Anointing the Most Holy
When the angel Gabriel appeared to the Prophet Daniel, he assured him that six things would be accomplished before a specific period of 490 years ended. These six things give us the clearest understanding of the purpose of Christ’s appearing ever recorded in the scripture. Gabriel listed these as (1) …to finish the transgression, (2) to make an end of sins, (3) to make reconciliation for iniquity, (4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, (5) to seal up the vision and prophecy, and (6) to anoint the most Holy. Daniel 9:24. The last thing Gabriel listed was actually the first to be fulfilled, that is “to anoint the most Holy.
There are many prophecies of Christ given in the Old Testament scriptures. God promised the seed of woman who would bruise the head of the serpent. Genesis 3:15. Moses spoke of a prophet God would raise up like unto me (Moses).
Deuteronomy 18:15. David told of my Lord who would sit on the right hand of God. Psalms 110:1. Isaiah spoke of a son God would give Isaiah 9:6, a servant who would justify many Isaiah 53:11, and a redeemer who would come to Zion. Isaiah 59:20. These and many other prophecies begin to tell the story of an anointed messenger God would send and whom Israel began to refer to as Messiah, or, the Christ.
Gabriel’s prophecy added to this expectation. It also revealed that just as surely as Samuel poured the oil upon David’s head when he was anointed King over Israel, there would be a time and occasion when the Messiah would be anointed to fulfill his commission upon earth.
As the last seven years of Gabriel’s prophecy were beginning, a man known as Jesus of Nazareth came to be baptized by John the Baptist. This event was the reason John was sent to baptize. John confirms this, saying, And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. John 1:31. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John each record what happened that day as Jesus was baptized. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Mark 1:10-11. This manifestation from Heaven was a declaration to all that Messiah, the most Holy, had been anointed by God!
For years I questioned if John the Baptist was the only one to see this great event. He was not! When sharing the gospel with Cornelius, Peter refers back to the widespread knowledge of this event, saying, That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. Acts 10:37-38. The knowledge of this manifestation at Jesus’ baptism is likely the source of Apollos’ limited knowledge of Jesus Christ when the believers found him at Ephesus. Acts 18:24-26.
As persecution began to arise against the early church, the apostles gathered together and prayed for boldness to preach the gospel. In their prayer they said, For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. Acts 4:27-28. They understood that his time of anointing was not in some distance future, but without question it had happened before the whole world on the banks of the Jordan River.
Jesus himself spoke of this event shortly after it happened. As he left the time of fasting and temptation in the wilderness, he returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee and came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. Luke 4:16. There he entered the synagogue and read the following words from the prophet Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18-19. Jesus then says, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:21. This was an open declaration that he was in fact the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ!
The anointing of Jesus Christ by his Father was not just an interesting side event to his ministry. It was a declaration for anyone who had eyes to see. Messiah had come. Soon everything would change. Jesus summed it up this way, saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:15. God’s message is the same today. Repent, and believe the gospel!