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A Better Way

 

As John 4 opens, Jesus and his disciples are traveling through Samaria. Tired from the journey, Jesus rests beside a well on the edge of the town of Sychar. As his disciples head into town to buy food, Jesus is left alone. It’s noon and likely hot, and a woman from Samaria arrives to draw water. This woman represents the lowest of the low; a female in a society where women are both demeaned and disregarded, a race traditionally despised by Jews, and living in shame as a social outcast. She has had five husbands and the man she is living with right now is not her husband. This woman is looked down on by everyone in her village. However, Jesus asks her for a drink. The pure and perfect Son of God asks this lowly woman for a drink of water. Why would he do that? Jesus looks past people’s mistakes and welcomes them graciously. He loves everyone no matter what they have done. After He receives his drink of water, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that He can offer her living water that will satisfy her thirst for eternity. This living water is better than any earthly water she could partake of on earth. She asks Jesus where she can get such water and Jesus tells her that He is the Messiah they have been waiting for. After years of being burdened under the old law of endless animal and grain sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins, a better way is coming. 

Jesus offers sinners the gift of eternal life with Him in Heaven. However, we must be willing to follow Jesus with all our hearts and be baptized as we are commanded in Acts 2:38. After we do this our lives change completely – for the better. We have now been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and we need to live our lives on this fact. Baptism, as a sacrament, signifies the way God interacts graciously through the Holy Spirit to bring us salvation and strengthen us along the path of discipleship. Baptism is something we participate in, but even more, it is one of the ways God incorporates us into grace and strengthens our faith. Instead of having to make animal sacrifices and other rituals that are found in the Old Testament, God has formed baptism as his better way to save the lost. God has commanded us to be baptized in semblance of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. After we are baptized we are cleansed from all sins and impurities. We are made perfect and clean again.

In 2016, Zach Williams, a very popular Christian artist, wrote the song “Chain Breaker”. This song calls to all of the people who have not put on Christ in their life and have not received his saving grace. The song begins with these words, “If you've been walking the same old road for miles and miles; If you've been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies; If you're trying to fill the same old holes inside; There's a better life. If you've got pain, He's a pain taker. If you feel lost, He's a way maker. If you need freedom or saving, He's a prison-shaking Savior. If you've got chains, He's a chain breaker.” After we are baptized we are given a better life, free from sin. That does not mean that we will not be tempted and that we will not face struggles. However, as long as we walk in God’s love, we will be able to go to our home in heaven after our time on this earth comes to an end.  Heaven will be far better than anything this life as to offer. In fact, the best is yet to come.