VIDEO: The Meaning and Purpose of Anointing in the Bible | Bible Project

VIDEO: The Meaning and Purpose of Anointing in the Bible | Bible Project


The Meaning and Purpose of Anointing in the Bible

There’s a ritual in the Bible involving fragrant plants and spices that make a rich oil to pour on special objects or people. This is called anointing oil, and its meaning is rooted in the story of the Garden of Eden, where God provided water for the dry land and formed the human, filling him with his spirit. This is the first anointing. The oil is a liquid symbol. It’s the water of life and God’s spirit combined together, used to mark a person or a place as a bridge between heaven and earth. During his wilderness exile, Jacob had a dream. He sees a stairway leading up to heaven. When he wakes, he anoints the stone on which he slept and called the place house of God, a place where heaven and earth are one. The Israelites built the tabernacle in the wilderness. When it was completed, they anointed the tent with oil, marking it as a place where God’s heavenly presence has come down to earth. Israel’s priests and their kings were anointed with oil to set them apart as leaders to mediate God’s heavenly wisdom to the world. But they rejected God’s wisdom. They led with violence, leading to ruin and exile.

Their failure created hope for the ultimate anointed one. One anointed not merely with oil, but with water and spirit. Not merely a bridge to heaven, but heaven itself. Come to earth. This is Jesus Christ. More than a name, Christ is a title. It means anointed one. The new human, the ultimate priest, the cosmic king. God’s heavenly life, coming into our world in a new way, a surprising way. And after Jesus rose from the dead, he spread his anointing out into the world through his followers, Christians from the word Christ, anointed ones who follow the anointed one, people marked by God’s spirit so that more and more of earth can be filled with the life of heaven.




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