February 06, 2015

MESSIAH (Christ): “Anointed One”

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. . .

—  Mark 1:1

One of our neighbors in Beijing some years ago occasionally smeared melted butter on his hair. He claimed that after washing, the oils added luster to his hair.

In ancient times, anointing someone's head with perfumed olive oil or some other oily substance was a symbolic act of consecration. For example, after God had chosen Saul to be Israel's first king, the prophet Samuel anointed Saul's head with oil (see 1 Samuel 10:1). For Israel, the terms "the Lord's anointed" and "Anointed One" (see 1 Samuel 24:6, 10; Daniel 9:25) came to refer to God's chosen one, the servant God had selected for a special task. The Hebrew term for "Anointed One" is Messiah, and in Greek, the language of the New Testament, the word for this same title is Christ.

God consecrated his Son, Jesus—the Messiah, the Christ—as his servant for the sacred task of rescuing and redeeming sinful humanity. All who trust in Christ experience living fellowship with God himself.

Tragically, though, as the prophet Isaiah foretold, the Messiah was "despised and rejected by mankind" (Isaiah 53:3). The people he had come to save found him repulsive. But as Isaiah goes on to say, by the Messiah's wounds we have been healed. What a Savior!

How will you honor Jesus the Messiah today?

Lord Jesus, Messiah, you are the one chosen by God to be our Savior. Help us today to live in gratitude and trust for all you have done for us. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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