The Baptized Apple

I must have liked them as a kid.

At some point, I lost patience for caramel apples.

My wife still thinks they’re awesome.

She gets a kick out of seeing the warm caramel pot and then the popsicle stick as it’s dipped–then transformed–into something better.

She had one on our last trip to Vermont–a street vendor in Burlington.

I took a tiny bite.

Maybe its the “chewiness” that turns me off.

Or, that I know if I try to eat a whole one, the caramel will get stuck to various parts of me and my clothes.

In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 12, Jesus is talking about his pending baptism.

There are a few oddities about this comment that need to be examined.

First, Jesus had already been baptized by John the Baptist when He makes the comment.

Most agree that Jesus is speaking metaphorically here.

I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!

What Jesus is speaking about here is the change in the world that will come about once He’s been crucified and raised from the dead.

No one around Him gets the point.

The baptism is not like the one John performed in the Jordan, where He went under the water and came back up looking the same.

This is a baptism where He’d be completely separated from His Father to endure the wrath of all sin and through that atoning act, return in a glorified body.

Much like the caramel apple, He comes back, still as Jesus, but with a far different appearance and context.

As a resurrected Lord, He now fulfills His mission on earth.

No longer does He have to look forward through the pain that He would suffer on Calvary.

It’s all behind Him.

Fortunately our transition from old to new is not as painful.

Jesus, our big brother and the pioneer of our faith has blazed the most difficult trail ever cut by a human.

It was that path back to God which took Him through a deep vat of pain, suffering and separation.

Thank you Lord, that You bore our sins and opened the door for us to be candy coated with God’s forgiveness.

Your decision to love us, in spite of our shortcomings, is why we’ll praise You for eternity.

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