QAWhat is the biblical support for baptizing people with their heads bowed?In Romans 6:3-4, Paul states that believers are "buried with Christ through baptism into death." Through baptism, we receive the spiritual effect of dying with Christ. Paul continues in verse 5, "For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection" (Rom 6:5).
Since our death with Christ is signified by baptism, our union with Christ in the likeness of his death is also signified by baptism. In other words, the manner of baptism during biblical times was in the likeness of the Lord's death.
Paul uses this physical likeness in baptism to discuss the spiritual likeness that believers carry.
The description of the physical likeness of Jesus' death is found in John 19:30, "bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." This is the only detail that John records. He describes the appearance of the Lord's death even though the appearance should have been normal for a person who died on the cross. It is on this basis that we understand what the physical likeness of the Lord's death refers to.
In the Bible, the bowing of one's head is a gesture that signifies disgrace and heaviness of sin (Ps 40:12; Lk 18:13; Job 10:15). Just as Christ died to sin once for all, we also die to sin so that sin should no longer have power over us (Rom 6:2, 10). As we bow our heads and be immersed in water, our sinful self dies and is buried with Christ. As we rise from the water, we are raised with Christ and receive a new life in him (Rom 6:4; Col 2:12).