Peace. Love. Joy. Hope. We know that all of these things are the themes of Christmas. We see the ads, the commercials, the programs… Everyone is all smiles and full of joy. And most of us are going to tap into at last some of that.
But gathered around your Christmas dinner table or at your office party or in the foyer at your church will be some people who will have put up a brave front, but who are hiding some deep hurts.
Someone’s in the dark. Maybe it’s a young woman who has just started a career. The education is behind her, but no doors are opening. Or maybe it’s a wife or a husband whose spouse just walked out on them. They’re confused and perplexed. They don’t know what to do. In the dark.
But God has given a gift for people who are in the dark.
Someone’s in the wrong. Maybe it’s a dad who can’t believe he just treated his son or daughter the way he did this past week. Or maybe it’s person who can’t believe that sexual temptation got the best of them again. They’re guilty and liable. In the wrong.
But God has given a gift for people who are in the wrong.
Someone’s all alone. Maybe it’s a young woman who just started a dream job. She’s a young professional now, but her boss just let her go. Maybe it’s a teenage girl who’s never had a date. Now, she’s wondering what it’s going to feel like to not get asked to the prom. Or maybe it’s a little boy who’s never picked first or second or third when kids choose teams at school. He’s always last. There’s no one to help or defend them. All alone.
But God has given a gift for people who are feeling all alone.
Let’s face it. Most of what we will get this year for Christmas will not really matter 6 months from now. However, God’s gifts do. They last for all eternity. And we are going to be unwrapping His gifts this Christmas season.
An angel announced the birth of Jesus to some shepherds. Shepherds were in their fields keeping watch over their flocks. The birth announcement carried with it the gifts that Jesus gives to us.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Last year, we unwrapped the gift: “freedom from fear.” Storms come into our lives and they make us afraid. However, we can have a sense of security since Jesus has us in His hand. He brings us through the storms. This little baby born at Christmas grew up to be the One who gives us a freedom from fear.
Then, we unwrapped the gift: “good news.” We are lost in a sea of sin, drowning. However, in Christ, we have good news. He is our life preserver. He says, “Friend, your sins are forgiven!”
Next, we unwrapped the gift: “Great joy.” We learned that we get more joy when we meditate more on Jesus, communicate more to Jesus, and celebrate more with Jesus.
Finally, we unwrapped the gift: “Savior.”
What is the gift for me to unwrap?
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
The gift for us to unwrap today is this gift from God: the Christ. The gift that God gave us that first Christmas was
Maybe you did not know that Christ is not Jesus’ last name. In fact, when He was born, His name was Jesus ben Joseph. Jesus, son of Joseph. He did not have a last name as we have last names. “Christ” roles off our tongues like a last name, but the people in Jesus’ day would have known it as a title, an office, a position of holy responsibility.
Christ = christos (Greek) = anointed One
anointed One = mashiyach (Hebrew) = Messiah
Exodus 30: 23-25 gives us the ingredients for the oil. Myrrh. Cinnamon. Sweet cane. Cassia. Olive oil.
Who were the anointed ones in the Bible?
Elisha… you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
I Kings 19:16b (NASB)
He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.
Leviticus 8:12 (NASB)
An ancient Jewish Rabbi, Maimonides, reported that the high priest was anointed by pouring oil on his head and rubbing it on his forehead crosswise. This mark was the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a taw. It was shaped like a cross. A taw served as a mark of ownership. This was the Lord’s method of saying – this one is mine.
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him… and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.
I Samuel 16:13 (KJV)
Kings were anointed by pouring oil on the head in a circle to form a crown. Calling someone “the Lord’s anointed” became a synonym for “king.”
The Jewish people were waiting for a Messiah, for the Prophet of prophets, the Priest of priests, and the King of kings.
Was Jesus the anointed One? How did He see Himself? Listen to His words at the very beginning of His ministry:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed Me…
Luke 4:18a (NIV)
He is quoting from Isaiah 61:1. He sees Himself as the promised Messiah. To the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, who said that she knew that the Messiah is coming, Jesus replied, “I who speak to you am He.” In a message recorded in Matthew 24, Jesus warned His followers about deceivers who would falsely claim to be Christ. Then, later, He said He was the Christ. In his trial before the Sanhedrin in Matthew 26, Jesus responded to the high priest’s question, “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God,” by saying, “Yes, it is as you say.” He knew He was the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed One.
Who anointed Jesus?
God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power.
Acts 10:38 (NASB)
This is good news for us. God has given people who are in the dark – confused, puzzled, baffled, mystified – a gift. It is Christ, the anointed Prophet. God has given people who are in the wrong – guilty, at fault, liable – a gift. It is Christ, the anointed Priest.
1. Jesus is the anointed Prophet who teaches me.
When you are in the dark and you do not know what to do next, you need a gift from God to show you the way. You have that gift. Unwrap it! It is Christ – the anointed One, your prophet!
Long before Jesus was born, God told that people that He was going to give them a prophet unlike any they had ever seen. He was sending us the Prophet of prophets.
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words sin His mouth, and He will tell them everything I command Him.
Deuteronomy 18:18 (HCSB)
Notice what a prophet does. He speaks for God to people. When you have lost your way and you are confused about your direction, you need to know that God does not leave you directionless.
Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.
John 4:25 (ESV)
How does He tell us all things? The living Word of God teaches us through the written word of God. Every time you open your Bible, you can say, “Christ, as my Prophet, speak to me.” In addition, His truth will transform you. Jesus, through His word, will build your faith, guide your steps, give you hope, fire your vision, fuel your passion.
You open God’s gift when you open God’s word. If there is dust on your Bible, there will be drought in your heart. The word of Christ is the compass to see for a new direction. The word of Christ is the counsel to hear for a new
Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will
find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)
Christ must have the first and the last word in your life. What Rick Warren writes in the PDL is right. “We can’t watch television for three hours, then read the Bible for three minutes” and expect to find our way. Many who claim to believe the Bible from “cover to cover” have never read it from “cover to cover.”
Why is Christ a prophet? Because He teaches us the will of God. Jesus speaks to me
Jesus is the anointed Prophet who teaches me.
2. Jesus is the anointed Priest who cleanses me.
Remember the movie Apollo 13? Astronaut Jim Lovell is played by Tom Hanks.
Apollo 13 was just another “routine” space flight – until the men on board were stranded
205,000 miles from Earth in a crippled spacecraft. And these words pierced through
space: “Houston, we have a problem.”
The situation is reversed. We are on the earth. And God is in the heavens. And we say to
Him, “Heaven, we have a problem.” What’s the problem? Guilt. Sin. We’re in the
Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin”?
Proverbs 20:9 (NLT)
There is not a single person in all the earth who is always good and never sins.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 (NLT)
All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23 (KJV)
Since we are sinners, we need a savior. That is the function of Jesus as our priest.
[Jesus] became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him and was designated by God to be high priest…
Hebrews 5:9b-10a (NIV)
My son, Alan, is working on releasing his first rap album, soon. He gets at the heart of
our problem and the solution in one of his songs.
“I’m guilty, Lord. Did a lot of dirt. Don’t you see I’m filthy, Lord? I deserve Your
wrath because I observed Your path. But I never walked on it. That hurts me bad.
Because I wasted time and I wasted years and I hurt you, God, and I tasted tears. But
now I know there’s a sacrifice. It’s your Son, Christ, and He gave His life. He paid the
price so that He could make me right.”
By His one sacrifice He has forever set free from sin the people He brings to God.
Hebrews 10:14 (CEV)
Jesus will never die, and so He will be a priest forever! He is forever able to save the
people He leads to God, because He always lives to speak to God for them.
Hebrews 7:24, 25 (CEV)
Since Jesus became human, like us, He sympathizes with us and understands what we go through. Since Jesus is God, He knows everything we need and He brings our needs to the Father.
I like knowing that Jesus is praying for me as my Priest. Even when I fail to pray as I ought to pray, Jesus is presenting to the Father those needs I didn’t even know about. He is praying to protect me against the dangers I am not aware of. He is fighting against the enemies that I do not even notice. Jesus is praying that our faith stay strong and that we come out victoriously in the end.
He is the Priest of priests. He speaks to God about me. He defends me. He prays for me.
Jesus is the anointed Priest who cleanses me.
3. Jesus is the anointed King who defends me.
Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king.”
John 18:37a (NASB)
When His disciples cried out at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord,” Jesus did not say, “Don’t call Me king!” He knew that His kingdom was not an earthly kingdom. When the people tried to make Him an earthly king, He turned them down.
When Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed…
John 6:15a (NKJV)
[Jesus] taught people the truth of God. God’s kingdom was His theme – that beginning right now they were under God’s government, a good government!
He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives.
Matthew 4:23 (Msg)
He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves… so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
Colossians 1: 13, 18b (NIV)
Jesus returns to earth in power and great glory to reign.
Jesus is the anointed King who defends me.
In the film Polar Express, you meet a little lonely boy who is like a lot of us who are feeling alone, in the wrong, and in the dark. We think, “Life just doesn’t work out for me.” Let’s take a look.
Play the clip here.
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Come with those of us who have found that Jesus Christ satisfies when life just does not seem like it is working out for us. Come with us to get close to Christ.
A.W. Tozer said, “For someone to complain “All I have is God” is like a fish complaining, “All I have is the ocean.”
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A point to ponder: You’ll never know that Christ is all you need until Christ is all you have.
A verse to remember: To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. John
A question to consider: What will it look like for me to anoint Jesus as the Christ – my Prophet, my Priest, and my King?
Will you anoint Jesus as your Christ?
And a woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil and stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, and began to wash His feet with her tears. She wiped His feet with the hair of her head, kissing them and anointing them with the fragrant oil.
Luke 7:37-38 (HCSB)
This is what the world needs to see from us. Not that we employ God to get out of the dark. Not that we manipulate God to earn our freedom from guilt. Not that we use God to find ourselves some new friends.
In the dark? In the wrong? All alone?
Not if you have the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed One. Not if you unwrapped God’s gift to you – the Prophet of prophets, the Priest of priests, the King of kings. No if you have Jesus.
Get close to Him.