|As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew3:17-18)|
There is a dangerous moment in this baptism... John the Baptist protests at the idea of baptising Jesus: "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus, instead of trying to grasp at equality with God the Father, lovingly submits: "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness."
The irony is that Jesus, in baptism, is symbolically stepping into our "dirty bathwater" and picking up our unrighteousness. Jesus wittingly and willingly undergoes baptism, thus ceremonially identifying himself as the sin-bearer. (Think of the Old Testament priest confessing the sins of the nation on the head of the scapegoat before driving it into the wilderness (Lev16:21)) His baptism makes the cross inevitable.
But He considers it righteousness. Why?
Because He is doing the Father's Will.
Why does He do it? Why is He willing to do this?
Because He loves the Father and the Father loves Him.
Jesus lived and flourished in the presence and love of His Father.
It was the Father's pleasure and love that gave Jesus clarity, meaning, purpose, joy, comfort and fulfilment.
Can you say the same?
Do you know that your Father in Heaven loves you??
Does His pleasure guide and inspire your life?
Are you living for an audience of One?