Sunday, January 9, 2011

Repentance II

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  -- Mark 1:9 (NIV)

I've always found it a little odd that Jesus went out and almost had to twist John the Baptist's arm into baptizing him.  According to church theology Jesus was sinless, and the story goes John was preaching a baptism of repentance.  So, for what reason was Jesus seeking baptism?

According to George Hinman, pastor of University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, as per John Calvin -- Jesus was acting as the representative of all human kind.  Jesus was receiving the baptism of repentance, WAS repenting, for all of our sins.  On our behalf Jesus repented of our sins so we do not even have to do that ourselves.  That is how much God wants a relationship with us.

So, as I said yesterday we have sins we haven't even realized, but before we even get to the awareness point of what they are, the repentance has already been handled and we should be moving on to the next item in life.  I don't think God wanted religion all bogged down in worrying over, analyzing, and criticizing sinful behaviors. It's time wasted and the hurt and negative feelings that can arise from such judgmental practices do no one any good.   Most of us can be hard enough on ourselves for our transgressions.  Jesus' baptism washed that away.

Whatever my troubles and issues O God, let them not be wrapped up in a shroud of guilt.  You've taken the sins of the world and destroyed them in Your sight and we give thanks for that.  Onward and upward, bring on another problem.  Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Our pastor shared an interesting idea this morning - first giving the disclaimer that he wasn't necessarily believing in it. He said that in the early church, there was a legend that Jesus went to be baptized at the urging of Mary and his brothers. Legend says that he asked "but why should I be baptized, unless for the ignorance of asking this question." I've never heard that before - interesting!