Instagram Jesus Week 4: Devotional Day 1
DAY 1 – Monday
Mark 1:5,9; Hebrews 4:14-16
Jesus was baptized, and yet was without sin. Spend time discussing why Jesus was baptized. What is the significance of his baptism?
For only being one verse, Mark 1:9 sure does pack a lot of subtext into it. First of all, you can’t just gloss over the fact that John baptized in the river Jordan. This was the same river, after all, that the entire nation of Israel had miraculously crossed over hundreds of years before to claim their promised land. John’s choice of location harkened back to that history, and hinted at a future promised land that could only be gained entrance by repentance… and a Savior.
That Savior, Jesus, is further contrasted with the many who came to John in v. 5. If you’ve already compared v. 5 and v. 9, you might have seen that “all” come from Judea and Jerusalem, but only one comes from Galilee. Mark seems to be highlighting that Jesus represents the “no-shows,” the ones who really need repentance. And in that sense, Jesus represents all of Israel, and all of us, waiting to cross the waters of the Jordan.
Finally there is the significance of baptism itself, not only an image of cleansing water, but of submission to death, and from that death: rebirth. Add all these pieces together, and you have a rich foreshadowing of Jesus’ ministry: Jesus, the sinless one, identifies with the “no-shows” and rebellious, crossing the Jordan into the eternal Promised Land on their behalf, facing death for the ultimate prize of resurrection.
Which brings us to Hebrews 4:14-16. Jesus’ baptism poignantly shows us that he doesn’t rise above the riff-raff, he becomes one of them (and by riff-raff I mean us). That revelation should fill us “with confidence [to] draw near to the throne of grace.” Take this moment to praise God, and to marvel at his grace.