Heidelbergian Children's Catechism (age 8- 10 years)

Lord's Day 12

Our queen is Queen Elizabeth. She has been queen for a long time, for more than fifty years. When she became queen, she was crowned. You may have seen a picture of the moment when a gold crown was placed on her head. On the occasion that she was crowned, many other ceremonies happened as well. One was that she was anointed with oil.

That is a very old ceremony. That happened already with David, when he would become king. He was anointed with oil poured out of a horn and onto his head. And the priests in Israel were anointed before they began their work as priests. And after that they could work in temple, bringing sacrifices to God and praying to God on behalf of the people. Why were they anointed with oil? It had a nice smell, but it was not for that reason that kings and priests were anointed. The anointing with oil meant that they would receive strength from God for the hard work they did. God would help and guide them in their work.

But what does this have to do with Jesus Christ? Remember that last time we spoke about the first name, Jesus? Now we want to know more about his second name, Christ. That name has to do with anointing. When oil is poured on someone, he is called anointed. And that is the meaning of the name Christ: someone who is anointed, the Anointed. But wait a second, when was he actually anointed? It may sound strange, but he was not anointed with oil. And yet, he is the Anointed. How is that possible?

God in heaven did not need oil to show that he had given strength to Jesus. It happened when Jesus Christ was baptized in the Jordan by john the Baptist. Then the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove came on him. For the people it looked as if a dove came down from heaven, but in fact it was the Holy Spirit who from heaven came down on Jesus. That means that the Holy Spirit would give him strength for the hard work he was going to do. Actually, that work has three parts, for he was also a prophet.

As a prophet he told the people many things about God and his will. As a priest he sacrificed himself for our sins. As a king he rules the world so that God’s plans are fulfilled.

And we are named after him. He is called Christ, and we are called Christians. That is a good name to have! It means that we belong to Jesus Christ, and more and more want to follow him in all we do.

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