In Moses’ law, if you touched a corpse you had to undergo ritual cleansing by water. Death, though inevitable, was counted as unclean. Death was the result of sin, of course. But still, death made you unclean. So, you needed to be washed.
God’s people weren’t to remain in their uncleanness, they were sanctified to Him to be a clean people, a people set apart for life. In obedience, they washed away the uncleanness which came by touching a corpse. All this shadowed forth what we do here. Though born into a world where death is inevitable, we confess with these baptismal waters that this child is set apart unto life.
The twist, however, is that that life is found by union with Christ and His the death. This sign unites us with Christ’s death, but it cleanses us from the death with which this fallen world has defiled us. So, in this glorious mystery, our life is bound up in the death of the Jesus.
So welcome covenant child to Jesus Christ…