life, of repenting and putting the past behind you. Why on earth did Jesus need to be baptized? Well, he did. Baptism was a widely-practiced rite in those days, and there is in the New Testament more than one baptism. In fact, we find two sharply different baptisms there: the baptism of John and the baptism of Christians. Let’s take a look at the first of these, beginning in Matthew 3.