During the month of Elul we have a tradition at Beth Messiah of immersing people in water who have professed faith in Yeshua the Messiah. In the New Covenant Yeshua says to go and make disciples and to immerse them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Most people uses the word “baptize.” Using the word “baptize” or “baptism” is like a foreign word to the Jewish people. It's not just a foreign word but it also has a bad implication for many Jewish people. Baptism has usually been seen with the oppression of the Jewish people in the Middle Ages. For many Jewish people it refers to the of conversion and the loss of Jewish identity. The word “baptize” is actually a Greek word that is transliterated in the English bible but not translated. The word itself means to immerse or dip under water. One common usage of the word in the ancient world was to describe material being dipped into dye. In this case that is a good use of identification with the usage of the word.
The ritual of immersion is potrayed in the New Covenant in Matthew 3 where John is immersing people as they confess their sins. This ritual of being dipped in water is the Jewish ritual of mikveh. Mikveh is a Jewish custom that is practiced today. It is used for purposes of ritual cleansing as well as for conversion.
John’s immersion was a mikveh of repentance. When we embrace Yeshua as the Messiah we declare our testimony. We are publicly declaring that we believe that Yeshua is the Messiah and we publicly repent our sins and promise to live a godly life as we follow Yeshua, the way of righteousness. We are immersed into Yeshua when we believe that he is the Messiah and Lord. The promise is in Ezek. 36:24-27
“For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. We read about the fulfillment in in Romans 6:3-4
Or do you not know that all of us who have been immersed into Messiah Yeshua have been immersed into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through immersion into death, so that as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. In our identification with Yeshua we have been relieved from sin. The Ruach Ha’Kodesh dwells within us and we are empowered to live godly lives. the rite of immersion testified of this inward truth.
Modeled by Howard Silvermans Immersion Post