The good news which the angels brought to the shepherds was that a Savior had been born “who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
Simeon was promised that before he would die, he would see “the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26).
When the Wise Men came to Jerusalem looking for the newborn King of the Jews, King Herod asked the chief priests and scribes where “the Christ” was to be born (Matthew 2:4).
Each Sunday in the Apostles’ Creed we confess our faith in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.
But how easily we forget what this particular title or name tells us about Jesus and our salvation!
The word Christ is the Greek version of the Hebrew word ‘Messiah’ and means, “anointed one.” When the Jews said they were looking for the Christ, what they were really saying is that they were looking for “the Anointed One.”
Throughout the Old Testament several anointings took place. After being freed from slavery in Egypt, Moses anointed his brother Aaron to be the first high priest. Aaron’s sons were anointed to serve as priests of the Lord. Samuel anointed Saul as the first king of Israel, and then the young shepherd David was anointed as Saul’s successor. The Lord directed Elijah to anoint Elisha as the next prophet in Israel.
Not only were people anointed; the Lord had the tabernacle and all the articles of worship anointed: the ark of the covenant, the altars, the lampstands, the tables, the utensils, and the basins.
What was the significance of these anointings?
Consider what the Bible says about the anointing of Aaron and his sons: “And [Moses] poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him” (Leviticus 8:12). The anointing of the priests, the prophets, the kings of Israel, and the items of worship was to show that the Lord was setting them apart and dedicating them for His work.
What a few of those anointed ones did after they were selected and dedicated was an entirely different matter. The anointed high priest Eli and his immoral sons had a horrible effect on the worship life in Israel. The first anointed king of Israel, Saul, rejected the Lord and was rejected by the Lord as king.
Remembering this about the anointed King Saul, consider the amazing respect the anointed king-in-waiting, David, had for the Lord’s anointed, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord” (1 Samuel 24:6). Though Saul was hunting David to kill him, David was not about to harm the one whom the Lord God Almighty had selected and dedicated to be king of Israel.
And then we find this prophecy about the coming Servant of the Lord: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” (Isaiah 61:1)
While many prophets, priests, and kings were anointed in the Old Testament, showing they were separated and dedicated for the Lord’s service, they all pointed to One who would be anointed by the Lord to bring the good news of salvation.
When John the Baptist called Jesus of Nazareth “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” we are told that two of his disciples (John and Andrew) followed Him. After spending time with Jesus and hearing His words, Andrew then went and told his brother Simon Peter that “we have found the Messiah (which is translated, the Christ)” (John 1:41).
Having heard Jesus’ words and seen His miracles, Peter would later confess to Jesus, “We have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:69).
On the day that Jesus rose from the dead, two of His followers were confused about what had happened to Him on Good Friday (His arrest, scourging, crucifixion, and death). It seems they had some misconceptions about what the Christ would actually do. Jesus replied, “’O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27).
In the book of Acts we find that the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys would likewise demonstrate to the Jews from the Old Testament Scripture that Jesus was “the Christ” who had to suffer, die, and
Jesus is the Christ! He is THE Anointed One, separated from all others and dedicated by God as His Lamb to take away the sin of the world. Jesus is the One anointed to be our great High Priest. He was sacrificed on the cross to make atonement for sin and to continually intercede for us unto God (speaking to God in our behalf). He is the One anointed as the great Prophet who has spoken to us in God’s behalf. He is the One anointed to be the King of kings, ruling over all creation in behalf of His Church—that is, all His believers!
May we never lose sight of this eternally important title of our Savior! These are the good tidings of great joy which the angels brought on the night Jesus was born:
“For there is born to you this day in the city of
David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”