THE TWENTY-FIRST DAY OF JUNE IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN.
Under the provisions of the Mosaic Code, even a man like Caiaphas could serve as high priest in Israel. And because Israel’s covenant-keeping God had created the priestly office and confirmed Caiaphas for service within it, Jesus treated both man and office with great respect. Yet Jesus knew full well that even then powerful enemies symbolized by Caiaphas were plotting Jesus’ murder–and would bring it to pass within a matter of hours.
The irony is apparent. Jesus is God’s “Messiah,” the “anointed one” or the “Christ.” Throughout the Jewish Scriptures, God’s special agents were regularly anointed by pouring olive oil on their head as a sign of God’s choosing and a symbol of the divine gifting and favor. Most Old Testament references to someone’s anointing or unction (an old-fashioned word meaning the same thing) involve prophets, priests, and kings. God anoints Jesus with his empowering Presence, the living and life-giving Holy Spirit–the personal and divine breath and breeze.
Jesus is the Messiah in every way–He is the prophet like Moses, the priest like Mechizedek, the king like David. He is the anointed one, the Christ. Hallelujah!