Sunday, January 13, 2008

The baptism of our Lord

Today's readings were Isaiah 42:1-9, Romans 6:1-11, and Matthew 3:13-17.

Today, the first of the Servant songs (others: 49, 50, and 53). The Messiah was promised to be the perfect servant--and Jesus, the Anointed One of God, fulfilled all of the prophecies. How to we react to this "interruption"? Move on? Or not? for this event, Christ's baptism, alters history entirely. It is important because God, the Three-in-One, is present (the Father's voice, the Son incarnate, and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove--Matt. 3:16-17). The Greek of Matthew--"in whom I am well pleased"--matches the Hebrew of Isaiah.

Another surprise of Isaiah: "[Messiah] will bring justice" to all nations--you and me. The Romans reading explains this wonder of God counting us innocent. Isiah goes on to explain the great graciousness and gentleness of the Messiah--neither breaking a bruised reed nor quenching a smoking wick.

Then His covenant interrupts. We receive the promise of it in Communion, the Lord's body and blood. Christ Himself interrupts our lives, forgiving freely our filthy sin. Give God the glory for this. Christ Jesus has already given us everything! Glorify Him.

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