The apostle Paul said, "For I
delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ
died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried,
and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures"
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4). What does the word "the Scripture"
in the clause "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures"
means? It means the Old Testament. The apostle Paul said that Jesus
died for all our sin according to the covenant and revelation of
the Old Testament. How did He atone all our sin? He did it through
His righteous act: His baptism and His death on the Cross.
You know, in the time of the early
church, there was no Christmas until the end of the 2nd century.
The early Christians along with the Apostles only commemorated January
6th as "the day of Jesus' baptism," and it was the only
early church's commemoration.
Why did the Apostles lay great emphasis
on the Baptism of Jesus? It is the secret of the true Gospel of
the water and the Spirit, which they received from Jesus and preached
to the world. Jesus said, "Unless one is born of water and
the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).
The Bible said that Jesus came by water and blood to save us from
all our sins (1 John 5:6). Blood means the Cross, then what is the meaning of water?
|(I hope for you
not to be confused with the water baptism of believers and the
Baptism of Jesus. Please pay attention to the meaning of Jesus'
baptism thoroughly. Now we are not focusing on the water baptism
of believers or the doctrine of baptismal regeneration.)
Why was Jesus baptized by John the
Baptist? Why did Jesus proclaim His Baptism to be "fit for
us to fulfill all righteousness?" (Matthew 3:15)
Hebrews 10:1 says, "For the law
(those sacrifices) having a shadow of good things to come . . ."
Let's see the typical sacrifice God gave to His people for their
salvation in the time of the Old Testament. If anyone sinned and
was guilty, the sinner had to offer a sin offering to make atonement
for his sin. Let's see Leviticus 1:3-5. "If his offering is
a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish;
he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle
of meeting before the Lord. Then he shall put his hands on the head
of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to
make atonement for him. He shall kill the bull before the Lord;
and the priest, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle
the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle
of meeting." Here, we can see that the sin offering had to
satisfy three conditions below to be lawful before God.
|(1) to prepare
a sacrificial animal without blemish (v. 3).
(2) to put his hands upon the head of the burnt offering (v.
(3) to kill (to bleed) the sacrifice to atone for his sin (v.
In these verses above, we must confirm
God's law that the sin were to be transferred to the head of the
sacrificial animal by means of the laying on of hands before the
sacrificial animal was killed. It's a very important truth. You
can find so many expressions like "laying hands on the head
of the sin offering" for the remission of sin in the following
chapters of Leviticus. Leviticus 16:21 says, "Aaron shall lay
both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all
the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions,
concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat,
and shell send it away into the wilderness by the hands of a suitable
When Aaron, the high priest laid his
hands on the head of the goat, all the sins of the Israelites were
transferred to the head of the goat. When a sinner laid his hands
on the head of a sacrifice, his sins are transferred to its head.
In the same way, when a person is ordained to the priesthood, a
minister lays his hands on the head of the person in order to pass
the priesthood. Therefore, "the laying on of hands" was
the act of passing sins onto the sacrifice. It means "to pass
And then the animal must be killed
by bleeding because "the life of the flesh is in the blood,
and . . . for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul"
However, the Israelites were too weak
to be expiated for all their sin, for they could not help sinning
everyday until they died even though they offered sin offerings
every time they sinned. So God opened another chance for them to
be forgiven for all their yearly sins once a year. It was the ritual
of the Day of Atonement. On the Day of Atonement, Aaron, the high
priest, laid his hands on the head of the scapegoat to pass the
yearly sins of all Israelites onto it once for all (Leviticus 16:21).
Aaron was the representative of Israelites
at that time because he laid his hands on the head of the goat in
place of all Israelites. When he himself laid his hands on the head
of the goat, all the yearly sins of the Israelites (about 2-3 million
at that time) were passed onto the head of the scapegoat through
his lawful deed. It was a statute forever for mankind (Leviticus
That was the "shadow of good things
to come" (Hebrew 10:1). Now, God completed "the good things
to come" through Jesus Christ. Let's see how Jesus Christ fulfilled
First, God the Father sent Jesus Christ
in the form of a man without blemish as the promised Lamb of God.
He is the only begotten Son of God, and He is Holy God, too. So
He was fit to be the Sacrifice of all mankind without any blemish.
Second, He was baptized by John the
Baptist in the Jordan River. Here, we need to know who was John
the Baptist who baptized Jesus. John the Baptist was a descendant
of Aaron, the high priest. The priest Zacharias, John's father was
born in the lineage of Abijah, the grandson of Aaron (Luke 1:5,
1 Chronicles 24:10). So John the Baptist was a descendant of Aaron,
the high priest. It means that he had the right to become a high
priest. Moreover, Jesus approved John to be the greatest one among
all mankind. "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of
women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist. All
the prophets and the law prophesied until John" (Matthew 11:11,14).
It means that John is the last High Priest on earth and the legitimate
representative of all mankind God promised and prepared.
The Old Testament prophesied him. "Behold,
I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me"
(Malachi 3:1). "Remember the law of Moses, My servant, which
I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of
the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts
of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to
their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse"
(Malachi 4:4-6). Jesus said, "And if you are willing to receive
it, he is Elijah who is to come" (Matthew 11:14).
John the Baptist was Elijah to come
and returned all people to Jesus Christ making them prepared to
accept Him. He was born six month prior to Jesus. He gave the baptism
of repentance to people in the wilderness in order to prepare the
way of the Lord. He needed to lead people to remember the law and
the sacrificial system of the Old Testament in order to make them
prepare their Savior Jesus Christ. So he baptized people and made
them realize that the Savior would come soon and take away all the
sins of the world in the form of the laying on of hands. John's
baptism called upon sinners to return to God. So many people heard
the words of God through John and abandoned their idols and return
to God, confessing their sins.
Then Jesus came from Galille to John
at the Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus said, "Permit
it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness"
(Matthew 3:15). Here, all righteousness is "dikaiosune"
in Greek, and its meaning is "fairness, justice." It means
that Jesus saved all sinners from their sins in the absolutely just
and fair way. To deliver all sinners from their sins in the absolutely
just and fair way, Jesus had to take away all their sins through
"the laying on of hands" according to the covenant, which
God made in the Old Testament. It was the most proper way for Him
to take away all the sins of mankind by receiving baptism from John.
Because Jesus took on all the sins of the world through His baptism,
the next day John the Baptist testified, "Behold! The Lamb
of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) The
very John came to perform the baptism on Jesus by laying on of hands.
At the moment John laid his hands on the head of Jesus Christ, all
the sin of the world had been passed to Him according to God's law.
Third, He was crucified for the remission
of our sin. Before His last breath He said, "It is finished!"
(John 19:30) He shed all His blood for the wages of our sin. And
He was raised from the death the third day, and ascended to Heaven.
He blotted out all the sin of the world absolutely with His baptism
and His blood on the Cross.
The apostle Paul said, "Christ
died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians
15:3). Now, do you understand how the sacrificial animal was offered
for the remission of sin in the Old Testament, and why it is the
shadow of the good things to come?
There had to be "laying on of
hands" before killing the sacrificial animal. If one had omitted
"laying hands on the sacrifice" when he offered a sin
offering, he could not have been forgiven of his sin because of
his lawlessness. God had never received such lawless sacrifices.
It was against the law of God to offer a sacrifice omitting to lay
hands on it.
Jesus came to this world in order to
cleanse all our sin by His righteous act (Romans 5:18). His righteous
act was that he was baptized by John the Baptist to take away the
sin of the world and was crucified to pay the wages of the sin.
He came by His baptism and blood. But unfortunately, most Christians
know only a half portion of His righteous act. We should know the
whole portion of the Gospel of the water and the Spirit. Believe
in Him omitting the important portion of His Gospel is lawless and
The apostle John clarified the whole
portion of His Gospel in his first Epistle. "This is He who
came by water and blood - Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by
water and blood" (1 John 5:6).
We are born sinful natured, and sin
until our last breath. We cannot but sin and we cannot escape from
God's judgment. We all mankind are destined to go to hell, "for
the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). But where sin abounded,
grace abounded much more, "for God so loved the world that
He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should
not perish but have everlasting life" (Romans 5:20, John 3:16).
Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to
this world as the Lamb of God. He took all the sin of the world
when He was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. As
the representative of all mankind, John laid his hands on Jesus'
Head, and at the moment, all the sin of the world passed over onto
Jesus. Thus Jesus took all our sins by His baptism and carried them
to the Cross. He bled all His sacred blood as the wages of our sin,
and atoned all the sin of the world absolutely.
So He cried out loudly, "It is
finished!" before His last breath on the Cross. What was finished
by Jesus? All the sin and its judgment was finished by His righteous
act, in other words, we were forgiven for all our sin by His baptism
and His death on the Cross. Jesus Christ blotted out all the sin
of the world about 2,000 years ago, and has consecrated a new and
living way (Hebrews 10:20). Now is the time of His grace. Whoever
believes in His baptism and His death on the Cross can be forgiven
for all his sin, and has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Acts
And what more shall we say! There are
so many verses in the Bible asserting His Baptism as the indispensable
righteous deed of Jesus for our salvation (Matthew 3:13-17, 1 Peter
3:21, John 6:53-55, Ephesians 4:5, Galatians 3:27, Acts 10:37, etc)
Do you believe in this truth? Do you
have no sin in your heart? Did Jesus take all your sin from your
birth until now? Did He take all your sin from now on until your
last breath by His baptism 2,000 years ago? Then are you absolutely
sanctified by believing in His baptism and His blood?
Christianity today should recover the
Gospel of water and the Spirit. Whoever wants to know about the
Gospel of the water and the Spirit more in detail, don't hesitate
to make contact with The New Life Mission. You can get Rev. Paul
C. Jong's books/e-books for free.