The New Testament mentions five baptisms: two in water, and one each in fire, the Holy Spirit, and suffering. Jesus refers to the latter in reference to Himself in Mark 10:38. “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” What baptism is that? The form of the question indicates that He is talking about something difficult–certainly not Jesus’ baptism in water. Jesus refers to both the baptism and the “cup”. In Gethsemane, the “cup” clearly refers to His day of suffering in trial and on the cross (Mark 14:34-36). His baptism in Luke 12:50 must be the same as this cup. Two symbols to portray the same suffering. “But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!”
“Baptism” is an action word. The action is immersion, a complete overwhelming. Jesus was not sprinkled with suffering; He did not have a little suffering poured out on Him. From Gethsemane to Calvary, He was totally immersed and overwhelmed in suffering.
This baptism of suffering was prophesied in Psalm 69:1, 2, 14, 15. “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to [my] neck… I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me… Let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the floodwater overflow me.”
[The above is a selection from the full-length Insight #33: Jesus: the Suffering Servant.]