The Redemptive work of our Lord Christ was consummated at the Cross and Resurrection and it was sempiternal, with its effects engulfing all past, present and future (Hebrews 7:27; 9:26). However a form of propitiatory redemption took place at the Jordan during his baptism at the hands of St John the Baptist. Our Lord redeemed all those who went into the waters of repentance to be baptised by John, in true faith.
Prophet John, our Lord’s cousin, practiced the ritual washing of the body by immersion, as it was the custom among the Jews, as a public sign of repentance, cleansing and commitment to God (Leviticus 15:11-12; 16:4, 23-24; Numbers 19:7-10). As in the case of the goat that carried away the sins of the people away from the congregation (Leviticus 16:20-22), the ritual washing meant the sins of the repentant were taken away in the running water, away from them for ever. (1)
When our Lord Christ went to John requesting to be baptised, He did not have a single sin to repent from. He was immaculate in body and soul. Lord Jesus went not only to fulfil all righteousness since ceremonial perfection by Law did not demand from Him to come to John the Baptist at all. He went to redeem the work of John and all those people who in this inter – testamentary period had come to true faith and repentance. Lord Jesus saw it as part of his redeeming work.
Lord Jesus in his holiness, descended in the waters of Jordan, without confessing any sins, and his holiness was imputed for the sins of all those who had entered the Jordan in sin, making effectively redeemed in fact; and this act was validated and accepted by the Father when He spoke to Heaven and said:
"This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."