I’ve done some research/reading about Jewish baptism with interest. Especially the concept of “living water” used for a proper baptism. However, where in the OT is that practice instituted by God?
Q. I’ve done some research/reading about Jewish baptism with interest. Especially the concept of “living water” used for a proper baptism. However, where in the OT is that practice instituted by God?
A. The Jewish mikva, or ceremonial bath, is the origin of the Christian baptism. A mikva could not be done in a tub or pool of stagnant water. It had to be flowing through the mikva pool. Flowing water sustains life, and often gurgles and bubbles at it flows giving it a “voice”. Thus it was said to be “living” water.
Jewish tradition holds that the first instance of ceremonial cleansing occurred just prior to the giving of the covenant at Mt. Sinai. In Exodus 19:10 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments.” They believe that the consecration and the washing of the garments being mentioned together indicates that both the people and the garments were washed.
Originally the mikva cleansing was an act of preparation. Today the Church uses the baptism as a ceremonial act to confirm that the person being baptized has already met the Lord and been cleansed. A mikva had to be performed over and over to restore a person’s ceremonial cleanliness before entering into the presence of God. We’re washed in the Blood of Jesus, once for all time, and have been cleansed forever.