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ATS Bible Dictionary

CHRIST

Anointed, a Greek word, answering to the Hebrew MESSIAH, the consecrated or anointed one, and given preeminently to our blessed Lord and Savior. See MESSIAH and JESUS.

The ancient Hebrews, being instructed by the prophets, had clear notions of the Messiah; but these became gradually depraved, so that when Jesus appeared in Judea, the Jews entertained a false conception of the Messiah, expecting a temporal monarch and conqueror, who should remove the Roman yoke and subject the whole world. Hence they were scandalized at the outward appearance, the humility, and seeming weakness of our Savior. The modern Jews, including still greater mistakes, form to themselves ideas of the Messiah utterly unknown to their forefathers.

The ancient prophets had foretold that the Messiah should be God, and man; exalted, and abased; master, and servant; priest, and victim; prince, and subject; involved in death, yet victor over death; rich, and poor; a king, a conqueror, glorious-and a man of grief, exposed to infirmities, unknown, in a state of abjection and humiliation. All these contrarieties were to be reconciled in the person of the Messiah; as they really were in the person of Jesus.

It is not recorded that Christ ever received any external official unction. The unction that the prophets and the apostles speak of is the spiritual and internal unction of grace and of the Holy Ghost, of which kings, priests, and prophets were anciently anointed, was but the figure and symbol.

The name CHRIST is the official title of the Redeemer; and is not to be regarded as a mere appellative, to distinguish our Lord from other persons named Jesus. The force of many passages of Scripture is greatly weakened by overlooking this. We may get the true sense of such passages by substituting for "Christ," "the Anointed," and where Jews were addressed, "THE MESSIAH." Thus in Matthew 2:4, Herod "demanded of them," the priests and scribes, "where Christ should be born," that is, the Old Testament Messiah. Peter confessed, "thou art the Messiah," Matthew 16:16. The devils did the same, Luke 4:41. In later times the name JESUS was comparatively disused; and CHRIST, as a proper name, was used instead of JESUS.

When we consider the relation of Christís person, as God and man, to his official work as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and to his states of humiliation and glory; when we consider how God is in and with him-how all the perfections of God are displayed, and all the truths of God exemplified in him; when we consider his various relations to the purposes, covenants, word, and ordinances of God, and to the privileges, duties, and services of saints, in time and to eternity, we have a delightful view of him as ALL and IN ALL, Colossians 3:11.


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. "Entry for 'CHRIST'". "American Tract Society Bible Dictionary".
<http://classic.studylight.org/dic/ats/view.cgi?number=T480>. 1859.