Repentance not only means to recognize your misdirection or error and turn around and go in a different direction with a different mindset, but it means to choose God's Way when you do turn around. We all can turn around and select another direction that seems opposite to our original heading, but the key is to plot your course with The Morning Star, Christ Jesus, as your Guiding Light in life.

This call to Repentance is what John the Baptist was proclaiming prior to the start of the ministry of Jesus. However, God's Guiding Light was The Law at that time. John desired people to turn away from their wicked lifestyles and follow God wholeheartedly. John's baptism was an outward and inward expression of that devoted turn or repentant heart for God's statutes and commands.

However, there would be an even better Baptism which Jesus would provide that John the Baptist encouraged all to be submerged under. 

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11)

John brought people a message of repentance and kingdom nearness, but what set his message apart from all others was that within months, weeks, days or perhaps hours of John's ministry starting, John would be meeting and introducing The Messiah! 

"after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.".

John knew that his cousin was special. But evidently John had not seen his cousin in perhaps many years. The Scriptures indicate that John did not know what Jesus looked like but that John had insight into who The Messiah should be by a confirming sign. 

"Then John gave this testimony: 'I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.'" (John 1:32-34)

Notice this sign happened post baptism of Jesus. Can you imagine the conflict inside John as he met Jesus, confirmed who He was, then realized Jesus was coming to him "to be baptized" (Matthew 3:13)That is exactly what Matthew 3:13 says and implies - the taking of a purposeful action. But isn't John's baptism for sinners? If Jesus was and is the spotless Lamb of God, from inception by the Holy Spirit, then why is a baptism needed?

Is it any wonder that Scripture records - "But John tried to deter Him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?'"

" all seemed bizarre. It all seemed somehow wrong. What John is declaring here in his unwillingness to baptize Jesus is foundationally important to the identity of Jesus because John is saying this: 'You need no repentance. You need no baptism of repentance, this is a baptism for sinners. You’re not in that category.'"

So, why was Jesus baptized? Jesus answered (Matt. 3:15) - 
  1. "Let it be so now;" - [Paraphrased] John, allow this to go forward. I realize it is not normal, but the timing is perfect, trust me. 
  2. "it is proper for us to do" [Paraphrased] John, your role and my role in this baptism is as it should be for My Mission to begin and succeed. 
  3. "to fulfill all righteousness" [Paraphrased] John, this is the why - to obey Father God - by becoming the Carrier of humanity's sin and fulfillment of The Law.
2 Corinthians 5:21 states - "For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."

"Paul’s intended meaning in 2 Corinthians 5:21 is that Jesus was always without sin actually, but at the cross He was made to be sin for us judicially. While Jesus never committed a sin personally, He was made to be sin for us substitutionally. Just as the righteousness that is imputed to Christians in justification is extrinsic to them, so the sin that was imputed to Christ on the cross was extrinsic to Him and never in any sense contaminated His essential nature. As one Bible expositor put it, 'The innocent was punished voluntarily as if guilty, that the guilty might be gratuitously rewarded as if innocent.'" (

Just try to imagine all of History's sicknesses and rebellion against God place on Jesus. Jesus is SO cloaked, soaked and/or baptized with our wrongs upon The Cross that He calls out to Father God - “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) - Matthew 27:46. The Lamb does not become a sinner, just the carrier of all our sin outside the camp or city. The only thing that can penetrate this enveloped covering and satisfy the requirement for our right standing in body, mind and spirit with God is Christ's Blood. And He shed all of it for us.

However, the beginning of taking on our infirmities and sins does not seem to occur all of the sudden in The Garden of Gethsemane, but here at the beginning of His ministry with His Baptism. From what I have studied, The Baptism of Jesus was The Coronation of Christ The King.

Up to this point the Scriptures have drop-in accounts or snippets of the early life of Christ. When Jesus reaches around the age of thirty, this event, The Baptism of Jesus, was Christ's act of obedience to begin taking on the sins of the world - past, present and future.

So, Christ's Baptism is all about identification. He identifies with us in being baptized into our mistakes and sufferings SO THAT later He will pay for them with His life on The Cross. In addition, Jesus identifies as The Son of God here at His Baptism when Father God declares immediately after the Baptism - “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17). This leaves no doubt to John who The Messiah is and declares to everyone who Jesus truly is - Son of The Most High God.

The next occurrences in Christ's life after His Baptism were The Temptations in the wilderness by the devil. This declared relation of Sonship is challenged right after Christ's Baptism of Water and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness where we see the devil threaten in the first two attacks - "If you are the Son of God..." (Matthew 4:3, 6).

Baptism is a strong declaration for one's own heart concerning their faith but also a physical and spiritual symbolic EXCLAMATION POINT (!) to others watching - be it humans or the spirit world. As you can see, the devil did not like this event in Christ life and attacked the identification of Sonship that came with it immediately following the Baptism. Jesus experienced and conquered a devil-filled wilderness at this particular time So That we will be Overcomers through Him also.

Our baptism should be viewed as an outward expression of an inward passion - the beginning, wholehearted pursuit of Christ in all areas of our lives. The verbal and heart-meant prayer of faith in Christ is great, but to add baptism to your profession of faith makes it - Your Most Excellent Faith that declares your Identity In Christ.