Tonight our church gathered for what is, by far, one of my favorite things in the life of the church: baptism. Not having a place in our church to do the baptisms, we take over one of the city’s indoor pools for a few hours. We bring in a couple of amps, guitars, and a mic and have an awesome time of worship as those being baptized go down into the water and up again.
Tonight, we saw nearly 70 people make a public declaration of their new life in Christ. From the young to the not-so-young, individuals and whole families, it was a procession of smiles, tears, and unbridled joy. As we worshipped, our pastor would lower them into the water (signifying the death of their old life) and raise them up, symbolizing their new life in Christ, to the applause and cheers of the crowd.
What a picture of what happens to us when we Jesus saved us. It’s a beautiful thing that you can only experience if you’re there. It hit me tonight: it’s something I need to experience every day.
Jesus died for me. The man I was before I gave my life over to His leading is dead. He’s buried. In his place, Christ gave me a new life in Him. And every morning, that same mercy that saved me in 1996 is new again. Every day, I wake up to a life filled with grace and purpose, because I no longer serve me, but the Lord of glory. And just as those people celebrated their new lives in Christ tonight by going down into that water and rising out of it again, I should celebrate mine every day.
Think about it: when we were worth-less, full of sin, Christ, the One Who is of measureless worth, became sin for us. He died that we might live! And I get to live for Him and in Him every day that He sees fit to keep me here. So Christian, you who were dead but now live, rejoice and live! And remember that the old you is dead and buried, long gone. So leave him there, don’t resurrect them, and come up and live!