What is Christ?
Growing up, we were taught that Christ was the ‘surname’ of Jesus. We were also taught that Christ had the same meaning as GOD and therefore is GOD.
Christ is not GOD and Christ is also not the surname of Jesus, but rather an explanation of what Jesus was. While Christ can be used as a noun, it is mostly used in the Bible as an adjective that describes a noun. Hence, Jesus (noun) who is a Christ (adjective).
When we look at the meaning of the word ‘Christ’ in the original text that the Bible was written in, we see that it means “anointed”. In English, we have two words for anointed while the Greek text has only one word, christos, and in Hebrew, it is the word mâshı̂yach. You will find many references in the Old Testament of individuals who GOD called mâshı̂yach, including David (2 Sam 22:51, Ps 18:50), the King of Cyrus (Isa 45:1) and the prophecy of the coming messiah who would also be a mâshı̂yach. Through this, we see that GOD promised that HE would not deliver us through an individual but through HIS anointing carried by HIS anointed (plural not singular, Ps 28:8-9). How did a person become an anointed? By being anointed with oil – which was a type of what would come.
The practice of anointing with oil in the Old Testament was used as a symbolic act for setting apart a person for a certain leadership function and to bring a message from GOD which anointed him or her. This was a one-time event much like an inauguration or ordination. Objects could also be sanctified or dedicated to GOD, by anointing it with oil (Ex 29:36, Num 7:1). It was also used as a healing ointment (Isa 1:6, Jer 8:22).
Thus, anointing oil was used to anoint Kings (1 Sam 10:1), Priests (Ex 28:14) and Prophets (1 Kings 19:16) as well as sprinkling the tabernacle and its furnishing to mark them as holy, sanctified and set apart to the LORD (Lev 8:10).
The ingredients for the oil are mentioned in Scripture but never the method and the specific quantities used in making the oil, thus nobody can reproduce it. Anyone attempting to make the holy anointing oil will be cut off from the people (Ex 30:32-33). Why? Because, when it comes to GOD’s anointing, it is exclusive. You cannot fake it or buy it. It comes from HIM alone.
When we read Hebrews 5:1 we see that “every high priest (is) taken from among men (and) is appointed for men in things pertaining to God”. Aaron was taken from among men and anointed as high priest, and according to Exodus 30 we see that all the sons must be anointed with the same oil. The same oil that anointed Aaron is the same oil for all the people. Aaron represented the people, the whole specie* of mankind in the things pertaining to GOD. The same oil that was poured over the head of Aaron is the same oil that ran down his beard to the bottom of his hem (representing the whole body). The whole body receives the same oil. Aaron was the natural high priest of the natural specie.
The spiritual is not first, however, but the natural and afterward the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46). Accordingly, we know and understand that the physical type of anointing with oil, even the anointing of the high priest and the sons, was only a shadow of the Spiritual to come (Col 2:17, Heb 10:1).
Again, when we read Hebrews 5:1 we know now that a high priest is taken from men. Jesus was taken from mankind and anointed to be the first of a new specie. Jesus Christ is the Spiritual high priest of a Spiritual specie. We as the Sons of GOD have the same anointing as our high priest, Jesus Christ. He was the first of many brethren. This anointed specie is confirmed when we read the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1. The last generation that will be is the Christ or anointed generation (Matt 1:17).
All this is important to understand so that we may understand what made Jesus a Christ and why he is not the only Christ. But he is the origin of the specie, the alpha of the specie.
Let us also look at the definitions of the word Christ so that we may better understand exactly what it means when the Bible uses the word Christ and why and when it was used.
The word ‘Christ’ is the Greek word Christos with the numerical number of G5547 meaning:
- Important to note is that the word Christ is an adjective, which means it describes something of the Name to which it is JOINED!
Can you see that the word Christ simply means anointed?
The base word of Christos is the Greek word Chrio (G5548) which means:
- To anoint
- Consecrating Jesus to the Messianic Office and furnishing him with the necessary powers for its administration
- Rubbing / smearing with oil
The anointing that Jesus received is what gave him the ability to be what he was. The anointing appointed him.
The base word of Chrio is the Greek word Chraomai (G5530) which means:
- To receive a loan
- To take for one’s use, to make use of a thing
- Light upon
This word explains it beautifully that you are not born with it but will/must receive it.
The base word of Chraomai is the Greek word Cheir (G5495) which means:
- By means of one, God’s might/power/activity
- A means or instrument
This is the first building block for the word Christ as the anointing is GOD. A Christ is anointed by GOD with GOD (HIS SPIRIT)
In Luke 2:11 we read of a prophecy where, at his birth, Jesus is referred to as a Lord and a Christ. Why do we say this was only a prophecy? Because, when we understand what a Christ is we will understand that this was a prophecy over Jesus’ life. Acts 2:36 says that Jesus was made both Lord and Christ. He was made this, not born this. Again, keep the definition of what a Christ is in mind. To establish what is Christ and why Jesus was not born a Christ we must go and study when Jesus was made a Christ and a Lord.
This is beautifully summarised in Acts 10:36-38 (NKJV).
36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all–37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee (not Bethlehem where baby Jesus was born) after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
The base word of Christ is the act of anointing. To become a Christ, you need to be anointed. This is exactly what happened at the baptism of Jesus. GOD anointed Jesus with HIS SPIRIT making him a Christ (anointed). This is important to understand because, even though Jesus had a supernatural virgin birth and although he was born without sin, he was still a man born of dust, born from flesh (1 Cor 15:40-49) and he had to become Spirit by being born again from heaven (1 Cor 15:40-49). His supernatural birth did not make him GOD, just as Adam’s supernatural creation did not make him GOD. Again, therefore we say that Luke 2:11 was a prophecy as we can clearly see that Jesus, although without sin, only became a Christ at his baptism. He was made a Christ, not born a Christ. Before the baptism it was Jesus of Nazareth, after the baptism, it was Jesus Christ.
Acts 2 beautifully states that Jesus was not born a Christ but made a Christ.
1 John 2:20 states that we also have an anointing and then further on in verse 27 John explains that this anointing comes from GOD and it abides in us. This anointing teaches us. We also know that the Spirit from GOD abides in us and teaches us (John 14:26). This is because the anointing is the SPIRIT of GOD. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Cor 1:21-22).
As Jesus was anointed with the SPIRIT of GOD and was made a Christ, so also every born-again Child of GOD is anointed with the SPIRIT of GOD, making each an anointed, a Christ.
This is what the cross of Jesus Christ made possible. It made it possible for us to pass over from a one Adam specie to a second Adam specie.
Paul explains this in 1 Corinthians chapter 15.
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. (1Co 15:45-49 NKJV-)
Because of the cross of Jesus Christ, we can bear the image of the heavenly man. This also shows us that we carry the same anointing as our high priest Jesus Christ. We bear the same image, we bear the same anointing.
We read this beautiful scripture in Matthew 16:16 when GOD reveals to Peter what a Christ is. Peter answers Jesus by saying “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”, because a Son of the living GOD is a Christ. And this Sonship was not only exclusive to Jesus Christ as Hebrews 2:10 puts it, For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Many!
Now that we understand that a Christ is an anointed we need to understand that Christ is also a specie*, it is a kind. Therefore, a Christ specie* is an anointed specie. In the book of Galatians Paul writes the following, now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. (Gal 3:16).
This is very important. The “seed of promise” is Christ. But Paul is quoting the promise made to Abraham and when we go look at that promise we can see that this is one kind, but many individuals of the same kind – as many as the stars… Moses writes.
15 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, look now toward heaven, and count the stars (plural), if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed (singular) be (Gen 15:5 KJV). This is so beautiful as this is the exact formula GOD used during HIS creation in Genesis 1. Moses, explaining GOD’s formula, writes the following.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Gen 1:11-12).
In the seed lies the potential to bring forth more of the same kind and type as the seed, the same specie.
John quotes Jesus in chapter 12 of his book, where Jesus Christ is using GOD’s creation formula to explain what will happen with him as a seed. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (John 12:24). Jesus Christ died as a seed, as a kind, so that the seed will bring forth a harvest according to the same kind, the Christ kind, the Christ specie. We are born again if we believe in the work of the cross, to mature our mind as a Spiritual specie to salvation
Paul uses the same analogy when explaining the difference between the different births that mankind will go through.
47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man (1 Cor 15:47-49 NKJV).
We will bear the image of the kind that is born from above, just as Jesus Christ who was the first thereof. Jesus was born from Mary, of dust, whereas Jesus Christ was born from above at the baptism as the heavenly man. This example also applies to each one of us, we will bear the same image as the heavenly man when we are born from the same seed. We will be a Christ, the harvest of the first seed (Jesus Christ).
Mankind was always destined to be the image and likeness of GOD covered by HIS glory.
The gospel of the glory of Christ will forever be the image of GOD. This is the destiny of every ambassador of Heaven, born from the Seed of GOD. Each Seed of GOD is a Christ specie, a Christ kind.
Our High priest, Jesus Christ, was the first anointed one. We have to carry the same anointing; otherwise, we will be an illegitimate part of the people of GOD.
* The newly coined word ‘specie’ (derived from ‘species’) is used to emphasise the fact that there can be only ONE kind or sort (no variation).