BIN: Thousands of years ago, Jews would travel from all over Israel three times a year to visit the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to worship God, as the Bible commands.
Three times a year—on the festival ofPesach, on the festival of Shavuot, and on the festival of Sukkot—all your males shall appear before Hashem your God in the place that He will choose. They shall not appear before Hashem empty-handed, Deuteronomy 16:16
These pilgrims would immerse in a mikvah (ritual bath) as part of their spiritual preparation for an encounter with holiness at the site of the Temple. According to Assaf Brezis, manager of Gush Etzion ATV tours, an ancient mikvah, located just south of Jerusalem, that was used by these pilgrims has been renewed by the recent rainfall in Israel and is full enough to use. Read More …
Opinion: Immersion in the mikvah actualizes the transition between the convert’s old identity and his or her new one as a Jew.
On our trip to Israel last May, Editor and I visited many archaeological sites that had ancient mikvahs carved out of rock. My wife took these picture in Qumran, the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
The Talmud suggests that people who were coming to the Holy Temple could immerse in a mikvah as soon as they felt the spiritual pull of Jerusalem.
For the observant Jew, the mikvah personifies both the womb and the grave and consequently, rebirth. It was forbidden for the High priest to enter the Holy of Holies once each year without first passing through the mikvah.
Precursor to Baptism:
Immersion in water for a Christian actualizes a profession of faith in Jesus Chris and His sacrifice on the cross that washes away sin.
Jesus modeled baptism just before He began His ministry:
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:13-17
The word baptism comes from the Greek word baptizó, which primarily means a thorough change of condition accomplished through immersion.