In large earth moving equipment, like dump trucks and loaders, there is often a magnet in the transmission. The purpose of this magnet is to catch the metal filings that wear off the gears in the transmission. If those little pieces of metal were to stay in the fluid, they would cause greater wear on the gears. The magnet helps keep the transmission fluid clean by drawing the “dirty metal filings” to itself. The magnet is in the fluid to clean it.
Jesus is like that magnet. He isn’t in transmission fluid and he doesn’t attract metal filings. The fluid that he cleanses is water. The “dirt” that he draws to himself is sin. Let me explain:
God sent John the baptizer to prepare people for Jesus and to point to Jesus as the Savior from sin. While everyone was going out to John to be baptized, Jesus went and was baptized too. This may seem unusual because John’s baptism was for sinners. Matthew wrote, “They were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.” (Matt. 3:6) John prepared people for Jesus by showing them their sin and calling them to turn from their sinful ways. When they were baptized, they were cleansed of their sins through faith in Jesus.
If baptism is for sinners, why was Jesus baptized? He never sinned. Jesus explained when John objected, “Let it be so now, because it is proper for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matt. 3:15) Jesus wasn’t baptized to be cleansed. He entered the water to cleanse it for you and me. He was drawing all people’s sins to himself. He carried those sins to the cross. There he suffered and died as if those sins were his. He offered the payment necessary to satisfy God’s judgement against us; through Jesus, our sins are forgiven.
Now when we enter the waters of baptism, it cleanses us and takes our sins away. Baptism could not do the great things that it does unless Jesus entered and cleansed those waters by drawing all sin to himself.
Jesus wants you to be clean. He has paid for your sins too. Join us to learn more of what Jesus has done to take away our sins so that we can be with him in heaven.