Chapter Ten of 1 Samuel begins with Saul’s being anointed as King by the prophet. We read, “Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord, and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you to be prince over his heritage.” When Samuel anoints Saul as king of Israel, he performs three rituals. First, he anoints his head with oil containing spices. Next, he kisses him on the cheek. Finally, he pronounces him as the “king who will reign over the people of the Lord and will save them from the hand of their enemy.” After the anointing and the kiss, Samuel asked the question, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people, Israel?” The correct answer, of course, is “Yes!” Although Samuel was the human instrument, God was the one who chose him.

The King of Israel served as the savior of the People. There are even references that point out Israel’s King was, to me, the “anointed” one. The Messiah of the people would be the King of The Jews. We know that the ultimate Messiah would come through the line of the second King, King David. From the house of David would come the savior of the world, in keeping with how this passage establishes the procedure observed in Saul’s coronation. We see it repeated with Jesus. Even though Jesus was rejected as God’s chosen deliverer at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the events of that week reveal God’s intentions. Jesus was anointed as King with all three rituals. In Bethany, his head was anointed with oil containing fragrant spices. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas kissed him on the cheek and called him “Lord.” Pilate had a sign hung up on the cross announcing in three languages that this is “The King of the Jews.”

God is the one who chooses and anoints! In the New Testament, we read that Jesus was the anointed one. That’s what Messiah, or Christ, means. Jesus was the one God chose to save his people from their enemy. Unfortunately, Israel wanted their Messiah to deliver them from their earthly enemies. God had a greater salvation in mind. The greatest enemy of us all: Death!  Although the woman, Judas, and Pilate had no idea what they were doing, God was behind it all, accomplishing his purposes in His only begotten son. “For God so loved the world, that he sent his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.”