Exodus 30:25-33. 25 And you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. 26 With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, 27 and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, 28 and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils and the basin and its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy. Whatever touches them will become holy. 30 You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. 31 And you shall say to the people of Israel, ‘This shall be my holy anointing oil throughout your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on the body of an ordinary person, and you shall make no other like it in composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 Whoever compounds any like it or whoever puts any of it on an outsider shall be cut off from his people.’”
Holy. Set apart. Holy oil sprinkled on the holy tent, the holy objects, and the holy priests. Holy oil made from a secret recipe not to be duplicated by anyone in Israel. Everything that touches it is made holy. Everything it touches is made holy.
This isn’t magical. The holy oil is not literally changing the composition of things. The ingredients aren’t supernaturally granting powers to those who are sprinkled with this concoction. In fact the ingredients are normal natural common ingredients.
The Crown: the anointing of Elizabeth. Worth a watch.
It’s not magical but it is spiritual. And here’s the spiritual lesson – God takes the ordinary and sets it apart for his holy, extraordinary work. Holy oil on an ordinary object. Holy oil on an ordinary man. Now these too are holy. Not magically but spiritually. Set apart by God for God.
In Christ our lives have been set apart. Made holy. We have been anointed with the “holy oil” of the Spirit and we have been made spiritual. Like objects in the tabernacle or David the shepherd boy, the ordinary has been made extraordinary.
1 Samuel 16:13. Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22. 21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
1 John 2:20. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.
In the symbolism of Exodus and the tabernacle so far we’ve seen that the blood and the water make things holy. And now we add the oil that makes everything it touches holy. Each of these is a picture of God and his work through the Son and the Spirit. It’s the oil that’s spreading the holiness. The oil makes the priests holy. The oil makes the objects holy. They were holy simply because the oil was holy. They were set apart only because they were sprinkled.
Holiness is all God’s work. Never our own. It’s all of grace.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24. 23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
Understanding this is essential to the Christian life – ONLY union with Christ makes you holy. Because of your position in Christ you ARE sanctified. You ARE set apart. You ARE holy unto God. You ARE a saint (set apart/holy one). Jesus is our forever sanctification. The Holy Spirit is our forever oil.
1 Corinthians 1:30-31. 30 And because of [God] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Christian your sanctification is complete, perfect, and eternal. There is no doubt. You are separated unto God and nothing can separate you from God.
Hebrews 10:10. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
That’s good news!
Good news that now allows us to focus on our experience of sanctification. God has sanctified us to himself, now we must allow ourselves to be sanctified. We must learn to move forward in this holy consecration. In this way our sanctification is both complete and ongoing. “Already but not yet.”
Hebrews 10:14. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time [already] those who are being sanctified [not yet].
Jesus was sanctified at his baptism when he was declared to be the beloved Son of God and the Spirit came upon him. But then what? Jesus the sanctified then lived the sanctified life. He lived a set apart, holy life unto God. Everything he touched was made holy. The bleeding woman. The eyes of the blind. The leper. These did not defile Jesus by their touch. His touch sanctified them.
We too are called to this life. The life of knowing that we are sprinkled with the oil of the Spirit of Christ. That we are fully sanctified in him. But also the life of experiencing participation with Christ’s life of holiness. A life of moving out into the world by faith in our sanctification making the holiness of God visible to the world around so that they too might worship him at the tabernacle of our lives. His life.
“To live is Christ” is to be fully and forever sprinkled with the holy oil of the Spirit. It is to trust our position in Christ’s holiness while allowing Christ’s holiness to be experienced in our lives of sanctified service before God.
Do you believe that you are holy today? Based on what (or who)? How can Christ’s holiness in you be displayed today in the tabernacle of your life?