Those who were baptized by John the Baptist openly confessed their sins. Their baptism points to the death and resurrection of Jesus. But why then, was Jesus, who was sinless (Hebrews 7:26, 27), baptized?
In order to express his consent to John’s preaching and to identify with his people. Most importantly, some of the path of his suffering is already visible here. Jesus, though sinless, was yet to undergo the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. He had to be made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
When Jesus comes out of the water, He sees heaven breaking open and the Spirit coming down on Him in the form of a dove. The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, who, in the testimony of Isaiah, would rest on the Messiah and equip Him (Isaiah 11:1-3, 42:1, 61:1-3).
This dove thus emphasizes once again how much Jesus is the promised Messiah, about whom the second Elijah, John, spoke. This is also confirmed by God Himself (Mark 1:11).
Also keep in mind that the dove is the only bird that has received a place in the sacrificial service of Israel (see, Leviticus 1:14-17). The Spirit, who comes in the form of a dove, will cause Jesus to sacrifice himself for the people. After all, He drives Him away straight into the desert.
The desert plays a major role in the service of reconciliation. Once a year, the high priest put all the sins of the Israelites on the head of a goat. Then this scapegoat was released into the desert (Leviticus 16:20-22).
In this way Jesus is sent into the desert with the confessed sins of his people by the Spirit. And He appears to be able to bear sins. He is truly the Son of God and as such stronger than the devil. For forty days the devil tempts Jesus, but Jesus does not sin. He even appears to be Lord of creation and the angels are at His service (Mark 1:13).
When our sins accuse us or Satan tempts us, we can turn to our Lord and overcome in his power! (Hebrews 2:17,18, 4:14-16, James 4:7)
▪︎ Thank God for the atonement of your sins
▪︎ Ask God to teach you how to keep standing during temptations.
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