The book of Exodus tells us how the Israelites, the people of God, escaped from hundreds of years of slavery in Egypt. God raised up a special leader named Moses, who guided the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, a place of abundant life. Moses talked with Pharaoh, the leader of the nation of Egypt, and it took God sending ten plagues on the land before Pharaoh agreed to let Israel leave.
After they left, Pharaoh changed his mind, and sent down his army to chase the Israelites down. The Israelites were following Moses’ lead as he followed God. Eventually, they ended up facing the waters of the Red Sea on one side, and the Egyptians chasing them on the other. Their backs were against the wall, and it seemed like there was no way out.
But Moses trusted God to rescue them from the Egyptians, and God split the waters in half, so the entire nation of Israel could cross the Red Sea safely. When they were all on the other side, God released the waters, drowning the Egyptians who had followed the Israelites into the water. The ones who had held them captive were swallowed up, and the Israelites, now safe from those who had held them in bondage, praised God.
Today, we have baptism as a way to symbolically show that we are following Christ into His death, and allowing Him to resurrect us into new life. We show that we are dying to the slavery in our past, burying the shackles that have held us back, and that we have been made new in Christ.
Through Christ, the old is behind us and we can live a new life in Him. Imagine the shackles coming off as He rescues you from what has been holding you captive: addictions, unforgiveness, hatred, worry, bitterness, envy…Christ can save you from everything that is keeping you from living the life He intends for you to live. That doesn’t mean your life will be perfect, but that you can have joy no matter the circumstances or obstacles that are thrown at you.
Baptismal waters have no power, but the One who brings you up out of the water has power that can’t be measured. He calls us out of bondage, out of slavery, to a life of abundance. All it takes is us placing our faith and trust in Him to save us from all of our misses and allowing Him to transform us into new creations.