In the Old Testament, they used sacred or holy anointing oil to anoint kings, prophets, priests and articles in the Holy temple. God gave very specific instructions to prepare this oil. He gave them specifics on the ingredients, quantities and methods through Moses.
We can find the meticulous detailed instructions in Exodus 30:22-33. Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus, 24 500 shekels of cassia —all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil.26 Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, 27 the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.30 “Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. 31 Say to the Israelites, ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. 32 Do not pour it on anyone else’s body and do not make any other oil using the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred. 33 Whoever makes perfume like it and puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from their people.’”
It was very clear instructions. In the Old Testament, they used a particular anointing oil to anoint God ordained ministers. It was specially made to a specific blen according to the art of a perfumer. It was never available in the market and God did not give permission for it to be duplicated or sold anywhere. It’s base was olive oil and four different kinds of costly spices (fun fact- three of these were imported from India!). If this oil was poured upon any person, the Holy Spirit would come upon them and strengthen them for God’s plan. It was God’s recipe for the anointing oil!
The five ingredients consisted of 4 spices that were myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, cassia and the base was olive oil. These made the oil very expensive! Even in the New Testament, the anointing is free of cost but at the same time it is very costly!
What do each of the ingredients mean for us today?
This was collected from a gum resin of a particular kind of balsam. It was very costly. It had a bitter taste but a lovely smell. They needed 500 shekels (6kg) of this.
How is myrrh applicable to us today in the New Testament days? In those days, myrrh was used for purification. To walk in the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we must be purified. So today, the anointed must walk in purity.
Ephesians 5:1-4 tells us 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God
Christ (Christus/ messiah) is the anointed one. God the father anointed Christ. All anointing comes from Christ.Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering for us and sacrifice to God. Paul says that we have to copy/ imitate/ follow him.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving
We must live in purity and thanksgiving as the Word of God tells us. We must walk in purity and holiness and this is the first implication of myrrh.
The second implication of Myrrh is for beautification. It was used by women in the Old Testament for beautification .We see this in the book of Esther; before being presented before King Xereses a young woman had to go through 12 months of beauty treatment, 6 months with the oil of myrrh and 6 months with other perfumes and cosmetics. Before Esther was presented she went through this 12 months of purification.
Like a human bride who visits the beauty parlour before her marriage, the bride of Christ is purified and made beautiful by the Holy Spirit who is the beautician. He will apply myrrh to our mind, will, emotions,spirit and beautify us. Just like Esther presented herself before the King, we must present ourselves before the King of Kings, the Lover of our Souls, Our Bridegroom. The book of Revelation talks about the bride being prepared before the wedding of the Lamb!
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About the Author
Ps. Damien Antony
Born and brought up in a Christian family, Ps. Damien Anto
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