Nov 26, 2021

We must never make the mistake of thinking that “Christ” is Jesus’s last name! It is a title, and a glorious title at that. “Christ” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word “Messiah” and both mean “the Anointed One.”

So, what does it mean that Jesus is “the anointed One?” The primary idea is that anointing was a ceremony that set someone apart for special service to God. In Old Testament times, prophets, priests, and kings were all anointed with oil to show that they had been set apart to the service of God.

The New Testament will demonstrate that Jesus fulfils all three of these vital roles, but the focus is usually upon His role as King. As noted in a previous article, Matthew shows how Jesus came from the line of David (Matthew 1:1), Israel’s model king, to whom God had sworn that one of his descendants would sit on David’s throne and rule forever (2 Samuel 7:12-13). And Luke records this amazing annunciation to Mary by the angel Gabriel:

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Luke 1:30-33

And when an angel of the Lord came to the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flocks by night, he declared:

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 2:10-11

And the prophets indicated that His rule would bring peace, justice, and righteousness. We often hear the wonderful words of the prophecy of Christ’s birth read at Christmas time:

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Jesus announced His claim to the Messianic title “Christ” in the synagogue of His hometown Nazareth, by reading another of Isaiah’s prophecies (Luke 4:16-30; Isaiah 61:1-2). But the people there couldn’t accept that this lowly carpenter was the long-promised King of Israel and angrily rejected His claim and planned to throw Him off a cliff; but He walked right through the crowd and went on His way.

The question of Jesus’s identity is central to the Gospel records and it reaches a climax in Matthew’s Gospel when He asks His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13), and they replied that various opinions were held by the people. Then Jesus asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter confidently asserted, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” (Matthew 16:16).

Unfortunately, even Peter at this time did not fully understand what that meant. Like others of his day, Peter expected a military and political ruler who would throw off Roman oppression and liberate Israel. What they failed to understand was that man’s greatest oppression comes not from human government but from human sin and so for a kingdom of peace and righteousness to be established, the Messiah would first need to suffer and die as a sacrifice for our sins.

During the religious trial of Jesus, the high priest said to Him:

“I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

Matthew 26:63

Jesus acknowledged that He was indeed the Christ and that one day they would see Him sitting at God’s right hand and coming in glory. The high priest was outraged and tore His clothes, and said, “He has spoken blasphemy!” and declared Him deserving of death. They then took Him to Pilate for His civil trial, accusing Him of sedition and stirring up the people against Caesar by claiming to be a king (Luke 23:1-5). Even though Pilate declared Jesus undeserving of death, he weakly gave in to the will of the mob and crucified Jesus, spiting the religious leaders by putting up this accusation above His head:


Matthew 27:37

Within a couple of months of Jesus’s resurrection, Peter fearlessly announced that God had made Jesus both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36) though they had rejected Him and had Him crucified. However, His death made it possible for any who believe in Him to be part of His coming kingdom of righteousness and peace. The Book of Revelation looks forward to the day when the New Jerusalem will be the centre of the Messiah’s Kingdom, but warns that nothing that defiles will enter that city, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of Life (Revelation 21:27). Will you accept Jesus as your Messiah and King today?


By admin