Mark 1: 7 -11
“And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
There are three things to observe from this Scripture. The first one is: The Lamb was baptized. Can you imagine the Almighty God humbling Himself to be baptized? He came out of Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in Jordan. Where is Jordan? Jordan is a place of death, about 1000 feet below sea level. Jesus humbled Himself far above any human being He created and as soon as he came out of that river, a voice came from above saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. That voice from above exalted Him above all heavens. Looking at those words carefully, ‘’This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased’’, we realize that there would have been a test before that statement could be made for no one would be pleased with something if it had not been tested. In other words, the Father was saying ‘I have tested and approved him and I am well pleased’.
We are not talking about a mere man here; we are talking about God Who clothed Himself in flesh, dwelled among us, whose glory we beheld. Many believe every other thing except the truth that Jesus Christ is God. Not believing it does not annul it from being true and will simply make the unbeliever die in his sin. The lamb was tested both in the Old Testament and the New Testament and became the beloved of the Father. Where was he tested in the Old Testament?
Exodus 12: 1 – 10
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
The Gospel actually spans from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation and we may not understand the picture painted in these verses until we look closely at them.
As the children of Israel was about to move out of Egypt, God gave them an instruction through Moses: every family in Israel was to choose a lamb. After the father of the house would have examined the lamb to make sure it had no spots or wrinkles, each household should kill and eat it all, no left-overs. Have you eaten in such way before? God was show casing what was going to happen to Jesus, The Lamb of God who is the Father’s image and the lamb portrayed in the Old Testament was a prototype of this Father’s image. They ate it and in the morning, they crossed over: this is called the Passover.
In the New Testament, it is written that, ‘Except you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no part in me’. So many church gatherings today have no part in Christ. To save many, the Lord Himself would reduce churches; He knows how to do it. Pastors should not be offended when God reduces the strength of their congregation. Jesus was a perfect example of this: out all the multitudes that followed him, only twelve remained. Even that little number was reduced by one. At a point, after the multitudes had left, Jesus turned to the twelve and asked, ‘Wouldn’t you also go?’ and they replied, ‘To whom shall we go?’ They could not go anywhere because they had come in contact with something that they could not let go. What we are receiving is Life and Spirit. In the Old Testament, the children of Israel ate the prototype, but in the New Testament they ate the real thing and received Life. Jesus further introduced the Lamb in the book of John and made it clear.
Jonh 14: 8-9
Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Ezek 36: 24
Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord God.
Where the soul was before was not its place. The Lord will need to take the soul out and clean it up. Sprinkling water on the soul is not enough, and it is not sufficient that you have been cleansed from your sins. Something deeper is needed. Some people believe that when they are baptized, that is all. Baptism is not only by water; there is also the baptism of the heart, for the baptism of the body is in the flesh, not in the soul. The reason why our hearts still do some old and forbidden things is that we have not gone through cleansing and our hearts have not been made new.
Some believers cannot pray for their enemies, but if you have a new heart, you will pray for your enemy. The disciples got angry one day and asked Jesus if they should command fire to consume some people. He answered them saying that He had not come to kill people but to save them. He has declared, ‘’I will take away the old heart, I will sprinkle clean water on you and give you a new heart.” Something new must come. We should be tired of the old heart already and stop all unnecessary fights. We should simply yield to God.
He says, “I will give you a new spirit and take away the stony heart and give you a heart of flesh.” What does this mean? It means a new heart that is saved and renewed. When God says He will take the old away, then He will surely take it away. All we need to do is give Him the chance.
Relying on the Spirit when we hear the Word is what will give us Life, for the letter kills. No one can live the Christian life; you do not have the power. Only one Person — CHRIST—lived it, and if you do not allow Him, you cannot live it.
He became a curse so we that can please the Father. What a glorious comfort! He was clothed in the flesh and the world knew him not. It is very difficult to comprehend that God took on flesh. Our Father is revealing to us the mysteries of the Kingdom, for we need to recover all that was lost. He is re -echoing these things and thereby raising His own like He raised the Apostles who in turn raised men unto Him. We should be thankful to Him for this call to live. Amen.