In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:20,21
A Big Deal
When was the last time you witnessed a baptism? Do you remember it? As you listened, a few words were said. As you watched, some water was sprinkled or poured on the individual’s head. Nothing flashy, just water and words. It probably took all of five minutes. What’s the big deal?
It has become easy for us to view baptism as nothing more than a nice church custom. To think of it as this thing we must do or a ritual we must participate in to check another box. A traditional rite of passage that we better get on the calendar so that Grandma will quit pestering us.
In these verses, the apostle Peter reminds us that baptism is, in fact, a big deal. Holy Baptism is a powerful act of God and not just a symbol. Baptism is not merely a task to be checked off or a ritual to complete. Nor is it something that I do for God. Rather, it is something wonderful that God does for me. Namely, “baptism saves you.” Baptism cleanses us from sin and creates faith in our hearts. Baptism is a wonderful means of grace where God saves us from sin, death, and hell.
But how can this seemingly small thing have such power? Baptism saves us because it connects us to the resurrection of Jesus. Through baptism, we die and rise with Christ. His victory over death becomes our victory. His salvation becomes our salvation. In baptism, Jesus washes all my sins away and makes me his child. The next time you see baptism, marvel at what happens there through water and God’s Word.
Dear Jesus, thank you for the saving gift of baptism. Amen.
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