Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
The burial of our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the least preached and misunderstood topics in Christianity. There are many things remain unknown because of this. Although the burial of Jesus is significant as His crucifixion and resurrection. Paul wrote in his epistle: “…do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death…” (Rom 6:3-4) What is this baptism Paul talks about and what is immersion into death?
When we read word baptism in the Bible we shouldn’t automatically think that its water baptism. It’s kind of self-centered point of view. We should look at Jesus and His baptism. He told His disciples: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!” (Luke 12:50) About what baptism was Jesus talking about? The previous verse reveals the meaning: “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” and also verse 59: “I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent” (Luke 12:49,59; NASB) From where did Jesus get out?
This speaks about only one baptism – the baptism of fire that Jesus went through. What is the meaning of the baptism of fire and how does it affect us today? John the Baptist said: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Mat 3:11) There’re many theories about what John meant, but the explanation is right there in the next verse: “His winnowing fan [is] in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Mat 3:12) When we read this verse the scary picture appears in our mind: “Worthy believers (wheat) go to Heaven, but worthless sinners (chaff) burn in hell.” People have this picture just because they were intimidated with eternal fire.
The truth is that the wheat and chaff are the parts of the same plant. Chaff is the dried (dead) steam that comes from the earth just like the first Adam. Grain appears on the wheat later, when it’s ripe and it doesn’t grow from the earth. It’s like manna from heaven or like morning dew that appear on the top of the plant. And it represents the last Adam – Jesus Christ. Even Jesus called Himself as the grain of wheat. (John 12:24) Therefore the gathering of wheat into the barn is the baptism by the Holy Spirit and throwing chaff (our dead old man) into the fire is the baptism of fire.
Have we been baptized with fire? Sure we had. Paul writes that when we were baptized into Christ Jesus we also baptized (immersed) into death. When did we immerse into death or unquenchable fire? When Jesus was in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. (Mat 12:40) Praise the Lord that He went through baptism of fire for us and paid the very last cent.