Have you ever felt like John the Baptist when confronted with the task of baptising Jesus? How could the Son of God ask such a thing? It doesn’t make sense.
Let’s investigate. Why was John baptising people? We read about repentance. We read about remission of sins. Yes, ordinary humans, born in sin, need to repent and be washed clean from their sins. But not Jesus.
But wait a minute – the word ‘remission’ in the Greek text of Mark 1:5 is APHIEMI, and aphiémi means ‘to send away’. See how this explains everything. Jesus said He requested baptism ‘to fulfil all righteousness’. In going through the waters He was declaring this to be His great task – to ‘send away sins’. He was not baptised for repentance, or for cleansing from sin, but to show at the very beginning of His ministry what He had come to earth for – ‘to send away sins’.
Earlier John the Baptist had said of Him, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’ So he then had to learn why Jesus requested baptism – it was for this very thing, to declare to all that He had come ‘to take away the sin of the world’. Truly that fulfils ALL righteousness.
‘Man of sorrows, what a name! – Ruined sinners to reclaim, Hallelujah, what a Saviour!’