Through His sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus has brought us salvation and granted those who believe eternal life.  He is rightly called our Saviour, but from a Jewish perspective He cannot – yet – be fully called the Messiah.

The Anointed One

Messiah literally means ‘the smeared one’ or the ‘anointed one’. As the anointing has become synonymous with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, many Christians already see Jesus as ‘anointed’.

However, the Biblical term literally refers to being physically anointed with a unique anointing oil to take the throne of Israel. The recent coronation of King Charles the III gave millions of viewers worldwide a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of this ancient practice. In full public sight, Charles was disrobed of his royal garments, leaving him dressed in rather plain white undergarments. Charles was then ushered to an area concealed by large decorative screens where he was anointed with oil uniquely chosen from the Mount of Olives.

Once the anointing was complete, Charles emerged to be dressed in his spectacular golden royal robe. He was then crowned with his royal crown with the Archbishop of Canterbury declaring “God Save the King!”

The Missing Anointing Oil

For Jesus to fulfill His role as Messiah, He literally must return to earth and be crowned King over Israel – just as the Angel Gabriel foretold (Luk 1:32). There is a problem however. Israel’s formula for anointing oil contains its own unique ingredients including persimmon oil. This oil was exceedingly rare in ancient times, with only two known groves in existence at the time of Jesus. Both of these groves were destroyed during the destruction of the Temple, leaving Israel without a means to anoint their Messiah as King – until now1.

The Missing Anointing

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Qumran caves not only provided priceless ancient scrolls of Biblical texts, but also a rather unusual Copper Scroll. It took researchers years of careful restoration work before they were finally able to unfurl the scroll and read its contents. The scroll effectively contained a treasure map of 64 treasures from Bible times. While it has been hard to match its descriptions with Israel’s current landscape, researchers nevertheless were able to use its contents to uncover a sealed clay jar in Cave 11 at Qumran. This jar contained a very unusual and sticky substance, with chemical analysis showed it to be composed of Moses’ unique ingredients for anointing oil. The jar was carbon dated back to the days of Jesus, as published by the National Geographic2. According to Grant Jeffrey, this unusual jar is now in the safekeeping of the chief rabbis in Israel, and perhaps it will be the very substance used to anoint Jesus as the future King of Israel.

I believe Jesus is truly coming again, and when He comes, we can expect there to be a far greater and more magnificent crowning ceremony than the world has ever seen. On that day, He will be finally be declared as the Messiah of Israel and the King over all the Earth – may that day come soon!

1 Jeffrey, Grant. R,The New Temple and the Second Coming (2007), page 50-51, 56-57

2 See  Special To The New York (1989-02-16). “Balsam Oil of Israelite Kings Found in Cave Near Dead Sea”The New York Times. Also see Jones, Vendyl. A Door of Hope: My Search for the Treasures of the Copper Scroll (2005). Lightcatcher Books.