In just a few weeks, we will be celebrating Easter. This is the “High and Holy Day” for Christians around the world.
Most of the world today has at least a limited understanding who Jesus Christ is. Some religions have included Him in their list of prophets. Some even acknowledge that He is a god.
Many notable people have commented on Jesus’ place as the most famous, important, and significant person in history:
“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”—H. G. Wells
“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.”—Napoleon Bonaparte
“Man’s ultimate destiny depends not on whether he can learn new lessons or make new discoveries and conquests, but on the acceptance of the lesson taught him close upon two thousand years ago.”—Inscription at the entrance of the Rockefeller Center, New York City
From the time of the giving of the Law, the Old Testament describes three main offices in Israel: (1) priest, (2) prophet, and (3) king. Their offices were different, however each one served God. It is common knowledge that the priest served for God, the prophet spoke for God; the king ruled for God. When a person was chosen for one of these offices, he was anointed with oil. For example Moses anointed Aaron as high priest – Exodus 29:7; Jehu anointed Elisha as a prophet– 1 Kings 19:16; Samuel anointed David as king – 1 Samuel 16:13).
The New Testament presents Jesus, the Nazarene (Matthew 2:23), as the Christ. Christ and Messiah have the same meaning, “the Anointed.” Jesus was “anointed” in each of these offices.
The NT presents Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ. “Christ” means “the anointed one.” Jesus claimed that He was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the “Lord’s anointed.”
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
Luke 4:16-21 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Unlike the priests, prophets and kings of the Jews, Jesus was not anointed with oil of dedication, instead He was anointed with the Holy Spirit.
For the next couple of weeks, we will look towards the Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.