The best two-month period of TV sales ever? World cup? Olympics? Leicester City’s dramatic title win? Actually it was just before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953. For the first time ever, ordinary folk got a look-in on such a historic moment. However, there was one part that was not televised. With all her finery removed, and out of sight of all cameras, she was anointed with oil as a sign of her commissioning for the task ahead.
The first use of oil like this in the bible is found in Exodus 28:39-41, when Aaron and his sons were to be clothed in specially prepared garments, and anointed and ordained to be set apart for the special service God had for them to do.
But all of us who have accepted salvation through Jesus, and committed our lives to him, are given a special service to do for God. In 1 John 2:20-27 the writer expressed to the church the anointing that we have. “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth…the anointing you received from him remains in you…his anointing teaches you about all things…” The Holy Spirit comes to us, with his special anointing. He will speak to us and direct us in truth, in teaching, in following Jesus, and continuing his ministry on earth.
Jesus – the Christ, the ‘anointed one’ – laid the foundation of an anointed lifestyle, when he claimed that Isaiah 61:1-2 had been fulfilled (Luke 4:16-21). He had been anointed to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. As a church, we his followers have this same anointing. The Holy Spirit has come to give us the power, the insight, the confidence to do just that.
Too often we see the anointing of the Holy Spirit as a ‘bless me’ club, rather than a means to bring blessing to others. It’s actually about getting the job done. Bringing heaven to earth, His Kingdom come, His will be done…
Aaron and his sons were given honour, with special clothing and anointing, but it was because they had a job to do. We are honoured by the love, power, and blessing of God, clothed in righteousness, and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Empowered for the job he has appointed us to.