Upstream

Fossil Creek near Strawberry, AZ, by Gonzo fan2007

Daily Reformation, Exodus 30:17-21

From the Reformer

Their washings and purifications placed under their eye the uncleanness, defilement, and pollution with which they were naturally contaminated, and promised another laver in which all their impurities might be wiped and washed away. This laver was Christ, washed by whose blood we bring his purity into the sight of God, that he may cover all our defilements. The sacrifices convicted them of their unrighteousness, and at the same time taught that there was a necessity for paying some satisfaction to the justice of God; and that, therefore, there must be some high priest, some mediator between God and man, to satisfy God by the shedding of blood, and the immolation of a victim which might suffice for the remission of sins. The high priest was Christ: he shed his own blood, he was himself the victim: for in obedience to the Father, he offered himself to death, and by this obedience abolished the disobedience by which man had provoked the indignation of God (Php 2:8; Rm 5:19).

—John Calvin, Institutes

Pulling It Together

He felt badly because he had been baptized in a pool in a church. It had not occurred to him before this; two of his friends were being baptized in a creek. It was close to midnight, under the light of the moon, with friends gathered around. The water was moving and you could hear its soothing trickle from high on the bank as the two went down to the water with the pastor.

The significance was not lost on him. Not only was their baptism going to be more memorable than his own but they were being baptized in flowing water or living water where he had been baptized in what amounted to a cistern. Living water had a source that continued to feed it; dead, cistern water just sat there. He felt dead inside, under that moon.

Then he saw it: the moon reflected in the creek. The source of that creek that made it real, living, spiritual water came from above—not from upstream. It was the same source that made that church baptistry contain living water. In the darkness, God showed him that he was his source—not the surroundings or the ritual. God himself is the Living Water into whom he was covered with all grace.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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