In the Old Testament, the high priest was anointed by the pouring of oil upon his head. In Aaron’s case, it was an amount so profuse that it ran down onto his beard and the collar of his robe (Psalm 133:2). In Matthew 26:7, the woman who anointed Jesus’ head was doing something more significant than she realized. Her act of love was symbolic of Jesus’ role as our great High Priest, an office beautifully understood by examining the garments worn by the priest in Exodus 28.
The most conspicuous garment of the priest was the breastplate. On it were twelve precious jewels, each engraved with one of the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Also significant were the two onyx stones on the high priest’s shoulders, each engraved with six names. It is interesting to note that the jewels and stones were located on the heart and shoulders of the priest, indicating the two places of intercession.
Jesus, our great High Priest, bears our names and needs before the Father continually. We are always on His heart! He carries our needs on His shoulders, making it unnecessary for us to carry them. Instead of worrying about our needs, let us rejoice that He is our anointed High Priest. “He lives forever to plead with God on [our] behalf” (Hebrews 7:25).