Jesus the Christ (Psalm 110)
What a blessing it is to know about Jesus and his love for us. In this psalm, David tells us about Jesus.
There is much discussion as to the meaning of this psalm. Some say this psalm applies to David and the Davidic kings. This simply cannot be, for the New Testament applies this psalm to Jesus. Matthew 22:41-46. Acts 2:34-36. This morning, we want to examine this psalm and see how it applies to Jesus.
He is God, v 1
The persons: The Father refers to his Son as “Lord.” The word “said” here is a technical term frequently used in the prophets to indicate that God had given the revelation the prophet was about to reveal. The Lord had given David this prophetic utterance. David is here acting as a prophet and speaking concerning the Messiah.
The Father refers to the Son as “Lord” clearly meaning that the Messiah would be God. Isaiah 9:6. John 1:1.
The Father also tells the Son to sit at his right hand. The right hand of a king is the highest place of honor; Solomon sat Bathsheba at his right hand to show her honor (1 Ki. 2:19). Jesus has the highest place of honor next to the Father himself.
The promise: The Father assures the Son that his enemies will be humbled. The Father promises the Son that he would make his enemies his footstool. This is an Ancient Near Eastern metaphor for absolute control. Originally, the victor in battle would place his feet on the necks of those he defeated. From this practice arose this idiom of making one’s enemies his footstool. Jesus would be elevated–his enemies would be his footstool; he is God.
He is King, vv 2-3
The place of his reign (110:2): It will extend from Jerusalem. David says the LORD would send the rod of his strength out of Zion; in other words, he will reign in Jerusalem, Zion. Some would teach that this refers to some future reign. They believe that Jesus is going to return to the earth and establish a kingdom over which he will reign a thousand years. The place of his reign will be Jerusalem. However, the Bible doesn’t teach this.
What this verse means is that Jesus’ reign as king would begin in Jerusalem and would branch out from there. Other passages teach that the Lord’s reign would begin in Jerusalem. Isaiah 2:3. Acts 1:8. What this means is that the church, the kingdom of God, would begin in Jerusalem-Peter preached his sermon at Pentecost in Jerusalem (Acts 2:5). The church began in Jerusalem; the Lord’s reign began in Jerusalem.
The power of his reign (110:3): People will serve God willingly. The Lord’s people will be volunteers. The idea is that the people come voluntarily on the day of battle. The word “volunteers” actually means “freewill offering.” The word is used in reference to the voluntary contributions toward the building of the tabernacle and temple. The word also refers to sacrifices made “out of devotion,” not because one had to make them. The idea in this verse is that the people serve God willingly, not because they have to.
We need to serve God willingly, not because we have to. Judges 5:2. 2 Corinthians 8:3. Are you serving God willingly?
The Lord Jesus is King–He reigns from Jerusalem and his people serve him willingly.
He is a Priest, v 4
The oath: The Father vows to establish his Sons’ priesthood. “The LORD has sworn and will not relent.” God has sworn an oath to establish Jesus’ priesthood and he has kept that oath; God has always kept his oaths. God cannot lie (Tit. 1:2). “It is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18). Since God promised Jesus to establish his priesthood, it is little wonder that he did so. The Lord promised Jesus to establish his priesthood, and God kept that promise.
The order: It is after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord’s promise was that Jesus was to be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord Jesus is a priest. The role of a priest is to make sacrifices for sin; Jesus made a sacrifice for sin (Heb. 2:17). Jesus is a sympathetic priest (Heb 4:15). Jesus endured the same temptations and frustrations we endure; he knows how you feel.
Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek. The author of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 5:6, 10). Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek in that Melchizedek was both a priest and a king (Gen. 14:18); Jesus is both a priest and a king.
Jesus Christ is a priest.
He is a Judge, v 6
The Lord Jesus shall judge among the nations.
The Bible teaches that Jesus will judge the nations. Matthew 25:32. John 5:22. Acts 17:31.
There is no one who will escape the judgment of the Son. Romans 14:10. 2 Timothy 4:1.
This means that each one of us will stand before Christ to be judged. Are you ready for that day?
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.