Baptism prepares and reminds all of us about the new Easter life that is available when we leave behind the old life. The resurrection of Jesus transforms time itself—it renews our past while creating a new future. Sometimes Christians call Sunday the "8th day" for that reason; the resurrection created the first day in a new week, making Sunday the "Lord's Day." It is simultaneously the end and the beginning. This is why many baptismal fonts have eight sides, reminding us that Christ reordered time. So in baptism we die to sin and are raised to new life, prepared to live into a new day: "When you were buried with
him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the
power of God, who raised him from the dead" (Col. 2:12).
The waters of baptism remind us of this new relationship which God reveals in the scriptures. After cleansing the world with a flood, God promised Noah that the sins of humanity would never again provoke God to such wrath (Genesis 9:14-15). Moses led the Israelites to freedom and salvation through the parted waters of the Red Sea, taking them to a new land with new forms of worship (Exodus 14). Jonah was given another chance at ministry after being submerged in water (Jonah 2:5-6).
But the greatest meaning of baptism comes from Jesus submitting himself to the waters of the Jordan River. These waters of baptism are shared by all, meaning that no Christian can ever look down on another, regardless of differences in race, class, gender, education, or age. Everyone who has been baptized has been reborn into the same new family: "As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There
is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is
no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:27-28).
You can get ready for Easter by leaning into your baptism. Read the scriptures to remember the new life that Christ has offered you. Lay aside those things which lead to death, not just for 40 days but for good. Embrace your role as a child of God, which brings with it family ties to billions of others who have also set aside the old life.