Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jesus: The Anointed Priest, Prophet, and King

"eyesofphaith" asked the following questions in the General Theology board at HCR:
What was the form or shape of Jesus before He came to earth. Scripture references how Jesus claimed a body was prepared for Him. Did he have a heavenly "body" before he came to earth?
No. Before the Word took on flesh, He existed as the second Person of the Trinity, which is Spirit. "God is Spirit" (Jn 4:24), He has no flesh or bones (cf. Lk 24:39). It is He "whom no man has ever seen or can see" (1 Tim 6:16). He is "the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God" (1 Tim 1:17). The Word did not have flesh until he was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary.
Also, since Christ means Messiah or The Annointed One and scripture refers to the Holy Spirit as the anointing (1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you), does this denote that only the body was anointed because the Spirit that put on flesh was The Anointing.
No. He is anointed who God chooses to represent Him or to lead His people. According to the Old Law, priests (cf. Exo 28:41; Num 3:2-3; 35:25), kings (cf. 1 Sam 10:1; 16:12-13; 2 Sam 19:10; 1 Ki 1:39), and sometimes even prophets (cf. 1 Ki 19:16; 1 Chron 16:21-22; Isa 61:1) were anointed for their respective offices. Similarly, when we say that Jesus is the Christ (which means "anointed"), we mean that He is The Chosen One, the Messiah that the Jews were anticipating, the person in whom all of these anointed offices are present.

Jesus is the Christ, the great:
  • Priest (cf. Heb 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5,10; 6:20; 7:17,26; 8:1; 9:11),
  • Prophet (cf. Deut 18:15,18; Mt 13:57; 21:11, 46; Lk 7:16; 13:33; 24:19; Jn 4:19; 6:14; 7:40; 9:17; Acts 3:22-23; 7:37), and
  • King (cf. Psa 24:7-10; Zech 14:9; Mt 2:2; 21:5; Jn 1:49; 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 15:3; 17:14).
Thus, the title "Christ" refers to His status as the Messiah, the Anointed Priest, Prophet, and King -- not to His body that was conceived by the Holy Spirit. For more on Jesus as "the Christ", go here.

When 1 John 2:27 mentions the "anointing" we have received from Jesus, what this is referring to is the grace we receive when the Holy Spirit comes upon us, a grace that sets us apart and makes us his chosen people.

Pax Christi,

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