I grew up in a church that sprinkled babies within the first few months of their birth to baptize them. This is all I knew until I was invited to the baptism of my future brother-in-law one Sunday evening. No one prepared me for what was going to happen. When the time came for Wayne to get baptized, the pastor walked down some steps into a huge tank of water wearing a white robe. Right behind him was Wayne and then the pastor asked him some questions and the next thing I knew, Wayne was dunked under the water with all his clothes on. When he came up out of the water he was soaking wet and everyone was clapping. I had no idea what had just happened.
It would be several years later before I learned the true meaning of baptism, which is identifying with Jesus in his death, burial and resurrection. Jesus identified with me when he became a man and bore my sins on the cross. I identify with him by being buried with him by going completely into the water and then symbolically rising from the dead when I come up out of the water.
Now, every time I observe another believer being baptized it reminds me of my own experience of identifying with Jesus Christ. It’s symbolic of my new life in Christ, for which I am always so very, very grateful.