13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
Jesus’ baptism marked the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. He would now go forward and publicly preach and teach; he would heal and do miracles. But his baptism marked something else. It marked the beginning of his passive obedience.
In order for Jesus to save us from our sins, he had to do two things. 1) He had to actively fight temptation. We call this Jesus’ active obedience for us. He fought every temptation and lived perfectly in our place. 2) He passively took on our sins. This we call Jesus’ passive obedience.
Up until this point he was actively fighting sin as he lived perfectly. This baptism marked the beginning of his passive obedience. Now the weight of the world’s sin would begin to transfer to him. Now our past record of sin and everyone else’s record of sin was transferred over to Jesus’ record. He would carry that weight of sin with him until he was eventually nailed to the cross.
There he nailed all your sins. But in order to take that weight from you, he had to identify with you. So there we find him standing in line at the Jordan River getting ready to be baptized in the same waters that washed many sins away. The same sins that he came to bear.
Today, tomorrow, or in the future when you’re feeling guilty of your sin, look at the Savior standing in line at the Jordan. He’s your God and your sin bearer.