Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him . Matt. 3:13.
Many had come to him [John] to receive the baptism of repentance, confessing their sins. . . . Christ came not confessing His own sins, but guilt was imputed to Him as the sinner's substitute. He came not to repent on His own account, but in behalf of the sinner. . . . Christ honored the ordinance of baptism by submitting to this rite. In this act He identified Himself with His people as their representative and head. As their substitute He takes upon Him their sins, numbering Himself with the transgressors, taking the steps the sinner is required to take, and doing the work the sinner must do. . . .
After Christ rose up from the water. . . . He walked out to the bank of Jordan and bowed in the attitude of prayer. . . . As the believer's example, His sinless humanity supplicated support and strength from His heavenly Father, as He was about to commence His public labor as the Messiah. . . .
Never before had angels listened to such a prayer as Christ offered at His baptism, and they were solicitous to be the bearers of the message from the Father to His Son. But, no! Direct from the Father issues the light of His glory. The heavens were opened and beams of glory rested upon the Son of God and assumed the form of a dove, in appearance like burnished gold. The dovelike form was emblematical of the meekness and gentleness of Christ. . . . From the opening heavens came these words: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." . . . Notwithstanding the Son of God was clothed with humanity, yet Jehovah, with His own voice, assures Him of His sonship with the Eternal. In this manifestation to His Son, God accepts humanity as exalted through the excellence of His beloved Son.
Christ's prayer on the banks of the Jordan includes everyone who will believe in Him. The promise that you are accepted in the Beloved comes to you. God said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." . . . Christ has cleaved the way for you to the throne of the infinite God.