What Do You Think About the Christ?

Psalm 110

The psalm is quoted or alluded to in the New Testament more than any other psalm, verse 1 at least twenty-five times and verse 4 another five times. Ten of these quotations or allusions are in the book of Hebrews alone. Wiersbe, Akin Ways in which it is quoted / used in NT show just how absolutely essential its contents are.

Turn to Matt. 22:41-46 Jesus’ question a favorite to toss at those pesky cult members who come knocking on the door at the wrong time (right time: when you’re not home!); is an essential one for them to answer. Also important for others who are far from God. And those who are close to him. Doesn’t matter who it is, a wrong estimation of “the Christ” has serious ramifications for everyone. Wrong estimation of inspiration of Scripture the same kind of consequences. Here’s what Bible says:

2 Sam. 23:2“The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue.” David himself

Matt. 22:43; Mark 12:36 “David, in the Spirit” Jesus

Acts 1:16 “the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David”; Acts 2:30 “David…being therefore a prophet” Peter

Bible’s recorded witness about David: a prophet who wrote psalms by immediate direction of Holy Spirit, tonight’s text included. That means…David likely may have spoken beyond / above what he understood. For that reason, Psalm probably does not have “setting” any time near David’s day; has in view time of first and second advent of Lord Jesus, a person who is more than simply an earthly human ruler.

Who is present? – the LORD, my Lord, me (the speaker) v.1

Yahweh, my Adonai – a proclamation by God himself through the prophet David about David’s Lord, Master; in prophetic writing elsewhere, would be in form of “Thus says the Lord”

As God, Messiah is David’s Lord; as man, He is David’s Son. He is both “the root and the offspring of David” (Rev. 22:16).

That the ancient Hebrews recognized both the inspired, Davidic authorship and Messianic nature of this Psalm is evidenced in the Jews’ tacit acceptance of Jesus’ statement of the case here. Otherwise, with the self-assurance of modern critics, they could have retorted, “But that Psalm is neither Messianic nor Davidic.” College Press

Psalm 110 tells us about a divine King who has co-authority with God in heaven, who is presently ruling over and extending his kingdom in the earth. This Messiah is also a priest with an unending priesthood, unlike priests in the line of Levi. And, he is not just a judge, he is the Judge who will bring all things of this age to their final conclusion.

A. Jesus is King v.1-3

Belgic Confession of Faith, Article X We believe that Jesus Christ according to His divine nature is the only begotten Son of God, begotten from eternity, not made, nor created (for then He would be a creature), but co-essential and co-eternal with the Father, the very image of his substance and the effulgence of his glory, equal unto Him in all things.

equal to the Father in authority – seated at right hand, not lower down the table but at the head, the highest position: place of honor, power and authority (1)

not exaggerating when he told disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”Matt. 28:18

that’s clear from “enthronement” statement: God says “sithere!” – all that he has / needs granted to him by God

question asked in prayer meeting: “What do you suppose God is like?” What do you think about God?

given what v.1 says, what do you suppose God the Father thinks about his Son Jesus? Does the world, do even believers have right or high enough estimation of Jesus?

is the supreme leader of a competing kingdom (2)

“The Lord extends your dominion from Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies!” NET

is Yahweh himself who extends his kingdom through Christ and his church; must not lose sight of the church in the world as stage on which Christ advances

means if we are to be co-laborers with Christ in conquering enemy territory, must do so as part of church’s function and ministry

strong reminder that there will be opposition to genuine church growth; not talking about modern church growth metrics but growth in strength and size of true church

advance of Christ’s kingdom only possible because it is propelled and empowered by God, directed by King Jesus, will not stop until all his enemies are subdued

Jesus alone can advance his kingdom but he does not do it alone (3)

he has an all-volunteer army that serves willingly and joyfully; his army shares his character of holiness

And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.Rev. 19:14

a Commander and army that moves forward on basis of true righteousness, right according to God’s standard

a Commander that never runs short of energy, vigor, necessary supplies – “This King-Priest does not grow old, tire or faint. He does not need a break, timeout or mid-day nap. He is perpetually and forever empowered by the very life of God in Him. He goes forth in youthful vigor, holiness and glory as the head of a great host who willingly follow Him everywhere He goes and anywhere He sends them.” Akin

B. Jesus is Priest v.4

another pronouncement from Yahweh himself, a promise confirmed by an oath, investing Lord Jesus with priestly office (4)

not a case of being born to right family, climbing up corporate ladder – granted position by only Being who has unquestioned authority

because of his “heritage”, of Melchizedek not Levi, he fulfills priestly duties for all who believe in him, not just Jews

offered perfect sacrifice for sin, himself; continually leads us into God’s very presence, it’s because of his merits that we can be there; he continually prays for us even when we neglect to pray for ourselves

his priesthood can never be revoked, he can never be disqualified; his never-ending priestly office as certain as God is God

“The LORD has sworn And will not relent, “You are a priest forever“; author of Hebrews makes it clear: Jesus is a superior priest and fulfills a superior office, unsurpassed by any other

C. Jesus is Judge v.5-6

no paper tiger here, has power and authority and will to carry out his mission – executing perfect justice on the nations

let’s move it to another level: might wonder how judge fits with king and priest – king is invested with authority and power to judge, priest in this case has purchased right to judge

Heb. 9:26…But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

as perfect sacrifice, who gave himself, does he not have right to deal with those who reject his sacrifice?

no just king can be rightly criticized for exercising authority over his subjects, for bringing justice to bear on those who rebel against lawful authority

Jesus is King seated on heavenly throne – his authority extends over all subjects of all ranks including those in positions of lesser authority

very important to remember Jesus conquers his enemies, subdues those opposed to him in more than one way

first images that come to mind are literal ones, casualties of warfare strewn across the battlefield

for those who stay committed to rebellion against Christ until their last breath, probably nearer reality than not

but…Jesus may chose to subdue the rebel’s heart instead; when he does that, the old man is left beside the road dead, new man keeps on following after Christ as part of his army

spiritual component of Jesus’ battle and his judging of supreme importance; however…will be real casualties

not only Satan and demons and evil that must be judged, hardened evildoers have their day in court also – God’s justice and holiness demand it

D. Jesus wins v.7

unlike David who relaxed at home while army fought the battle, Jesus stays on front line committed to his purpose

takes no breaks for refreshment, allows nothing to divert his focus, is determined to win the ultimate battle

reinforces sense of eagerness Jesus has for the end to come – Stephen M, is it Christmas yet?

John 17:24Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

Jesus wants all of his people and he wants them with him where he is; for that to occur, the church must advance with the Gospel through the world as Jesus subdues his enemies until last battle is won

Jesus is exalted; Jesus is enthroned; Jesus is victorious over all his enemies and ours. Should give us courage and confidence to continue on doing his work his way as we follow him to final victory.

Final note: rejoice that Jesus wins and pray for the Jews: until Jesus’ day, Jews saw Messiah in the Psalm. Now…”One should note the extreme anthropomorphism of this psalm. God sits, extends a scepter, swears, actively engages in war, acts the victorious warrior, and “lifts his head.” …Psalm 110 is one of the most quoted in the New Testament. This polemic (forceful argument) for divinely granted exclusivity, evidently originally written in support of King David, was a particularly apt contention for Jesus and the “new” testament.” Rabbi Benjamin Segal

While praying for Jews, don’t forget others – Jews aren’t only ones who would give fatal answer to question: what do you think about the Christ. 1.5 billion Muslims in the world if they give the “mosque” answer will be wrong, dead wrong. And so would countless others. Pray for them, then go forth and witness confidently!

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