The Sacred Anointing Oil Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

  “…This shall be an holy anointed oil unto Me throughout your generations.” (Exodus 30:31b)

The olive tree, because of its oil, was the most valued tree in the Middle East. It can live for over 1000 years, making it a symbol of longevity and immortality. The Bible uses the symbol of the olive tree to represent Israel’s religious privileges with G-d (*Jeremiah 11:16; Judges 9:8). Romans 11:24 refers to Israel as G-d’s “cultivated olive tree”. G-d ‘cultivated’ them in the wilderness to know His ways and taught them how it was possible to have a relationship with the Almighty. Like the olive tree, the Jewish people have survived thousands of years while other cultures have come and gone in the annals of history. Non-Jewish believers in Jesus/Yeshua (i.e. Christians), according to Romans 11:24, are grafted into that “cultivated olive tree”.

The Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols states that (olive) oil is a symbol of life and was considered one of the three necessities along with food and clothing. Oil is one of the blessings G-d promises as a reward for faithfulness (Deut. 11:14, 33:24; Psalm 23:5). It symbolizes honor, joy, and favor. (1 Chronicles 9:29; 27:28; 2 Kings 20:13; Isaiah 39:2; Hebrews 1:9). Most importantly, in the religious ceremonies of the Israelites, (anointing) oil played a central role in offering sacrifices, ordaining priests, and in the coronation of the kings.

In Bible times, anointing with oil indicated consecration and a change in status. Israelite priests and kings were consecrated with oil, as were holy places. For instance, the sacrifices on which grain, oil and frankincense were placed were consecrated to the L-rd and became holy; the priests whose garments were anointed with the sacred oil were not ordinary men when wearing the anointed clothing, but were consecrated for the L-rd’s work. Likewise, the king, so anointed, symbolized that his reign was consecrated to the L-rd.

The anointed clothing of the priesthood represents Jesus/Yeshua:

“…put on the L-rd Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:14)

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)

“…put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…” (Colossians 3:30)

When we, the new priesthood of G-d (1 Peter 2:5; Rev. 1:6, 5:6), live by the Spirit of G-d and do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, we are ‘wearing Jesus’, demonstrated in the anointed garments of the Old Testament priesthood. The rabbis said that when the priests were not wearing the anointed garments, they were like ordinary men. It is the same for the New Testament priesthood. When we are not clothed in the character of Christ (the Messiah), we are like ordinary sinful man.

The prescription for creating the sacred anointing oil makes is clear that the oil had a beautiful fragrance. The combination of spices that were used is described in Exodus 30:22-33 followed by a stern warning that it was not to be poured on man’s flesh (verse 31)––it was sprinkled on the priest’s clothing and on the High Priest’s head (which had a covering and crown). Further, G-d warned that anyone who duplicated it for personal use would be cut off from the people of G-d.

The apostle John records that Jesus said to Nicodemus, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). The oil, which clearly symbolizes the Holy Spirit, does not work on flesh. The flesh [soulish, sinful man] must die. The Holy Spirit communicates only through man’s new spirit given to him at his new birth (Ezekiel 11:19). The apostle Paul says:

“For if you live according to the sinful nature [i.e. the flesh], you will die [i.e. eternally]; but if by the Spirit, you put to death the misdeeds of the body [i.e. the flesh], you will live [i.e. eternally], because those who are led [i.e. in their spirits] by the Spirit of G-d are sons of G-d.” (Romans 8:14–all brackets authors)

Oil was the original source of light in the Temple, and thus represents the divine Spirit that is said to dwell among the Jewish people. Light is symbolic of understanding and true knowledge. Paul describes the ‘knowledge of G-d’ as a fragrance (2 Corinthians 2:14). The only way we can ‘know’ G-d is by His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings the light of understanding, [i.e. the fragrance of the knowledge of Him] to our spirits, just as an oil lamp bring light to a room. Paul says, in that passage, that once we are saved and filled with G-d’s Spirit:

“We are to G-d, the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one, we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”

The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is a necessity, just like food and clothing. His presence assures us of immortality [everlasting life], and our faithfulness to Him guarantees G-d’s blessing (Deut. 28:1-14). As a result, we will enjoy honor and favor before Him, bringing true joy to our lives.

Have you been consecrated with the Sacred Anointing Oil? It cannot be duplicated with good deeds or ministry or any works of the flesh. It is a gift from G-d (Acts 1:4), given to those who live a life of thankfulness and obedience before Him:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of G-d’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to G-d––this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)

Barukh HaShem (Blessed is the Name of the L-rd)

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