Anointed, a Greek word, answering to the Hebrew MESSIAH, the consecrated or anointed one, and given preeminently to our blessed Lord and Savior. See MESSIAH and JESUS.
The ancient Hebrews, being instructed by the prophets, had clear notions of the Messiah; but these became gradually depraved, so that when Jesus appeared in Judea, the Jews entertained a false conception of the Messiah, expecting a temporal monarch and conqueror, who should remove the Roman yoke and subject the whole world. Hence they were scandalized at the outward appearance, the humility, and seeming weakness of our Savior. The modern Jews, including still greater mistakes, form to themselves ideas of the Messiah utterly unknown to their forefathers.
The ancient prophets had foretold that the Messiah should be God, and man; exalted, and abased; master, and servant; priest, and victim; prince, and subject; involved in death, yet victor over death; rich, and poor; a king, a conqueror, glorious-and a man of grief, exposed to infirmities, unknown, in a state of abjection and humiliation. All these contrarieties were to be reconciled in the person of the Messiah; as they really were in the person of Jesus.
It is not recorded that Christ ever received any external official unction. The unction that the prophets and the apostles speak of is the spiritual and internal unction of grace and of the Holy Ghost, of which kings, priests, and prophets were anciently anointed, was but the figure and symbol.
The name CHRIST is the official title of the Redeemer; and is not to be regarded as a mere appellative, to distinguish our Lord from other persons named Jesus. The force of many passages of Scripture is greatly weakened by overlooking this. We may get the true sense of such passages by substituting for "Christ," "the Anointed," and where Jews were addressed, "THE MESSIAH." Thus in Mt 2:4, Herod "demanded of them," the priests and scribes, "where Christ should be born," that is, the Old Testament Messiah. Peter confessed, "thou art the Messiah," Mt 16:16. The devils did the same, Lu 4:41. In later times the name JESUS was comparatively disused; and CHRIST, as a proper name, was used instead of JESUS.
When we consider the relation of Christ's person, as God and man, to his official work as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and to his states of humiliation and glory; when we consider how God is in and with him-how all the perfections of God are displayed, and all the truths of God exemplified in him; when we consider his various relations to the purposes, covenants, word, and ordinances of God, and to the privileges, duties, and services of saints, in time and to eternity, we have a delightful view of him as ALL and IN ALL, Col 3:11.
anointed, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered "Messiah" (q.v.), the official title of our Lord, occurring five hundred and fourteen times in the New Testament. It denotes that he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work as Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ (Ac 17:3; 18:5; Mt 22:42), the Anointed One. He is thus spoken of by Isaiah (Isa 61:1), and by Daniel (Da 9:24-26), who styles him "Messiah the Prince."
The Messiah is the same person as "the seed of the woman" (Ge 3:15), "the seed of Abraham" (Ge 22:18), the "Prophet like unto Moses" (De 18:15), "the priest after the order of Melchizedek" (Ps 110:4), "the rod out of the stem of Jesse" (Isa 11:1,10), the "Immanuel," the virgin's son (Isa 7:14), "the branch of Jehovah" (Isa 4:2), and "the messenger of the covenant" (Mal 3:1). This is he "of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write." The Old Testament Scripture is full of prophetic declarations regarding the Great Deliverer and the work he was to accomplish. Jesus the Christ is Jesus the Great Deliverer, the Anointed One, the Saviour of men. This name denotes that Jesus was divinely appointed, commissioned, and accredited as the Saviour of men (Heb 5:4; Isa 11:2-4; 49:6; Joh 5:37; Ac 2:22).
To believe that "Jesus is the Christ" is to believe that he is the Anointed, the Messiah of the prophets, the Saviour sent of God, that he was, in a word, what he claimed to be. This is to believe the gospel, by the faith of which alone men can be brought unto God. That Jesus is the Christ is the testimony of God, and the faith of this constitutes a Christian (1Co 12:3; 1Jo 5:1).
CHRIST, an appellation synonymous with Messiah. The word ???????, signifies anointed from ????, I anoint. Sometimes the word Christ is used singly, by way of autonomasis, to denote a person sent from God, as an anointed prophet, king, or priest. "Christ," says Lactantius, "is no proper name, but one denoting power; for the Jews used to give this appellation to their kings, calling them Christ, or anointed, by reason of their sacred unction." But he adds, "The Heathens, by mistake, call Jesus Christ, Chrestus." Accordingly, Suetonius, speaking of Claudius, and of his expelling the Jews from Rome, says, that "he banished them because they were continually promoting tumults, under the influence of one Chrestus:" "Judaeos, impulsore Chresto, assidue tumultuantes, Roma expulit," taking Christ to be a proper name. The names of Messiah and Christ were originally derived from the ceremony of anointing, by which the kings and the high priests of God's people, and sometimes the prophets, 1Ki 19:16, were consecrated and admitted to the exercise of their functions; for all these functions were accounted holy among the Israelites. But the most eminent application of the word is to that illustrious personage, typified and predicted from the beginning, who is described by the prophets, under the character of God's Anointed, the Messiah, or the Christ. As to the use of the term in the New Testament, were we to judge by the common version, or even by most versions into modern tongues, we should receive it rather as a proper name, than an appellative, or name of office, and should think of it only as our Lord's surname. To this mistake our translators have contributed, by too seldom prefixing the article before Christ. The word Christ was at first as much an appellative as the word Baptist, and the one was as regularly accompanied with the article as the other. Yet our translators, who would always say "the Baptist," have, it should, seem, studiously avoided saying "the Christ." The article, in such expressions as occur in Ac 17:3; 18:5,28, adds considerable light to them, and yet no more than what the words of the historian manifestly convey to every reader who understands his language. It should therefore be, "Paul testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ," or the Messiah, &c. Many other similar instances occur. Should it be asked, Is the word Christ never to be understood in the New Testament as a proper name, but always as having a direct reference to the office or dignity? it may be replied, that this word came at length, from the frequency of application to one individual, and only to one, to supply the place of a proper name. It would also very much accelerate this effect, that the name Jesus was common among the Jews at that time, and this rendered an addition necessary for distinguishing the person. To this purpose, Grotius remarks, that in process of time the name Jesus was very much dropped, and Christ, which had never been used before as the proper name of any person, and was, for that reason, a better distinction, was substituted for it; insomuch that, among the Heathens, our Lord came to be more known by the latter than by the former. This use seems to have begun soon after his ascension. During his life, it does not appear that the word was ever used in this manner; nay, the contrary is evident from several passages of the Gospels. The evangelists wrote some years after the period above mentioned; and therefore they adopted the practice common among Christians at that time, which was to employ the word as a surname for the sake of distinction. See Mt 1:1,18; Mr 1:1.