Jesus’ baptism is an anticipation of his passion. His emersion into water is a symbol of his death, which he knew. Jesus speaks of his baptism as a baptism of death (Mark 10:38). So, Jesus, like Moses, acts as the ideal intercessor. Not standing apart from sinners but in total solidarity with them under God’s judgement, he comes in to take the judgement that was upon us in his body. It’s extraordinary love. And in so doing he acknowledges God’s just judgement on sin while at the same time he offers to God the response of perfect repentance on behalf of his people, he offers his life for our life, total self-giving, total sacrifice.

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