The year is 1900. A Norwegian sailor named Gulbrandson was on a ship sailing the Atlantic Ocean. He became very sick and, ultimately, non-responsive to any care. Those on board concluded that he was dead, and they conducted a funeral for him. Afterwards, they placed his body inside a canvas bag, placed weights in the bag to hold it down, and sewed the bag shut. They then, with great solemnity, dropped the bag into the ocean.
When he hit the cold water, Gulbrandson woke up. He began frantically praying and asking God to save him. Desperately trying to find a way out of the body bag, he came upon a knife that had accidentally been sewn inside. Grabbing the knife, he slashed the opening and swam out to the ocean’s surface. Amazed, the mourners on the ship rapidly rescued him.
Gulbrandson overcame his physical ailments, and he also addressed his spiritual ones. Given a new life, he decided to offer it to God. When Gulbrandson was buried under the water, it caused a complete change in his life.
This is a great word picture for what God does in baptism: 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
A person is buried underwater, and God raises him up to a new life, which he continues to offer gladly for the rest of his days on this earth.
Source: Roy Gane, LEVITICUS/NUMBERS