Why Was Jesus Baptized?
by David J. Stewart | October 2019 | Click here for background music in a new window
The cults often use the ceremony of Christ's baptism as an example for a number of things - one of which is salvation.
In Matthew 3:15, Jesus tells us that His baptism was “to fulfill all righteousness.” The basic action of baptism is identification, so Jesus identified with righteousness in obedience to the Mosaic Law.
It identifies us with righteousness - Matthew 3:15. He, being the righteous one, bore the curse of the Law for those who were sinful as our great High Priest. Identification with the believing remnant and also with sinners (1 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 3:11). One scholar said: “Jesus was baptized to identify with a rejected remnant. We, by baptism, identify with a rejected Christ.” Since in Matthew 3:15, Jesus tells us that His baptism was “to fulfill all righteousness.” The basic action of baptism is identification, so Jesus identified with righteousness in obedience to the Mosaic Law. The Levitical Law required that all priests were to be consecrated when they began their ministry at about 30 years of age). 2nd Samuel 5:4, “David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years” (Numbers 4:3, Numbers 4:30). “From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that entereth into the service, to do the work of the tabernacle of the congregation” (Exodus 29:4-7; Leviticus 8:6-30). Luke 3:23a, “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age...”
John 1:31, “for this reason I come baptizing that he would be revealed to Israel.”
Jesus also identified Himself with the preaching of the Kingdom that John the Baptist preached as the forerunner. Christ was made known to Israel inaugurated into His public ministry by the baptism of John - declared the Son of God by both the father identifying Him as the Son with a voice from Heaven. (Hebrew: Bat Kol) “This is my beloved son” (Matthew 3:16; John 1:31). And by John (John 1:34), His mission was made known as John introduced him as the Lamb of God (John 1:29). He was to identify with the preaching of the Kingdom by John the Baptizer. (Matthew 3:1-2).
Jesus was publicly identified as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29a). He was also identified with the believing remnant that John was preparing. He was to be identified with sinners as well. 2nd Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” He was identified with sinners but was not sinful Himself.
Finally, Acts 10:38 tells us that He was anointed with the Holy Spirit. As a human, He was in submission to God and was anointed for His ministry. Although Jesus' water baptism was an inauguration to begin His ministry, He had another baptism at His death as well (Mark 10:38 Matthew 20:23). The “cup” being spoken of signifies God's wrath towards sin that He partook of in our place. Finally, Acts 10:38 tells us that He was anointed with the Holy Spirit. As a human, He was in submission to God and was anointed for His ministry like all priests. The priesthood was taken from among men. He received a special anointing of the Holy Spirit for His public mission (Acts 10:38). Jesus was divinely consecrated for the work of redemption, being an eternal priest from the order of Melchizedek. He also a man, and needed to be anointed like the prophets of old. The difference was that He had the fullness of the Spirit (Isaiah 11:2).
Although Jesus' water baptism was an inauguration to begin His ministry, He had another baptism at His death as well (Mark 10:38; Matthew 20:23). The “cup” being spoken of signifies God's wrath towards sin.
A Biblical Examination Of Baptism(awesome .PDF book by Pastor Max D. Younce)