As to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, He has all power and wisdom. As to His humanity, He is limited and finite. As the second person of the trinity, He said, “I and the Father are one,” (John 10:30) As the Mediator, He said, “My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28) He said this in His humanity, in His humiliation, when He had made himself of no reputation. But it was the divine person of the Son who said it. For it would be folly for a mere creature to utter these words. Therefore the saying unveils God the Son in mediatorial office.
He was inducted into this office by His anointing. The anointing is inseparably connected with His mediation. The one is with a view to the other. In the office He bears many titles besides that of “Mediator.” He is “the Christ,” the Anointed One. It was He as the Mediator who met the deep longing of Job who complained, “Neither is there any Daysman (LXX, “Mediator,” as inI Tim. 2:5) between us, that might lay His hand upon us both.” (Job 9:33) The same yearnings for Him are expressed in, “Oh that One might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor!” (Job 16:21), in “Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come even to His seat!” (Job 23:3), in “Oh, that One would hear me! Behold, my desire is that the Almighty would answer me.” (Job 31:35) Job wished for a mediator in God’s stead like himself formed of the clay, for one absolutely God made him afraid, weighed with a heavy hand upon him. (Job 33:6, 7) He therefore hoped for “a Messenger with Him an Interpreter, One among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness, then He is gracious unto him, and saith, ‘Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom!'” (Job 33:23f)
Another synonymous mediatorial title is “the Angel.” Christ is “the Angel of the covenant.” (Mal. 3:1) This Angel is not one of the created angels, but the Son of God in His mediatorial office. This is indicated in Jacob’s words, where he speaks of “the Angel who redeemed me from all evil.” (Gen. 48:18) Certainly this angel is divine. For “the Angel of the Lord appeared” unto Moses “in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush” announcing himself as “the God of Abraham.” (Ex. 3:2, 6) Where Jehovah said, “Mine Angel shall go before them,” (Ex. 32:34) He explained in “My presence shall go with thee.” (Ex. 33:14) This Angel, then, is. a manifestation of the divine presence. Another of these titles is “Advocate.” “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” (I John 2:1)
This Messenger, Angel, Mediator, in the prophecy according to Zechariah appears as a man. Yet the prophet addresses Him as Lord. In the next breath that Lord is “the man who stood among the myrtle trees.” That man is the Angel of the Lord. (Zech. 1:10, 11) “Then the Angel of the Lord” addressed Jehovah of hosts, making intercession before Him for Jerusalem. It is the Anointed One who makes intercession for the benefit of God’s elect.
“Why is He called Christ, that is, Anointed? Because He is ordained of God the Father and anointed with the Holy Spirit to be our chief prophet and teacher; who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption, and to be our only high priest, who by the one sacrifice of His body has redeemed us and makes continual intercession with the Father for us; and also to be our eternal king, who governs us by His Word and Spirit, and who defends and preserves us in the enjoyment of that salvation He has purchased for us.” (HC, 31)
The same expression of truth is found in the Westminster standards. “Why was our Mediator called Christ? Because He was anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure; and so set apart, and fully furnished with all authority and ability, to execute the office of prophet, priest and king of His church, in the estate both of His humiliation and exaltation,” (LC, 42)
A passage referred to in the last article was Prov. 8:22-31. Verse 23 reads, “I was set up (anointed) from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” The subject is the eternal Son of God who from eternity viewed himself as the anointed, ordained Mediator, incarnate and tabernacling with men. (v. 31) He speaks of the triune God, Jehovah, (v. 22) that from everlasting He was beside Him (v. 30, Heb.), that He was therefore co-equal with God. “Then I was beside Him, as one brought up with Him.” Omit the italicized words. The verse may then be translated, “I was beside Him a father,” for so the original, rendered “one brought up,” is in Is. 49:23 the word for “father.” Christ is a father in His own right, for He is known to the Church as “the Father of eternity.” (Is. 9:6) In this passage He speaks in reference to and as the Head of the everlasting covenant. (Heb. 13:20) Before the foundation of the universe, “while as yet He had not made the earth. . . nor the. . .world,” (v. 26) He was anointed as Mediator and appointed to that office. For it was the Christ “who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” and was then viewed as a lamb without blemish and without spot. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8) Being the Mediator from eternity, He acted in the office of Mediator all through the O.T. dispensation, as Zech. 1proves. God’s elect were always redeemed and taken to heaven through the mediation and intercession of Christ, the Angel of His presence. (Is. 63:8, 9)
The appointment of Christ to His office of mediator signified a deputation to the kingdom while His anointing signified His ability to fill the royal position. His ability came from the power of the Spirit. The use of the anointing oil is closely connected to and meant to signify the anointing with the Spirit of God. In the consecration of David to the royal office, the sign of anointing is joined with the thing signified. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brethren; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” (Is. 16:13ff.) Even more pointed is this word, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach good tidings.” (Is. 61:1) Peter says Christ was “anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power.” (Acts 10:38)
The Word of God places weighty emphasis upon the Redeemer’s office. He is called “the Christ,” (Matt. 16:16) “that Christ,” (John 6:69) “very Christ,” (Acts 9:22) “the Lord’s Christ,” (Luke 2:26) “the Christ of God.” (Luke 9:20). “Christ” is the Lord’s official title which denotes His office or the position which the Son of God assumed to secure the salvation of His people. In this position of the one office of mediator, He has three functions, as prophet, priest and king. So that the Anointed is Christ, the Anointer the Father, (Acts 4:26f) and the Anointing the Spirit, (I John 2:20, 27; Luke 4:18) The title also denotes theright Christ has to assume these functions, and theability to execute them. Hence, there can be only one Christ. (Matt. 24:5, 23, 24)
Anointing is a consecratory act. When the tabernacle had been finished, it was consecrated to the Lord by the anointing oil being applied to it, to all its parts and furniture. (Ex. 30:22-29) The tabernacle and everything in it were anointed. This signified the pouring out of the Spirit upon Christ and His Church, that the Body of Christ might be a habitation fit for His dwelling. The priests were likewise anointed with oil. In keeping with this, Christ was anointed in His baptism with a view to His soon-to-begin public ministry. (Matt. 3:16) But there was a sense in which He also was anointed by the Spirit when conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, (Luke 1:35) when His humanity was sanctified by the Spirit, so that He could be the Sin-bearer. There was a final and climactic anointing of Christ, which took place at His ascension. At that time, He ascended to His throne and took up His reign (Dan. 7:13, 14). Upon the throne He was anointed. “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the scepter of Thy kingdom is a righteous scepter. Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness: therefore, God, Thy God hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Ps. 45:6, 7)
The Mediator is here addressed as God: “therefore, God!” and is said to have been anointed by His God, “therefore, God, Thy God anointed Thee.” As to His human nature, God was His God. (John 20:17) God was His God in the covenant relation in which He was appointed Head and King of the Church. (Eph. 1:18ff) That He was “anointed with the oil of gladness above” His fellows refers to the supereminent honors given Him after He had humbled himself to death, the death of the cross, in which He completed His redemptive work. For the completion of this work He was rewarded with the highest exaltation to the right hand of God, far above all principalities, powers, might and dominion, above all creatures. This anointing is alluded to in the truth stated in Acts 2:33, “Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear.” The Mediator still performs the work of His office. He does so from the throne in heaven, for He is there “now to appear in the presence of God for us.” (Heb. 9:24) We also learn from Psalm 45 that there is a spiritual union between Christ and His people who, here denominated His “fellows,” are also anointed. God has established us in Christ and has anointed us (II Cor. 1:21) with the Spirit, and therefore has denominated us “Christians.” (I Pet. 4:16), In fact, as we know, according to Scripture the Church and its Head together are denominated “Christ.” (I Cor. 12:12; Gal. 3:16)