November 1, 2021

Romans 6:3-4
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Baptism is often described as a physical manifestation of our decision to follow Jesus. But Paul, in these verses, describes a level of “following” that is way more extensive than we sometimes consider. Paul says we are mirroring Christ’s death, resurrection, and new life when we are baptized. But to do so, we must consider that the motivations taking Jesus to the cross are also ours to imitate and own.
It’s easy to see baptism as a personal decision—one that represents our relationship with Jesus and is symbolic of his sacrifice. It is a powerful tool of remembrance. But baptism, as Paul describes it, is also a mandate. Jesus went to the cross to demonstrate the sacrificial love of the Father. He went to the cross for his enemies as well as his friends. Jesus used his very life to right wrongs both past and future. You and are called to the same.
Now, none of us are perfect. It’s not possible to carry the cross’s mandate with us at every moment. If one of us could have done it, Jesus wouldn’t have had to. But we can take small steps, striving to grow in our faithfulness each and every day. As you begin your day, hear these words from Jesus (Luke 9):
Then he (Jesus) said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Today, look for an opportunity to demonstrate sacrificial love for friends and enemies, to restore what has been broken or lost. In short, look for opportunities to walk out the mandate of baptism.
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