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faith, Names of Jesus

What Does Christ Mean?

We call Him Jesus Christ. Even those who haven’t placed their trust in Him use this name; sadly, often not in Holy ways. Jesus has many names and titles, but of all Jesus’s names and titles, the addition of “Christ” magnifies the Holiness of His name.

“Jesus” means “God saves”, yet many people named their little boys “Jesus” in biblical times–so though the name Jesus is sacred, it was also ordinarily human. Perhaps it was fitting for the Savior who was fully God and fully man. I wrote about the name “Jesus” last month.

The Special meaning of Christ

But the name “Christ” holds a very special meaning. In the Greek “Christ” means anointed, and its Hebrew counterpart is “Mashiach”– Messiah. When you put these names together, “Jesus Christ” means, Jesus the Anointed One or Jesus the Messiah. To call Jesus the Christ proclaims His identity. He was not just a prophet, good teacher, or martyr. As Peter proclaimed in Jerusalem in Acts 2, ““Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

He was Jesus Christ, Jesus the Messiah.

On the day that Peter preached his first sermon proclaiming this truth about Jesus, three thousand came to faith and were baptized. Three thousand! Most of these people were Jews who’d come to Jerusalem to celebrate Shavuot, the Jewish Pentecost–the celebration of Moses receiving and giving the Law. But on this Shavuot, God sent the new Law, the Law of the Spirit, and the hearts who were there to truly worship God and His goodness were moved by the Spirit, and persuaded by Peter’s sermon to receive the truth that Jesus was the Christ. They had missed the Messiah.

joy in christ

Prophecies of the christ and messiah

One reason why they’d missed the Messiah was they understood the prophetic scriptures to proclaim a Messiah who would be an earthly king who would deliver them from the oppression and occupation of Rome. Prophecies such as one in Daniel.

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Daniel 7:13-14

This is what Gabriel told Mary. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1: 32-33). Surely as Mary watched her son suffer on a cross she wondered about the meaning of Gabriel’s promise. How could He reign in death? Surely she hoped for a host of angels to come as they did the night of His birth, but none did. Mary would experience the rest of the story, the resurrection and the release of the Holy Spirit. She learned the truth of the grander plan of God mere humans could not fathom. Her son, Jesus Christ was the Messiah who came to deliver our souls and reign in each of our hearts and one day, the world. Jesus told His disciples:

“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

John 18:36

We can read the Daniel prophecy and realize it hasn’t happened yet because we live on the other side of the Cross and are privileged to have the book of Revelation. We know Jesus is coming back in the clouds to reign over all forever.

The anointed king

He is sitting at the right hand of the Father on the throne now. He is King Jesus to us who’ve asked Him to reign in our lives, so I don’t want you to miss the importance of the “anointing” of Jesus while He walked this earth. It’s interesting that Jewish kings were not crowned. They were anointed. Think of Samuel anointing Saul and later David.

Psalm 45 speaks of the beautiful fragrance of the king’s robe anointed with myrrh and aloes. Lois Tverberg explains in her book Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus,

“Hebrew kings were anointed with sacred oil perfumed with extremely expensive spices. Only used for consecrating objects in the temple and for anointing priests and kings, the sacred anointing oil would have been more valuable than diamonds. The marvelous scent that was left behind acted like an invisible “crown” conferring an aura of holiness on its recipients. Everything and everyone with that unique frangrance was recognized as belonging to God in a special way.”

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, 16.
Joy of christ

The anointing of jesus christ

God chose two women to anoint Jesus. I love that. One was a beloved friend who sat at Jesus’s feet as a disciple, questioned His delay in coming to heal her brother, and witnessed the power of Jesus to raise the dead. Her name was Mary of Bethany. The other was an unnamed woman whose reputation was one of sin and shame. She came to the party with no invitation, only an alabaster jar and the desire to worship this Holy man by pouring out her gift on His feet. What these two women did for Jesus was received by the other dinner party guests as shameful, but not Jesus. He defended them.

His anointing did not come at the hands of a great prophet like Samuel but two ordinary women who poured out the most expensive and precious oil they owned on this Rabbi named Jesus. With that same fragrance still wafting from his skin and clothes, Jesus Christ rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and a few days later hung on a cross quite possibly smelling like royalty. Paul wrote:

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. 

2 Cor. 2:14-16

I want to smell like the Anointed Jesus.

Scriptures about Christ

Scriptures on Christ

I was amazed by the number of scriptures about Christ. When I read through the concordance in the back of my study Bible, it was difficult to only choose 31 scriptures for the reading plan. These are powerful verses. Life-changing, worshiping Jesus, awe inspiring verses. I hope you’ll download or print this list off and take 31 days to come to know the Anointed One better. As you read these verses, keep before you the “Anointed One” and “Messiah.”

Let the peace of Christ (the Anointed Messiah) rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ (the Anointed Messiah) dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Col. 3:15-16 (addition mine)

Can you smell the aroma of Christ in your midst? Is He in your congregation where you worship? Can you envision the peaceful Jesus Christ riding the donkey’s colt into Jerusalem and the peace and confidence He radiated? This Messiah lives in us and has exchanged our sorrow for the oil of joy (Isa. 61:3). We may not be able to smell it now, but I believe the fragrance is strong in the spiritual world.

Declaration to know christ

Do you know Christ? If Paul proclaimed these powerful words, this ache in his soul, how much more should we? Oh that we would hold such passion and desire in our hearts. Make this a declaration today:

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:10-14

I may need to print this on many index cards and put it all over my house or in my Bible to declare it everyday. Wouldn’t that be powerful? I don’t give challenges very often, but I’m going to in this post. I challenge you to make this declaration for the next 30 days. Declare it and then turn it into a prayer. Here’s another printable if you want to put it all over your house or stick it in your Bible too. Click on it to download or print.

know christ

InstaGram and YouTube

I’ll be teaching more about this powerful title of Christ. Join me on Friday mornings at 9:00 ET on IG @wordsbyandylee for my live Bible study called “Faith Friday” and hop on over to my YouTube channel and subscribe to catch all my new teachings about Christ. I try to put new content out every Friday afternoon.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to download or print the reading plan and don’t forget the 30 day challenge of declaring Phil 3: 10-14. If you take that challenge, leave a comment, and I will be praying for you.

May we know, really know, Christ!

Much grace,

Andy

2 Comments

  1. Davina

    Hi Andy, I recently came across your website and was wondering if there is somewhere I can find a list of all your reading plans?

    1. Hi Davina, Several have asked me about this, so I need to put them together! I do not have the reading plans in one place yet. I’m sorry. Thank you for asking and the nudge to do so. I’ll work on it! Please subscribe if you haven’t so you will know when I’ll put them together. Blessings!

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