Baptism, a Rite of Passage

Monday 3 October 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

Baptism is a rite of passage. The Jewish people passed through the Red Sea to the Promised Land in the great exodus. Jesus himself wanted to make this exodus by passing through suffering and death into the house of his heavenly Father. This was his baptism. He asked his disciples and now asks us: "Can you ... be baptised with the baptism with which I shall be baptised?" (Mark 10:38). When the apostle Paul, therefore, speaks about our baptism, he calls it a baptism into Jesus’ death (Romans 6:4).

To be baptised means to make the passage with the people of Israel and with Jesus from slavery to freedom and from death to new life. It is a commitment to a life in and through Jesus.