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The first step on the road to the cross

Matthew 13:13-17

Pastor David Ernst

Baptism of our Lord
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Jan 12, 2020 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Dubraska Rachel Alexandra Santana Marquina. Eduardo Garrido. Juan Diego Rodriguez Urbina. Sandro Dionel Pérez Urbina. They were baptized in this chapel since October. Today we talk about the baptism that made all these possible, the baptism of our Lord.

We are in the season of Epiphany, which means the appearance or manifestation of the divinity of Jesus Christ. The first manifestation remembered in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew was the star that directed the Magi to the Infant Jesus in Bethlehem. The baptism of Jesus is the next most important, which happened 30 years later in the Jordan River.

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the desert of Judea, and saying: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. For this is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke, saying: Voice of the one crying in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord: Straighten his paths.

According to the prophecy, John prepared the way of the Lord with a baptism of repentance for all the people before the revelation of his Messiah. “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John to the Jordan, to be baptized by him. But John resisted him, saying: I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me? But Jesus answered, and said: "Leave now; because we must fulfill all righteousness."

John knew that Jesus had no sins to repent. He, who greeted Jesus in the wind of Mary when John was in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth, knew that Jesus was the greatest prophet. But, Jesus had to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness.

That is to say, Jesus, as a descendant of Abraham, submitted to the whole law of Moses. God made a covenant with Abraham and then all his descendants before Mount Sinai to be their God if they would obey His commandments. But, many times, that people did not obey God's commandments and forgot their covenant. But, a single descendant of Abraham fulfilled the law of Moses perfectly. Jesus fulfilled the law in the stead of all His people, the people that John called to repentance. In this sense, all the people of Israel in one man came to John to receive the baptism of repentance. With this baptism, Jesus began His way to the cross where He suffered and died in the stead of the entire human race, for the salvation of all nations.

However, in this instance, something different happened. “And Jesus, after He was baptized, rose from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove, and coming upon Him. And here is a voice from heaven that said: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am content. ”

In the last verses of the gospel according to Saint Matthew, Jesus sent his disciples to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. There are clues to the persons of the Holy Trinity in the Old Testament. In Genesis when God created heaven and earth by His Word and the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters. Later an Angel of the Lord would appear, a Messenger who clearly had the attributes of God Himself. But, here is the full revelation.

A voice from heaven told them, "This is my beloved Son." The Son was Jesus and clearly His Father was God. And the Father sent Jesus the Holy Spirit. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were present at the baptism of Jesus and are present every time a person is baptized in the name of the triune God. After this event there was a baptism of Jesus distinct from the baptism of John. A baptism not only with water, but with water, the Word and the Holy Spirit. This is the only baptism with the Holy Spirit, and every baptism in this faith by name of the Trinity is valid.

As Jesus Christ began His way to the cross with His baptism, each of us began our path to physical death and resurrection in our baptism. Because of the baptism of Jesus, as well as the death of Jesus, we have the promise of eternal life. Jesus first fulfilled the law of Moses for the Jews, also for us all the moral law that is the basis of the moral law.

In our baptism, then, we begin a life of joy and hope. The church continues its mission of baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for the spiritual freedom and spiritual health of all. In this, we have the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.





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