We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)
I remember watching the casket that contained the body of my father being lowered into the ground.
There is the realization that I will never see that person again in this life. Talk about finality.
A few miles away from this country cemetery where my father was buried is the church in which I grew up. Where I first heard the Good News of Jesus. Where I was baptized as a profession of my faith.
Paul actually uses the word “bury” when he describes baptism. We have been buried, he says.
There is the realization that I will never be the same person again in this life. Or at least, I shouldn’t be. Talk about finality.
The ministry of Jesus began with his baptism. Identifying with my sin, my death, and my punishment. He foreshadowed the sacrifice that he was to make a short time later. My spiritual life begins with my baptism “post-shadowing” the cross, signifying my death to myself and the new life that Jesus gives through the resurrection!
Regardless of the age at which you were baptized, how does the reality of your baptism change how you live? Does the “finality” of your burial to sin and to self ever feel less “final” than you would hope? As we take time to remember our baptism, our passing through the shadow of the cross, may it remind us of the new life we live under the shadow of the cross and the hope of the resurrection!
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of baptism, a reminder of death to sin and self as well as a reminder of the new life we live in you. May the shadow of the cross cast across our own baptismal waters give us the strength to live completely for you. In Jesus’s name, amen.