Editor’s note: This is a previous post touched up and redone. Enjoy!
It was by the banks of the Jordan River that John the Baptist proclaimed “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” (John 1:29). When John saw his cousin coming toward him, he already knew in his heart of hearts that Jesus was the Messiah, the One pure and spotless sacrifice who would atone for the sins of all of humanity for all time. John had said about Jesus that he was unfit to tie His sandals (Mark 1:7). Yet here was where the Baptism of Jesus took place.
Now one may ask “why did Jesus need to be baptized?” Short answer is He didn’t need to strictly speaking. He was born without the stain of original sin and had no need to repent of anything. The sole reason Jesus received Baptism was out of respectful obedience. Jesus saw it as the right and proper thing that He begin His holy mission with an act of humility towards His Father. As Jesus would later teach, humility is very important to the Father.
Once the Baptism was completed, John testified that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from Heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22). This set the stage for Jesus’s ministry on Earth and in particular the next part of the New Testament story.
Baptism is one of the most important tenants of the Catholic faith
It is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty in this world as well as realizing the need to repent of sins. It is the receiving of the Holy Spirit to fortify you against the trials and tribulations of this world. This Spirit is given freely by God’s generous grace. It is both an expression of human faith and an expression of God’s love.
In this passage I pray that you are reminded that God will strengthen and guide anyone who asks. I pray that you forget that in Baptism, God the Father has promised to be your guide and protector. The best part is…God always keeps his promises. Behold the Lamb indeed!