I was really excited for the B1G5 retreat that I’ve been planning my outfit for the dedication ceremony a week before. I asked a good friend of mine his opinion on me wearing the Radikal shirt for my baptism. It’s anchored on Mark 8:34, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, carry his cross, and follow me.” He encouraged me to wear it and said that he also wore his Radikal shirt during his water baptism.
To set matters straight to those who don’t know and are asking the essence of this baptism, I will give a background on baptism. Baptism is a public declaration of identification with Christ in which a person is completely immersed in water. It is not a means to salvation, but a declaration of salvation. In the act of being submerged into the water, I identify with Christ’s death, and my rising out up of the water identifies with Christ’s resurrection. It is an act of commitment to follow Christ, to renounce evil, to run away from temptations. It symbolized being dead to sin, but alive to God in Jesus Christ.
The anticipation of the baptism was the root cause of my excitement. I saw how God worked in me the whole year. He started off by saying that this year is about changes, changes that are permanent, and changes that will start off bigger changes. It is why I was obsessed with death, even likening this to Christ’s death and resurrection–Christ’s death on the cross is a permanent change, He died once and for all our sins, He paid the full price of our sins; Christ’s resurrection declares Him a living God full of glory, and that initiates change as He sent the Holy Spirit to aid us in having a personal relationship with Him. Upon realizing this months ago, I asked God, “What is my resurrection?” I had this hanging question in me as God taught me more things about death.
As the time for the baptism closes in, my excitement grew even more! The Lord said, “Karla, this is your resurrection. As you have died to your sins last night, I will raise you up, and you will declare what I have done for you, not only for this year, but for the rest of your life.”
Paul wrote to the Romans 6:
4We 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.
5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
This is my resurrection. No longer I, but Christ lives in me.