Pet 3:21 “Wherein few, that is eight souls were saved through water.”
The NASB erroneously translates this “eight persons were brought safely through the water.” This may suit those who do not believe baptism is essential to salvation, since the next line is, “which also after a true likeness does now save you, even baptism.” Are we “brought safely through” baptism? The Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write that Noah was saved by water, not that he was saved from water. So, if Noah was saved by the same water that destroyed the world, what was he saved from?
When God surveyed the world of Noah’s day, he saw nothing but wickedness. Only Noah found favor in God’s eyes. After Noah preached 120 years and with the ark a growing monument to the sincerity of his plea, only 7 other people believed and entered the ark. 1 year, 10 days later, they entered a world that was clean and pure, all the wickedness washed away -- exactly what baptism accomplishes for sinners.
God made a promise that he would never again destroy the world by water, and set a rainbow in the sky to be a sign of that unilateral covenant. God planned to resolve the issue of sin in another way. We tend to think that the rainbow marks an ending, but God intended it as a beginning, the hope for a world washed clean from sin.
Thousands of years later, Jesus died on the cross as the fulfillment of the hope inherent in the rainbow: that God would solve the problem of sin by means other than destruction.
Just as the rainbow shone with the pledge that God would never again destroy the sinful world by water, each week we take the Lord’s Supper to remind us that God fulfilled the rainbow covenant in Christ. This bread and this fruit of the vine shine with the colors of the hope of forgiveness; not an arc of reds, blues, yellows, greens but one of redemption, adoption, reconciliation, righteousness. God made a covenant in Christ. These emblems are the signs of that covenant to us.
"“This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you." (Isa 54:9-10).