Psalm 133:1-2 - Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!
We readily agree that it is good and pleasant when brothers—and sisters—dwell in unity. But as for precious oil running down Aaron's head and beard and collar, well, that does not sound very pleasant. It sounds a little sticky and smelly.
Aaron and his sons served as priests of ancient Israel. Before beginning their priestly service, the high priest Aaron and his sons were washed, dressed in holy garments, and anointed with oil. God said, "Their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations" (Exodus 40:15b). The oil used for the anointing was not just ordinary olive oil. God Himself provided a recipe for the precious liquid, listing the ingredients in their proper amounts. The anointing oil was a blend of liquid myrrh, sweet-smelling cinnamon, aromatic cane, cassia, and olive oil. The finished oil could not be poured on an "ordinary person," and the recipe was not to be reproduced for any other purpose (see Exodus 30:22-33). This precious oil was poured over Aaron and his sons as a sign of holiness and the rich blessings of God, a sign that they were set apart for service.
We, too, have been anointed and set apart for service in Christ Jesus. We are God's holy priests: "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). Anointed in Baptism with water and the Holy Spirit, we are set apart to proclaim the goodness of God, who brought us from the darkness of sin into the light of Christ. As Aaron was washed and dressed in holy garments, we are washed clean of our sins and clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Within the baptismal call to holy service, we receive the gift of unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:27-28).
Shortly before Jesus took up His cross, He prayed for those who would believe through the witness of His apostles, asking that the new believers would "all be one" just as Jesus and His Father are one (John 17:21a). This unity with our Savior and with one another is a gift given to us in Baptism, a rich blessing of oneness poured out by the Holy Spirit, as rich and precious as the sacred oil that once ran from Aaron's head, down onto his beard and the collar of his robes!
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, I give You thanks and praise for the precious unity that is the Spirit's gift. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. What does it mean to be anointed?
2. Besides Aaron and his sons, can you think of others who were anointed in the Bible?
3. How does God "anoint" us through Baptism?
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