Baptism as Drama
Baptism is a drama. It re-enacts the power of the cross of Jesus Christ and puts on display the work of Christ in a human life. I had the joy of explaining this to a young woman who is going to be baptized along with about 15 or so other people this weekend at Christ Community Church. With each person seeking to be baptized, a pastor or an elder at CCC takes time to sit down, hear their story and talk about what baptism means.
Baptism is a celebration of salvation whereby a believer dramatizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus in the act of being submerged in water. A person being baptized is identifying with the death-penalty of sin. Without the death of Jesus on behalf of a sin-broken world, we'd all drown at the bottom of the baptistry - weighed down by sin's fatal verdict.
Paul says it this way in Romans 6:1-5
"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection."
Because baptism is a reenactment of Jesus' experience, we fortunately need not drown our baptismal candidates! The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is also our experience. Sin kills us. Sin buries us. Sin separates us. But only till the grace of God applies the cross of Christ to our lives and raises us from the dead - just like Christ!
This little one-act drama we call baptism, then, serves as perhaps the most significant symbolic act a Christian can experience. It portrays the daily dying to sin and self that real Christianity can't get around. It puts on display the resurrection power of God in raising Jesus from the dead and the finality of sin and death's defeat! Mostly, it gives us hope and practical power to live a life of unity with Jesus and victory over sin in our life.
Come watch the drama and share in the joy of people made new by Jesus!