- Joel Whitson
The Lamb who is the Shepherd
A long while back my mom bought some essential oils, talking about how they are helpful in so many ways, but then again every mother and wife was buying into them at the time. As time went on I would find myself, along with my dad and pretty much every other guy in my family, poking fun at Essential Oils. Initially, I was skeptical of what seemed like another “Christian mom pyramid scheme” but we actually benefited from it. I sunburn easily, so I use lavender oil like nobody’s business and heck I even use it just to make my dorm smell less boy-ish.
The only issue is these oils are so limited in what they can do, you need dozens of different oils in dozens of different bottles just to have solutions for so many different ailments. But there is one oil that will cleanse all illnesses and ailments away. He, who is the anointed prophet, priest, king will anoint His remnant. It is only He who is anointed that can anoint. Because Jesus is the Christ he is the anointed one (Christos in the Greek is the same as Mashiach in the Hebrew. Masiach is related to masach, or “to anoint”). This is why he is able to anoint us because as we are in this sacred union with Christ we are joined to Christ. He shares His anointing with us, it is by Him we are washed and healed.
That is what I'm trying to communicate here, this is a twofold picture. First Christ, who is the anointed lamb. Coming from the house of David and reigning as Messiah, Jesus must be anointed. This anointing makes him the proper prophet, the proper priest, and the proper King (as they were anointed when called into office seen in 1 Sam. 10:1, Ex. 28:41, and 1 Kings 19:16), he was set aside for mankind. In this perfection Jesus was sufficient. In his anointing and perfection, he was the only one who could be a sacrifice, a slain lamb. But in this, the lamb is the shepherd. It is only by "his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption." (Heb. 9:12-14) He is now the head of the church, the savior and shepherd for the flock.
So now in this second view of the illustration, we are the lamb and He, the Messiah, is our shepherd. Because of our union with Christ, we are being anointed (1 John 2:27). He is pouring the anointing oil, His blood, over us. For this to have a full impact there needs to be a proper understanding of what oil does for sheep. Sheep are often plagued with nose flies, small pests that fly around their head, and lay eggs in their cavities. The laid eggs hatch into larvae and burrow further into the flesh of the sheep. So there they lay, irritated and infected, sick. So what does the sheep do to resolve this pain? They will bash their heads on tree trunks, rub the faces into the dirt and, at times, try to kill themselves, and if they survive the larvae and the head-bashing they usually go blind. So, the shepherd would have oil on standby, so at an indication of nose flies, they would pour oil over the sheep, suffocating and washing the fly and larvae away.
We are these sheep, plagued and infected by not a fly but by sin. Sin is rooted in man, no part of our being untouched by evil. Our solution to sin is not one that resolves it, but our efforts to relieve the hurt of sin just harm us more, leading to nothing. But there is one major difference: there is no chance for us to survive sin. Sin leads to death. The only solution is an anointing, not with oil but with blood. Blood that buys us, blood that washes us clean, blood that makes us pure. Christian, let the blood wash your sins away, let it make you pure.( 1 John 1:9, Matt. 26:28, 1 John 1:7) Be the sheep, be led by the perfect shepherd, be joined with Him in the anointing.