I should have added the following to my latest post.
In previous posts I’ve discussed the implication of an anointed one (i.e. messiah, or in Greek, christ) being identified with the high priest:
- Jewish scriptures as inspiration for a Slain Messiah
- The meaning of “Anointed-Messiah-Christ” in the time of Jesus
If some Jewish groups in the early first century identified a messianic figure with the high priest as his template then then one must almost inevitably consider the possibility that they accepted that such a messianic figure would die. And that death would have a saving power if precedent be any guide:
and the congregation shall deliver the manslayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall dwell therein until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.
Barabbas the murderer was freed at the time of the death of Jesus. If Jesus were being depicted as a high priestly messiah then that would perhaps be ironically appropriate.
I am not suggesting the messianic figure must be either a king or a priest. We know some Jewish sects combined the two into one figure or they had two messiahs, one for each. But the high priestly associations do alert us to the fact that it was not such a strange idea among Jews that a messianic figure should die.
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