Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
Stepping Into Our Place
The Bible tells us that Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized. But why did Jesus even need to be baptized? It’s a fair question. After all, baptism is one of the ways that God forgives sin. That’s why each of us needs baptism. We are all sinful and need forgiveness.
But Jesus wasn’t sinful. Jesus was perfect. So, why did he need to be baptized?
The answer is in Jesus’ answer to John: “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”
Jesus was righteous; he didn’t need any more righteousness. But we needed righteousness because righteousness is the entrance requirement for heaven. God demands that for us to be able to enter heaven, we need to be perfect.
And … we can’t do that.
So, we needed a Savior who would not only die in our place but also live in our place. We needed a Savior who could live a perfect human life, in every sense. And, Jesus did that. His baptism was a part of it. It was a part of his fulfilling God’s law for us.
Jesus fully stepped into your place. He was even willing to do things that he didn’t need to do, all so that you could be fully confident that he had done all that he needed to do for you. He did what was necessary for your salvation. The measure of righteousness you needed was filled up…by Jesus!
So, as you are reminded of Jesus’ baptism today, see there your salvation. And rejoice!
O Savior, assure me that I now stand before you as righteous, because of all that you’ve done for me. Amen.