Today was a fun one to watch the boys discover. We found Elfie sitting in a pretend river. What is he doing??? I admit it…..my creative juices were a little off on this one.
Our scripture for this morning was Matthew 3:13-17:
13 Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River. He wanted to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to stop him. So he told Jesus, “I need to be baptized by you. So why do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be this way for now. It is right for us to do this. It carries out God’s holy plan.” Then John agreed.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened. Jesus saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. 17 A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, and I love him. I am very pleased with him.”
This was an interesting topic to discuss as Johnathan accepted Christ as his savior several months ago, but we really have not talked with him a lot about what baptism is. To be honest the boys had a hard time understanding why John didn’t want to baptize Jesus at first. This one was tough to talk out in their young minds. Ultimately what we settled upon understanding was that Jesus had to have someone baptize him and John was the person he wanted to do it. I know that may not be the best explanation, but for a 4 and 5-year-old I think it is acceptable. We focused most on the “it carries out God’s holy plan” part. We took some time to learn what baptism is and what it means. That it is a symbol to God and others that you belong to Him. That it is marking the moment where you belong to Christ and your sins are washed away……that you are a new creature in Him.
We imagined that we were down at the family’s property at the New River and imagined what it would be like to see Jesus baptized there and have the sky open up and a beautiful dove to come down. And then to hear the words, “This is my Son, and I love him. I am very pleased with him.” Our ornament for the day was a simple dove we made to signify this event. My favorite part was acting this scene out a little bit. We put each of the boy’s names, and my name, into the scripture: “Jennifer is my daughter, and I love her. I am very pleased with her”.
Can you imagine hearing God say that to you? How amazing! My first thought was, well wouldn’t that be awesome if that could be said of me. And then I caught myself….
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
That IS what God says about me! I am the one who says otherwise. The enemy is the one who wants me to believe that I am not wholly covered by the blood of Jesus. Am I worth to be called that? NO! The enemy is the one who would have me believe that my sin is too great and too vast to be covered by the cross. For me to believe such a lie is saying that Jesus’s death on the cross was not good enough for me. Because of the cross, when God looks down at me He sees perfection……He sees His son’s payment for me. This is what makes baptism so special. Baptism is the means by which I make a public profession of faith and discipleship. In the waters of baptism, I say, wordlessly, “I confess faith in Christ; Jesus has cleansed my soul from sin, and I now have a new life of dedication to God.” Christian baptism illustrates, in dramatic style, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. At the same time, it also illustrates our death to sin and new life in Christ. As the sinner confesses the Lord Jesus, he dies to sin (Romans 6:11) and is raised to a brand-new life (Colossians 2:12). Being submerged in the water represents death to sin, and emerging from the water represents the cleansed, holy life that follows salvation. Romans 6:4 puts it this way: “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.” Very simply, baptism is an outward testimony of the inward change in a believer’s life.
Honestly, I think this lesson went over my boys heads. And that’s alright. They are young. But they are hearing it and every time they hear it that has to be a step in the right direction. And if nothing else they are seeing their mom get excited remembering that she is a new creation in Christ! Get behind me devil. You have no power over me. I am a child of the one true King of Heaven. I have been bought and paid for at a very high price. I am His beloved!