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Discovering how truly…

October 11, 2007

difficult it is to be truly repentant in this life was the blow to my gut and complete thoughts this week. You can read here for the first part. Most of the magnificence in God’s Word is how His light reveals our darkness and then shines the light brighter to lead us out of the darkness.

That’s how chapter 3 of Matthew ended for me.

The scene this time starts in verse 13 where Jesus comes to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. John is reluctant but finally agrees in regard to Jesus’ statement that “it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” (vs 15) After Jesus is baptized, heaven is opened and the Spirit of God descends like a dove onto Jesus. A voice from heaven is heard to say, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Now several commentaries say, and I have always heard it taught that Jesus was baptized to show His identification with sinners. The caveat is then given that of course Jesus didn’t need to be baptized or confess His sins because He had no sins.

I don’t disagree with this teaching, but I don’t think it tells us everything. Searching further in Hebrews I read that Jesus was appointed by God to be our Priest and Mediator. (Heb 5:1-6) In those days before a person could perform the priestly duties, he was anointed or baptized as a sign he was now installed to perform the requirements of the position. Even now, some churches continue the idea of anointing in ordination services.

Jesus’ baptism fulfilled the righteous requirement of installing Him as man’s God-appointed Priest and Mediator. Unless man has the righteous mediation of Jesus Christ before the Father, he cannot and will not be accepted. No one can approach a Holy God on his own justification. (Heb 7:21-28; 8:6; 9:11-15)

As man’s Mediator, Christ does indeed bear the sins of His people so His identification with us is essential. But I don’t think the arrow of thought can only go that way. Yes, Jesus was identified with us in His humanity, His temptations, and His baptism. While that’s a major part of the point, it’s still not all the point.

Because the good news is not limited to how He identified with us; rather the good news is proclaimed in that He secured the only way to be identified with Him. When standing before the Father, I do not desire that God would look on me and say, “Ah, there she is. I know what she has done.” Instead, my hope of salvation is entirely based in that when standing before the Father is that He looks on me and says, “Ah, there is my beloved Son. I know what He has done and for that reason alone, I accept this one.”

This is where true repentance is seen. That as I hate my sin, confess it and turn from it, that I not turn to nothing or even a lesser thing, but that I would flee to being more like Him, that I would love more of His ways, that I would become in my thoughts and life completely identified with Him.

Only Jesus has granted that gift. Only in Jesus is true repentance found for Christlike living.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2007 8:03 pm

    I’ve been reading quite a bit about repentance lately. Then praying that God would grace me with the godly sorrow and true repentance. I want to hate my sin, but for the first time in a very long time, I find myself cherishing it more than hating it. And I am sick with myself over it. I can’t change my heart. I can be obedient and fight it, but my heart must be changed! It is so hard fighting my flesh with sheer exertion. I know that even doing that is God’s grace, too, but I wish it were easier. Your posts this week have been very encouraging and honest. Thanks for studying and sharing the overflow!

  2. October 11, 2007 8:03 pm

    Good words to ponder, Elle. What a colossal moment that was for Jesus, for John and for the world. These words come to mind:

    Because the sinless Savior died
    My sinful soul is counted free.
    For God the just is satisfied
    To look on Him and pardon me.

  3. October 12, 2007 8:32 am

    Oh, that we would turn and flee down the narrow path, leading to the narrow gate.

  4. October 12, 2007 11:14 pm

    Jesus’ baptism fulfilled the righteous requirement of installing Him as man’s God-appointed Priest and Mediator.

    He thought of everything! I love facts like this! Thanks Elle!

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