We were therefore buried with Him through Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:4)
“What does such baptizing with water indicate? It indicates that the Old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.”
Whenever a baptism takes place there is a death – the death of the Old Adam, that sinful nature which we received from our first parents, Adam and Eve. The heathen, the unbeliever, dies; he is killed. And he must be killed, for only then can he be raised to life again.
Baptism is all about Jesus’ death to sin and His resurrection from the dead. And why did He have to die? In order to pay for all your sins and the sins of all mankind. In Christ’s suffering and death all of God’s wrath was poured out on Him, not on you. Christ took your punishment and your death, and in return He gives you forgiveness, life, and hope – all of which is delivered to you through the preached Gospel, Absolution, Baptism, and the Supper.
Your joy and delight is daily to make the sign of the cross and remember your Baptism in which God made you His child, gave you His name, and gave you His Spirit. That daily remembrance is the daily dying and rising, all the while thanking God for His grace and love for you.
The great news which we have the privilege of preaching is that, for the Christian, death does not have the final word; for the final word in Christ is LIFE. Life instead of death, resurrection instead of burial, forgiveness instead of damnation – and all that from Baptism.
All who believe and are baptized shall see the Lord’s salvation; baptized into the death of Christ, they are a new creation. Through Christ’s redemption they shall stand among the glorious, heav’nly band of ev’ry tribe and nation. (LSB 601:1)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.