The “Bronze Sea” or “laver” in Solomon’s temple was a large bronze basin in which the priests who entered the temple had to wash to make themselves ceremonially clean (cf 2 Chronicles 4:6). This “Sea” seems to have represented either (or both) the Red Sea – across which the Israelites passed in their flight from Egypt and the Jordan – across which they passed to enter the Promised Land. The priests entering the tabernacle or temple thus appear to be ceremonially re-enacting (on behalf of the people) the redemption of Israel when they washed in the “Bronze Sea”. Crossing from unholy to holy places seems to require ceremonial washing.
We could say, therefore, that in order for a person to approach God in worship and enter the Holy Place, one must “cross the Sea”. For Christians, water baptism is the moment when a person “crosses the sea” and (outwardly and ceremonially) enters God’s true Dwelling-Place to become a member of Christ and the Church. Understanding our baptism in this way increases our awareness of the high calling and responsibilities which baptism implies.