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The Meaning of the Name 'Jesus Christ'

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Who was Jesus Christ? What was Jesus Christ? Was He merely a gentle, kind person who went around saying gentle, kind things and who died for our sins? Or was He much more than that?

Who and what is He now? What is He doing now? Is He sitting in heaven, passing the time until He returns to earth? Or will He even return to earth? What will He yet do in the future?

Questions like these have been discussed and argued over by theologians and religious leaders for centuries. They have perplexed and puzzled millions of believers. Many more have not even tried to understand, thinking that simply accepting and believing in Jesus is all that matters.

Yet the answers to these questions, and the real significance of Jesus Christ's life and sacrifice, have been available to mankind all along. The answers are found in the very name of Jesus Christ.

Peter said, “There is no other name …by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 Acts 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
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, New King James Version except as noted). But what does that name mean? God attaches great significance to names. His own names are powerful testimonials to His great glory and majesty: God Almighty (El-Shaddai), God of Peace (Yahweh-Shalom) and God Our Provider (Yahweh-Jireh), among others.

Throughout the Bible, God uses names to signify what the person or being represents (Genesis 16:11 Genesis 16:11And the angel of the LORD said to her, Behold, you are with child and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Ishmael; because the LORD has heard your affliction.
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; Genesis 17:5 Genesis 17:5Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you.
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, Genesis 17:15-16 Genesis 17:15-16 15 And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and give you a son also of her: yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
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, Genesis 17:19 Genesis 17:19And God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed; and you shall call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
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; Genesis 35:10 Genesis 35:10And God said to him, Your name is Jacob: your name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be your name: and he called his name Israel.
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; 2 Samuel 12:24-25 2 Samuel 12:24-25 24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her, and lay with her: and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him. 25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.
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; Isaiah 8:3 Isaiah 8:3And I went to the prophetess; and she conceived, and bore a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.
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; Hosea 1:4 Hosea 1:4And the LORD said to him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.
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, Hosea 1:6 Hosea 1:6And she conceived again, and bore a daughter. And God said to him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.
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, Hosea 1:9 Hosea 1:9Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for you are not my people, and I will not be your God.
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; Luke 1:13 Luke 1:13But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
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). They tell us of the individual's role and purpose in God's great plan. Time and time again God named or changed the names of individuals to reflect the purpose for which God used them.

In the same way, the name “Jesus Christ” tells us a great deal about His purpose and part in God's great plan as well. It enlightens us about His character, purpose and love for humanity as well.

The Meaning of “Jesus”

What does “Jesus” mean? How did He receive that name? Did Joseph and Mary choose it because they liked the sound of it? Was it the name of a relative or family member? Why was Jesus named “Jesus”?

In Matthew 1 we find that Mary was discovered to be pregnant during her engagement to Joseph. Joseph, not wanting to embarrass this young woman he loved, was considering how to best handle the difficult situation.

“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins'” (Matthew 1:20-21 Matthew 1:20-21 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
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).

The New Testament was written in Greek, and the name “Jesus” here means the same in Greek as the Hebrew name “Joshua.” “Joshua” means literally God is salvation. So the angel's message to Joseph was “You shall call His name 'God is salvation,' for He will save His people from their sins.” That name tells us of Jesus' purpose in God's plan-that it is through Him that God saves humanity.

How are we saved?

But how are we saved through Jesus Christ?

There are two important aspects of salvation through Jesus Christ. First, we must realize that we have all sinned (Romans 3:23 Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
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). We have all earned for ourselves the death penalty (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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). Death is the total loss of consciousness and awareness forever (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
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, Ecclesiastes 9:10 Ecclesiastes 9:10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
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). By our sins, we have earned eternal death-the right to be blotted out of consciousness, no longer to exist, not even to be remembered, for all time. We have earned the right (if it could be called a right) to be erased from reality forever.

That's the hopeless situation we would be in without Jesus Christ. The death penalty we have earned would be carried out, and there would be nothing left for us, no hope for anything beyond the grave (1 Corinthians 15:17-19 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
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).

But something happened to prevent that death penalty from being carried out. In Romans 5 Paul describes how we were stumbling along in our ignorance and blindness, and then Paul says, “When we were still without strength, indue time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die…But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8 Romans 5:6-8 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
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).

God didn't need us. What use were we to Him? Paul makes the point that rarely someone might give his life for a good man, but that doesn't fit us. We were as good as dead, waiting for the death penalty to be carried out, but something happened. Jesus Christ intervened and paid the death penalty for us.

“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life,” said Paul (verse 10). The penalty of eternal death has been paid for us by Jesus Christ. We can claim that sacrifice and stand innocent, pure and clean once again before God. We are reconciled, no longer cut off from God. We have access to God again. We have access to life again. Through Jesus Christ-“God is salvation”-He has saved us from being erased from existence by paying the death penalty for us.

Saved by His life

But Paul also says we are “saved by His life”-a second important aspect of salvation made possible through Jesus Christ. We know that Christ was resurrected from the grave and lives again forever. But how are we saved by His life?

Paul elaborates in Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
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, describing how Jesus Christ has transformed him. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

If we were crucified with Christ, says Paul, we died. That is what is pictured by baptism-The old self went down into the watery grave and was buried there. Figuratively, we put the old person to death, and that person no longer lives. After that has happened, Paul says, “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

If we properly understood the symbolism of baptism, we realize that our old self is dead. Now Jesus Christ lives again within us. We no longer live, but Jesus Christ lives again within us, as Paul described it. The man Paul was no longer important to Paul. Jesus Christ living within him was what was important to Paul.

“And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” That sums us Christ's mission and sacrifice for us. He “loved me and gave Himself for me.” Jesus Christ gave Himself for us out of love for each one of us.

Personal sacrifice for us

Paul related to Christ's sacrifice on an intensely personal level. “He loved me and gave himself for me.” Jesus' sacrifice wasn't an abstract concept to Paul. It was deeply personal. Paul felt it with all his being. Paul, a man who had persecuted the Church, imprisoning and executing followers of Jesus Christ, had no doubt about his sins. He had no doubt that he deserved to be erased from existence for all eternity. But he knew that Jesus Christ intervened directly and personally for him to save him from that fate.

Do we take Jesus Christ's sacrifice personally? Do we recognize, like Paul, what it means that Christ died for each of us personally and individually? Because of our sins, we deserved to die. Jesus Christ didn't. But He did it for us, dying instead of us. That's what Paul meant when he said, “He loved me and gave himself for me.”

No other person could fulfill the role of Jesus in God's plan for salvation. He is the only one who has ever lived a perfect, sinless life. As God in the flesh, His one life is worth more than the sum total of all mankind before and after Him (John 1:14 John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
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). He died for every single one of us, and without His sacrifice we would have no hope for anything beyond this life.

As Paul put it, without that hope we would be “of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:19 1 Corinthians 15:19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
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).

In recognition of and gratitude for that truth, we allow Jesus Christ to live within us. But how does that happen? The apostle John said, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6 1 John 2:6He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
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).

We must follow Christ's example. We walk as He walked. We think as He thought. We live as He lived. And we submit ourselves to God's divine will and purpose in our lives, just as Jesus did. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me,” He said (John 6:38 John 6:38For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.
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).

So it is through Jesus, whose name means “God is salvation,” that we are saved. It is through His death to pay the penalty for our sins in our place, and through Him living within us, that God gives us salvation.

The Meaning of “Christ”

What about the second part of the name “Jesus Christ”? What does the word “Christ” mean? Actually, it isn't so much a proper name as it is a title. “Christ” comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “anointed.” Its meaning is the same as the Hebrew word Messiah (John 1:41 John 1:41He first finds his own brother Simon, and said to him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
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). They both mean “anointed” or “anointed one.”

What is the significance of being anointed? The Jews of Jesus' day understood the meaning perfectly well. They were familiar with the Scriptures we call the Old Testament today; those writings were their guide for daily life. These very Scriptures, said Jesus, foretold His coming and purpose. “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me,” He thundered to those who refused to believe (John 5:39 John 5:39Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
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).

The Jews of Christ's day expected a Messiah, an anointed one (John 4:25 John 4:25The woman said to him, I know that Messias comes, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
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). They knew the significance of anointing, so they understood what the role of the Messiah would be. Without the background of the Old Testament, the term “Messiah” becomes meaningless, resulting in a shallow and distorted understanding of who and what Jesus Christ is.

Those who expected a Messiah knew that, in the Old Testament, anointing was used in four extraordinary situations to set someone or something apart for a special purpose. Each of these teaches us something about Jesus Christ, His purpose and His mission, about why He is called the Anointed One.

Dedicated for God's Use

The first significant act of anointing occurred in Exodus 40. After Israel's miraculous departure from Egypt, God gave the Israelites detailed instructions for building the tabernacle, an elaborate tented structure designed to be the center of worship for the nation. After its completion, God told Moses, “Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy” (Exodus 40:9 Exodus 40:9And you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shall hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy.
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, New International Version).

This act of anointing would “consecrate” the tabernacle. Consecrate means to dedicate or set something apart for holy use. Through this anointing, the tabernacle and the objects in it were set apart for God's sacred use and service. Anointing was symbolic of that setting apart.

What does that teach us about Jesus Christ? How does that fit into His role as the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One?

Simply put, His entire life was set apart for God's holy use. “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work,” said Jesus (John 4:34 John 4:34Jesus said to them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
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). That was His motivation, His source of strength. His reason for living was to do the will of God the Father.

“…The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner,” Jesus said (John 5:19 John 5:19Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.
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).

What did Jesus do? In His own words, He did exactly what the Father did. Yet some people think He came to push the Father into the background, overturning God's holy law and removing it as a standard of guidance and behavior for mankind. What a sad contradiction of Jesus' own words!

He dedicated Himself to the mission God had given Him. “I can of Myself do nothing,” He said. “…My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30 John 5:30I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me.
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). Jesus Christ never tried to please Himself, to do His own thing. His motivation was to please the Father. What God wanted was most important to Him.

His entire life was set apart to serve God. He was an example of total commitment to and surrender to God's will and purpose. Even when facing imminent death, His final prayers were, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.
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).

Jesus Christ lived His life in perfect accordance with God's will, and He gave His life in perfect accordance with God's great plan. A part of that plan was that He was set apart, His life freely offered as the one sacrifice to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind forever (1 Peter 1:18-20 1 Peter 1:18-20 18 For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
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).

Jesus Christ fulfilled this aspect of anointing perfectly. His entire life was an example of complete and total dedication to God's will.

Selected for the Priesthood

After the dedication and consecration of the tabernacle in the wilderness, God instructed Moses to carry out another anointing. “Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest. Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests…,” said God (Exodus 40:12-15 Exodus 40:12-15 12 And you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. 13 And you shall put on Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister to me in the priest’s office. 14 And you shall bring his sons, and clothe them with coats: 15 And you shall anoint them, as you did anoint their father, that they may minister to me in the priest’s office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.
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, NIV).

We see from this example that anointing was used to set individuals apart to serve as priests to God.

What is the role of a priest? What did a priest do? It is difficult for us to comprehend, because that system of a priesthood and temple worship was crushed during the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Although alive and flourishing in Jesus' day, it is a foreign concept to many of us today, lost in the mists of long ago.

In its simplest terms, a priest's function was to serve as an intermediary between God and man. Under that system of temple worship, mankind as a whole had no direct access to God. Members of the priesthood served as God's representatives to Israel, and in performing the sacrifices they interceded with God on behalf of the people.

How does this apply to Jesus Christ? We are told that “we have a great High Priest…, Jesus the Son of God” (Hebrews 4:14 Hebrews 4:14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
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).

Our perfect High Priest

The book of Hebrews explains how Jesus Christ is the perfect High Priest. He can “sympathize with our weaknesses,” we are told, because He “was tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 Hebrews 4:15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
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, NIV). Because He lived as a physical human being, He knows what we go through in this life. Because of that, He knows that we are weak and how we need God's mercy and help. In addition to this, Jesus Christ is submissively obedient and has been made perfect (Hebrews 5:8-9 Hebrews 5:8-9 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him;
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).

Unlike human priests who grow old and die, He will never need to be replaced in that office “because Jesus lives forever, [and] he has a permanent priesthood” (Hebrews 7:24 Hebrews 7:24But this man, because he continues ever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
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, NIV). He continues the intercessory work of the physical temple priesthood: “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25 Hebrews 7:25Why he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.
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, NIV). He will always be there to save those who come to God, forever.

“Such a high priest meets our need-one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” Physical sacrifices are unnecessary, we are told, because, “unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself” (Hebrews 7:26-27 Hebrews 7:26-27 26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
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, NIV).

Through His function as High Priest, Jesus Christ purifies us through His sacrifice: “…The blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse[s] our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:14 Hebrews 9:14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
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, NIV)

What is the result of this? Having been cleansed of our sins, we can now be reconciled to God and come before Him confidently. “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus …, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:19-23 Hebrews 10:19-23 19 Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
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, NIV)

That paints a wonderful picture of Christ's sacrifice and function as High Priest and how He allows us to be reconciled to God. It shows us that Christ has removed the barrier of sin between man and God and brought us together again, making us one with God. Therefore we come boldly to God's throne, full of faith and confident that we are forgiven and pure in His sight.

Set Apart as Prophet

In 1 Kings 19:16 1 Kings 19:16And Jehu the son of Nimshi shall you anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shall you anoint to be prophet in your room.
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we find another example of anointing being used to set someone apart for a particular purpose. In this case, Elijah's days as a prophet were numbered. “…Anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet,” he was told (NIV).

What significance does this have in Jesus Christ's life and mission? He was often called a prophet (John 6:14 John 6:14Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
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, John 7:40 John 7:40Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
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), and said of Himself that He was a prophet (Luke 4:24 Luke 4:24And he said, Truly I say to you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
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, Luke 13:33 Luke 13:33Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
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). He clearly foretold the future during His physical ministry on earth. In Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21, He prophesied of events that would lead up to His return to earth. The four Gospels contain many prophecies about His disciples and the future Church, and the book of Revelation is called “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1 Revelation 1:1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show to his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John:
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).

Is foretelling the future the most important thing Christ discussed? Even though Christ did foresee the future, that is a relatively small part of what is recorded for us about Him and His life. A prophet isn't just someone who reveals the future. A prophet is someone who reveals the will and purpose of God to mankind.

What did Christ speak about during His time on earth? “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak…Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak” (John 12:49-50 John 12:49-50 49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatever I speak therefore, even as the Father said to me, so I speak.
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).

Divine and holy teacher

What did He reveal? “Whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” He revealed exactly what God the Father told Him to reveal. He taught and revealed the plan, purpose and will of God. He foretold the future, but even more than that, He was a divine and holy Teacher, revealing God's wonderful purpose and plan for mankind.

In Luke 10 Christ discussed what He revealed to people. “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure,'” (verse 21, NIV).

What was it that was being revealed? “'All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him,'” (verse 22, NIV).

Christ was revealing God the Father. He was revealing a new view of God, a new understanding of God. His fellow Jews had previously understood God as a sort of national champion, the “father” of their nation who had worked mighty miracles in the days of their forefathers. But Jesus Christ revealed a very different understanding: a loving God, gently caring for His followers as a father loves his own children.

The Father that Jesus Christ revealed was a God who desired a close personal relationship with His people, wanting to share all things with His children, to forgive them, to heal them, to bless them and to give them eternal life in His Kingdom. Jesus Christ Himself personified that love. Throughout His life and ministry He revealed a love far beyond what they could have understood earlier: a love so deep that God would give His very Son as a sacrifice to reconcile each of His children to Him.

This understanding of God was a wonderful truth, said Jesus. “Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, 'Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it,'” (verses 23, 24, NIV).

So we see that Jesus Christ was anointed to be a prophet, not just foretelling the future, but, far more important, revealing God's will, purpose and plan to mankind and showing us what a loving God we worship.

Born to be a King

A final significant use of anointing is found in 1 Samuel 16. God told His prophet Samuel that He had rejected Saul as king over Israel because of his disobedience, and He had chosen a new king. Samuel was sent to David. “Then the Lord said, 'Rise and anoint him; he is the one.' So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power…” (1 Samuel 16:12-13 1 Samuel 16:12-13 12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and with of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the middle of his brothers: and the Spirit of the LORD came on David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
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, NIV).

From this example we see that anointing signified that God had chosen that person for rulership. Several times in the Old Testament, kings are referred to as “the Lord's anointed.” It was a title of respect and reverence, acknowledging that God had placed the person in that position.

How does that apply to Jesus Christ? Just before His execution, the Roman governor Pilate asked Him, “Are You a king?”

“…For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world…” answered Jesus. “…'My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here,' ” He said (John 18:36-37 John 18:36-37 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said to him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.
American King James Version×
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Ruler of coming Kingdom

That Kingdom, of which Jesus Christ would be king, was at the heart of Jesus' teaching: “…'I must preach the kingdom of God…because for this purpose I have been sent,'” He said (Luke 4:43 Luke 4:43And he said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
American King James Version×
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The message He brought was “the gospel [good news] of the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:14 Mark 1:14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
American King James Version×
). Jesus “went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God…” (Luke 8:1 Luke 8:1And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
American King James Version×
). He commanded His followers to “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×
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That Kingdom is prophesied throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. “…The God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed…It shall break in pieces and consume all these [other] kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44 Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
American King James Version×
).

“Then to Him [prophesying of Jesus Christ] was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14 Daniel 7:14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
American King James Version×
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This coming Kingdom will rule over “all peoples, nations, and languages” of the earth, as we just read. It will replace the governments of this world, and Jesus Christ will be the supreme Ruler. “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'” (Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
American King James Version×
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Assisting Jesus Christ in administering His Kingdom will be His followers, now resurrected to eternal life. “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:6Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
American King James Version×
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How will this government be administered? “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…” (Isaiah 9:6-7 Isaiah 9:6-7 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
American King James Version×
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There will be no end of peace under that government. It will be established and upheld with judgment and justice forever. What a contrast to today's world, filled with every kind of suffering and anguish imaginable! But that is the kind of government mankind will have under Jesus Christ's rule in the Kingdom of God.

Exalted above all

Not only will Jesus Christ rule over that Kingdom in the future, but He is also a ruler now. Throughout the New Testament, He is referred to as “the Lord Jesus Christ” or simply “the Lord,” signifying that He is our Master, Ruler and King now. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”(Philippians 2:9-11 Philippians 2:9-11 9 Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
American King James Version×
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Do we recognize that “Jesus Christ is Lord,” our Lord and Master now? Paul described to the church in Ephesus the position to which God the Father has exalted Jesus Christ. “…He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:20-23 Ephesians 1:20-23 20 Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.
American King James Version×
).

Paul says here that Jesus Christ is over everything, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion…” He is over all the angels. He is above all the powers of the universe, the galaxies, the stars, the planets. He is over all power and authority both now and in the age to come. God the Father has put everything in subjection to Him, and included in that is the Church, His spiritual body. That is the greatness and the power and the authority of our King and Master, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is truly the One through whom “God is salvation.” He sacrificed Himself to pay the death penalty in our place. He lives now within us, helping us to live as He lived and walk as He walked, developing God's holy character within us.

He truly is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One. He truly is set apart, having devoted and given His physical life as the perfect example and sacrifice for us. He truly is our High Priest, reconciling us to God and giving us greater understanding of God and His ways. He truly is a holy Prophet, a divine Teacher, showing mankind the way to peace and happiness and life everlasting.

He truly is the One who will return to this earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to establish a kingdom that will bring peace forever and salvation to all. And He is our King, our Lord and our Master now.

How great is the meaning of “Jesus Christ” for us! GN

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