As a Christian, it is very important to me to have a deep understanding of the “Christian” or biblical words that are part of my every day faith. Words like… faith, belief, worship, glory, repentance, hope, redemption, propitiation, pray, salvation, sanctification and grace… just to name a few. No word is more important to understand than the word MESSIAH…
From the time I was a small child until well into my adult years I didn’t know what the word Christ meant. When I was young I thought that Christ must be Jesus’ last name…. you know, Jesus Christ.
It wasn’t until I got serious about really knowing the meanings of the Christian words that roll off my tongue so easily that the word “Christ” became alive with value and significance.
I hope you are asking, “I thought you were going to talk about the word Messiah?”. Great question!
The word Messiah is a Hebrew word… and ancient word. The word Christ is a Greek word…old, but not as ancient. The two words are synonymous!
Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew… and the New Testament was written in Greek. The word Messiah and Christ… mean “anointed one”. So Jesus Christ, means “Jesus the anointed One”.
Let’s turn to the word Messiah… “anointed one”.
In ancient times sacred oil would be poured over a person’s head if God had a special task for them to to. The task was usually to be a king. Sometimes priests and prophets were also anointed, but anointing was primarily reserved for kings. Oil was poured out of an animal’s horn literally covering the anointed’s head, flowing all over him. In ancient times, during a coronation a king was anointed with oil instead of being given a crown.
In the bible we can see God’s prophet Samuel anointing both Saul and David as kings of Israel.
I especially love the story of King David’s anointing! God tells Samuel, the prophet to…
“Fill your horn with oil, and go: I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons” 1 Samuel 16:1
So Samuel obeys God and goes to Bethlehem, the home town of Jesse. He see Jesse’s son Elieb and thinks…
“Surely, the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” 1 Sam16 :6
But God says…
“Do not look at his appearance or at his height or at his stature, because I have rejected him: for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”. 1 Samuel 7
Seven of Jesse’s son’s parade in front of Samuel and God rejects them all.
Samuel asks Jesse if he has any more sons… and Jesse says… yes. He has a son out tending the sheep~ a very lowly job. Surely his youngest son, a shepherd, could never be God’s choice…
So, Jesse’s youngest son David is brought before Samuel and God says…
“Arise, anoint him, for this is he” 1 Sam 16: 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward”. 1 Sam 16: 13
David was a great king… a human king… but a great king! However, the Jews were waiting for another king. The One that was prophesied to come. A promised king!
The Jews were waiting for a Messiah, an anointed king chosen by God for a special task.
And what was that task? To save His people. But not only His people the Jews, but all people. This Messiah would not only save His people from the grip of bondage of other nations… but all people, who choose Him as their King. He would save them from the grip of sin and death!
This One… anointed by God for a special task has come… he also was from Bethlehem and was an ancestor of great king David…He is called a shepherd, too. The Good Shepherd!
This king is…
Jesus the Messiah! Jesus Christ!
Jesus “the anointed king”!
The next time you hear the word Messiah or Christ I hope you will say to yourself… “The anointed king”! And bow before the Him!
This week’s memorization verse:
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19