Relate: Way back in Genesis 15, God entered into a covenant with Abraham. At that time God told Abraham that He would be Abraham’s “shield and very great reward.” He also promised him that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky or the sand on the seashore. Normally, when a covenant is made between two parties, a sacrifice would be made and cut in half. Then both parties would walk through the sacrifice. But in this instance, God alone walked through the “death” to life. In doing this, He was declaring that the responsibility for maintaining and upholding the covenant was God’s and His alone.
React: Like the Israelites, we as Christians are a covenant community. We are a part of the New Covenant people of God. Just as this first covenant was accomplished first by God alone walking through death into life, so the New Covenant is accomplished by Jesus’ death and resurrection. In turn, Jesus said that if anyone would be His disciple, they must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. The act of baptism is our symbolic representation of this act. Paul wrote in Romans 6:4, “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”
Let me walk out, or work out, my salvation with fear and trembling. You have called me, You have called us as a community to leave behind the “safe” shore and step into and through the waters You have parted for us. Give me, give us the courage to step up and walk it out. We want to be Your disciples. We want to be Your representatives on this earth. We know that without Your power and provision it would not be possible. But You have already provided us the path through Your death and resurrection. Help us now to take up our crosses and follow You.