The canoe rolled. I got dunked. I went alone on a two-day canoe trip on the Buffalo River. In a rapid that turned sharply left under limbs jutting out over the water, I leaned to miss the limbs shifting my weight just enough to capsize the canoe with all my gear.
I had prepared for this with tie down straps, packing items in heavy duty garbage bags, and making sure my tackle box was locked. A few things floated away, but I caught them. But I did lose a reel and rod into the swift water.
By walking up to the head of the rapids, then getting into the water which pushed me quickly down the river. I felt along the bottom of the river as best as I could searching. Although I repeated this process at least two dozen times, I never found it. The rest of the trip was great! It is a memory I relive repeatedly. But the dunking is burned into my memory.
Our spiritual quest to find peace and assurance of life after death can only be found by trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Jesus commands us to be baptized when this happens. Why? We are obeying Christ’s command and publicly confessing Him. Just as a wedding ceremony marks the public beginning of an inner commitment to your spouse, so too baptism is to be an outward mark of the inner transformation of coming to God through His Son Jesus.
Jesus set the example for us and was baptized Himself. When he came out of the water, Matthew writes that God spoke from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
Since God is pleased with His Son’s baptism, He will also be pleased with yours. Confess Jesus as your Lord, believe in His resurrection, and be baptized. Going under the water symbolizes being buried with Christ and being raised out of the water symbolizes being resurrected with Christ to a new of life. It is a dunking you will remember forever.
This is part-two of my sermon series: Amazing Encounters with Jesus. Come this Sunday for our Classic service at 9am or the Celebration service at 10:30am for the rest of the story. See you Sunday!