The real meaning behind baptism is that in the cross we were ‘baptized’ into the historic death of Christ, so that His death became ours. Our death and His became then so closely identified that it is impossible to divide between them. It is to this historic ‘baptism’ – this God-wrought union with him – that we assent when we go down into the water. Our public testimony in baptism today is our admission that the death of Christ two thousand years ago was a mighty enough and all inclusive enough to carry away in it and bring to an end everything in us that is not of God.
I am ‘baptized into his death’ but I do not enter in quite the same way into his resurrection, for, Praise the Lord! His resurrection enters into me, imparting to me new life. In the death of the Lord the emphasis is solely upon ‘I in Christ’. With the resurrection, while the same thing is true, there is now a new emphasis upon ‘Christ in me.’