Copyright 2002 by Nina Wallestad. All rights reserved.
Dad (or Mom) and Jack (or Jill)
Modern-day casual. Dad has white baptismal robe over street clothes.
The day before Dadís baptism
Baptism is a picture of our cleansing from sin by Christís death on the cross and our rebirth to new life through Christís resurrection.
ďAnd a voice from heaven said, ĎThis is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.Ē (Matthew 3:17)
One of the most important things that Jesus did before He began teaching and preaching, even before He chose His 12 disciples, was to be baptized by His cousin, John. We sometimes call him John the Baptist, because John encouraged people to be baptized to show that they wanted to repent Ė to stop sinning and start obeying God. John was surprised when Jesus came to him to be baptized. Jesus wasnít a sinner. He was Godís perfect Son. Why would Jesus need to be baptized? But, Jesus insisted that John baptize Him anyway. Ever since that day, people who love Jesus and want to follow His example get baptized. But, why is it important for Jesusí followers to be baptized? Letís find out.
ďSlam DunkĒ by Nina Wallestad. Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.
As action begins, DAD is trying on a white baptismal robe over street clothes. JACK enters.
JACK: Hey, Dad, isnít it a little early in the year to be trying on costumes for the Christmas play? Whereís the halo?
DAD: This isnít an angel costume, Jack. Itís my baptismal robe.
JACK: I thought your bathrobe was blue and kind of shaggy.
DAD: Not bathrobe, baptismal robe. Itís what you wear when youíre going to be baptized. Did you forget?
JACK: Oh, yeah. Youíre being baptized in church tomorrow.
DAD: So, what do you think?
JACK: As long as you donít wear your Scooby Doo underwear, I think youíll do fine.
DAD: Funny! (begins to take robe off, returning it to a hanger) I meant, what do you think about me getting baptized?
JACK: Itís okay, I guess.
DAD: Just okay, huh?
JACK: Well, yeah. I mean, people get baptized at church all the time. Last summer, there was this big group of people who got baptized at Bryant Lake, right in front of the swimmers and lifeguards and everything! Some of my friends at school were baptized when they were babies. Whatís the big deal?
DAD: Well, being baptized was a big deal in Bible times. It showed that a person truly wanted to stop sinning and start obeying God. And, what about Jesus? He didnít start teaching and preaching and doing miracles until after He was baptized.
JACK: Why did Jesus need to be baptized? He didnít have any sin to be sorry for.
DAD: Youíre right. Jesus told John the Baptist that it was the proper and right thing to do. Jesus wanted to please God the Father in everything He did.
JACK: And being baptized made God happy?
DAD: Yes. When Jesus came up out of the water, heaven opened up and the Spirit of God rested on Him. Then God said, ďThis is my beloved Son; with him I am well pleased.Ē
JACK: So, is that why youíre gonna be baptized? To make God happy?
DAD: I guess you could say that. Now that Iím a follower of Jesus, I want to do what pleases Him. But, thereís more to baptism than that.
JACK: Really? Like what?
DAD: Well, baptism shows that my sins have been washed away because Jesus died for me.
JACK: So, being baptized washes away your sins?
DAD: No. Jesus did that when He died on the cross. Baptism is like a picture of that.
JACK: I donít get it.
DAD: I have a picture of you in my wallet, right?
DAD: But thatís not you. Itís just a picture, something to remind me of you when Iím not with you. Baptism is like a picture that reminds us of Jesusí death and resurrection.
JACK: What does being dunked in water have to do with Jesus dying on the cross?
DAD: Tomorrow, when the pastor lowers me into the water, Iíll be thinking about how Jesus died in my place and was buried for three days in the tomb. Then, when the pastor raises me up out of the water, Iíll be thinking about how Jesus rose from the dead to give me new life.
JACK: Oh! Now I get it.
DAD: Thereís even more! Being baptized will help me remember that my old life of sin without Jesus is over -- dead and buried -- and my new life with Jesus has begun.
JACK: Whoa! I guess there is more to this baptism thing than I thought.
DAD: Yeah. Pastor Jim says that being baptized is kind of like sending the whole world a birth announcement.
JACK: A birth announcement?
DAD: Yeah. When you were born, your mom and I sent everyone we knew a card with your picture, telling them that you had been born, how much you weighed, and how excited we were that you had finally arrived.
DAD: The Bible says that, when you become a Christian, youíre an entirely new person. Youíve been born again. So, being baptized is like announcing to the universe that a new child of God has been born!
JACK: Man, I hope that doesnít mean I need to get you a present or something.
DAD: Nope. Just be there to watch. Thatís all.
JACK: Okay, Dad. So, are you nervous?
DAD: A little.
JACK: Yeah, you never were much of a swimmer.
The next time you see someone being baptized, remember that it is a picture of Jesusí death and resurrection. When you see the person being lowered down into the water, remember that Jesus died and was buried in the tomb for three days. Then, when you see the person being raised up out of the water, remember that Jesus rose again from the dead! If you have given your life to Jesus and want to follow His example by being baptized, talk to your Small Group Leader and your parents about it.
* Thank you, Jesus, for the way that baptism helps us remember Your death and resurrection.
* Jesus, please help us all follow Your example by being baptized.
Copyright 2002 by Nina Wallestad. All rights reserved.