Prophet, Priest and King

By Francis Frangipane

The Anointing
We refer to our Lord as Jesus Christ, but His name, simply, was Jesus (or Yeshua in Hebrew).  The term Christ comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for "Messiah," which meant "the Anointed One."  Thus, it would be perfectly accurate to call our Savior, "Jesus, the Anointed One."

But where does the phrase "Anointed One" come from and how does it apply to the Lord?  While anyone could anoint and refresh their head with oil (or anoint the dying for burial), only a special blend of spices and oils was used as "holy anointing oil," and then only in sacred ceremonies (see Ex 30:22-31).  It was copiously poured upon the consecrated individual, perhaps a liter or more flowing down upon his head, beard and garments (Ps. 133).  It was an obvious outpouring of oil, not merely a dab on the forehead as might accompany our use of anointing oil today.  It was done with solemn prayer and reverence, for it was through this ritual of anointing that Israel's prophets, priests and kings were identified and then dedicated to God.

Overcoming Discouragement

By Francis Frangipane

The Jews had been defeated by Nebuchadnezzar and, because of their long and extended rebellion to God, the Lord allowed them to be exiled to Babylon.  Yet, now their appointed time of judgment had passed; it was time for the Lord's promise to be fulfilled.  Indeed, He had assured them, "After seventy years...I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place" (Jer. 29:10 KJV). 

Initiated by the fasting and prayer of the prophet Daniel, Israel had entered a season of divine visitation: men with both integrity and vision were raised up and financial provisions came.  The display of divine grace had created an atmosphere of awe and excitement among the people of God - He was "causing [them] to return" to Israel!  Yet, how He brought them back was just as miraculous: Israel's God revealed Himself to King Cyrus of Persia, a gentile king, and actually "Appointed [him] to build [the Lord] a house in Jerusalem" (2 Chron. 36:23).  In fact, Cyrus encouraged a national offering for Israel's journey; he restored the treasures taken by Nebuchadnezzar from Israel, and he issued a royal edict, legally authorizing the return of the Jews to Israel.