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What Does Christ Mean? Why Is the Lord Jesus Called Christ?

By Wuyan

All of us know that the word “Christ” appears nowhere in the Old Testament but only in the New Testament and that Christ is the appellation of the Lord Jesus. This term in Hebrew is “Messiah” and means “the anointed one.”

The Old Testament records that the priest God established must receive the ointment. For example, Aaron and his sons served as priests after being anointed. Just as the Scriptures say: “And you shall put them on Aaron your brother, and his sons with him; and shall anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest’s office” (Exodus 28:41). In addition, when He chose a king for Israelite His people, God sent a prophet to anoint the chosen person with the anointing oil. For example, the prophet Samuel anointed Saul, the son of Kish, as the first king of the nation of Israel by the word of Jehovah (See 1 Samuel 9:15-17 and 10:1). After Saul was deposed because he disobeyed God, by the word of Jehovah, Samuel anointed David, the son of Jesse, as the king of the people of Israel (See 1 Samuel 16:1-13). Before he died, King David sent the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan down to Gihon Spring to anoint his son Solomon as king (See 1 Kings 1:32-40). These matters show clearly “the anointed one” is the chosen king. If Christ is referred to as the anointed one, then why is it that the high priest Aaron and his sons were not called Christ after they had been anointed? And Saul, David, Solomon had also received the ointment and were all kings; why were they not called Christ? Why is it that only the Lord Jesus was called Christ?

What Does Christ Mean? Why Is the Lord Jesus Called Christ?

This problem had been bothering me for many years. I had asked many preachers about it, but never got the exact explanation. Later, I mentioned it to a friend who had preached for many years. He read me two passages of the word of God, “The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself. Be it His humanity or divinity, both submit to the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself….

God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the substance of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. … Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but instead, the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh is not one that can be replaced by just any man, but one that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life.

Pondering these words, I understood: It turns out that Christ is the incarnate God. That the Lord Jesus can be called Christ is because He is God incarnate Himself. Though Saul, David, and Solomon are kings and the anointed ones, they cannot be called Christ, because they are not God incarnate but God’s creatures and they are only ones who are used by the Holy Spirit or ones who serve God. That is, only God incarnate is worthy to be called Christ. Though the outer appearance of Christ is the same as that of man, His essence is different from that of man. So, any corrupted human is unworthy of the appellation of Christ. Only God become flesh can be called Christ. Christ can also be called the Son of man, but not all sons of man can be called Christ. In other words, anybody can’t be called Christ except God incarnate.

I knew the reason why we call the Lord Jesus Christ is that He is God incarnate, the Son of man. And His flesh is unique to God when God comes to the earth to carry out the new work and can’t be replaced by that of anybody. He is fully the expression of God, He is God Himself who endows us with the truth, the way and the life, and He possesses a complete divinity as well as a normal humanity. At the moment, my heart suddenly brightened. The Son of man is mentioned many times in the Bible. For example, “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:27), “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30), and “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and on the cloud one sat like to the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle” (Revelation 14:14). Moreover, the Bible also prophesies that the Lord Jesus will appear in the image of the Son of man when He comes again. Let’s read what the Lord Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 17:24-25, “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” These verses are prophecies of the second coming of the Lord. From these words, we can see easily that when He comes again, God will possibly appear as the Son of man. Revelation 11:15 says, “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” This really is worthy of our reflection, and it gives us a clue about welcoming the Lord.

» Extended Reading:

What Does “Christ” Actually Mean?

The True Meaning of “the Coming of the Son of Man”

What Does Jesus Christ’s Second Coming With Great Glory Mean?

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