You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
- from Psalm 23:5
What's up with this anointing image? We don't do a lot of anointing in our culture.
In the ancient world, people would pour oil over someone's head (ie. anointing) for two major reasons. Alex talked about one of these during his message this past week.
The first has to do with royalty and kingship. New leaders were anointed in public ceremonies. The oil symbolized the blessing of God, his empowerment and protection.
The second type of anointing had to do with priests and religious leaders. Priests were anointed to show that they had been set apart, cleansed and called by God. In fact, one of the Greek words for "anoint" is the word "chrio," which is where we get the word "Christ" (I know ... it's not Jesus' last name!)
When David was a young man, he was anointed by the prophet Samuel. Anointed to serve as a king and military leader, David carried himself as a king long before he ascended into the official office. He protected the people from their enemies. He judged justly and restrained evil. He wasn't perfect, but he was truly great.
Generations later, Jesus came along and showed us that he truly was God's Anointed One. In Jesus, those kingly and priestly strands were woven together. He was empowered to set God's people free and to pardon them of their sins. And did he ever!
We share in Jesus' anointing. His cup overflows and that means that ours does too. His empowerment and blessing becomes ours. In Christ, the Anointed One, we are welcomed to be full participants in God's family and mission.
Can you pause today to thank him for including you in Christ?