1500 Years Later…
In my last post, we talked about the defining moment in the life of Israel… the Exodus.
With all of that history in mind I want you to fast forward to the life of Jesus.
Jesus comes on the scene some 1500 years later. It’s at the time of Passover when Jesus is arrested. As you know, he was put through a sham of trial, convicted of crimes He did not commit. Then, at Passover, He was crucified.
The Lamb of God was sacrificed for the sins of the world. At Passover God had delivered Israel from death in Egypt by the blood of a lamb. Now, on this Passover, God will deliver the whole world from death by the blood of the Lamb of God.
And 50 days later, when everyone was gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate Shavuot, which by the way in Greek is called Pentecost… 50 days after Jesus, the Lamb of God was sacrificed to save all people for all time from sin & death, this happens…
1 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
Peter steps forward & speaks to the crowd…
22 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.
32 “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. 33 Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today.
36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”
37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
The First Believers Walk Through the Water
Jesus, the Lamb of God, is crucified & dies at Passover. The time when all of Israel remembers how God rescued them from Egyptian bondage & delivered them through the waters of the Red Sea into the Promised Land.
Three days later, Jesus is raised from death to life by God the Father.
50 days later, at Pentacost, the first Pentecost after Jesus faced the cross, the first Shavuot after Jesus has been resurrected to new life, God pours out his Spirit on His church.
Just like when God had given his law, His word, to His people at Mount Sinai after going through the waters at the Red Sea, God now pours out His Spirit & His church begins after they walk through the waters of baptism!
3000 are baptized. 3000 walk through the water. They are given a new identity. Something different defines them as a people. They walk through the water to become something different. The church.
Here’s what the 3000 knew who walked through the waters of baptism after Peter preached on Pentecost that day…
You can’t walk through the water & not be changed.
Maybe you thought that baptism was important because you were bad & you wanted to be better.
You’ve struggled with sin & you don’t want to go to Hell so you want to do better, be better, get better & all that. So you stepped into the waters of baptism.
But Jesus didn’t come because you were bad & He wanted to make you better. Jesus didn’t die on a cross because you were bad & He wanted to make you better. Jesus died on a cruel cross, was buried for three days, then rose up from the grave so that you too could move from death to life.
It was never that you were bad & God wanted to make you better. It’s that because of sin you were dead & he wanted to raise you to new life.
Everything changes at the cross. Everything changes with the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus.
What changes is you. Your identity. Who you are!
When we walk through the water we receive a new identity in Christ.
So may WE be KNOWN as people who have come through the water! As sons & daughters of God.
As people who can say, “We have decided to follow Jesus through the water into life!”
I serve as the Preaching Minister at Riverside Church of Christ in Coppell, TX. I enjoy sports, running, fishing & life with the family. I’ve been in ministry since 1999. My wife Alisha & I have three amazing children, Will, Ella Grace & Emma Love. Thanks for stopping by my blog.