Psalms of the Messiah
An interesting thing happens when we read almost anywhere in the Bible, but especially in the Psalms. Often standing back in the shadows, and many times stepping out into the bright foreground, is not simply a message in words, but a Person. That Person is Jesus Christ. One of the most exciting things about knowing the Bible is that we can see fashionings in the actual text of Scripture, that should give us an advance imagery of Christ, and what He would bring to pass. Nowhere is that more true than it is in the Book of Psalms.
Weve thought about Psalms as giving us prophetic insights into the future. Now lets take a moment to think about the Person, the King of Glory, that the Psalms present to us. Really, God gives us this, in my opinion, that it might be a tremendous encouragement to every one of our hearts, showing that God presides above it all, and that His Son is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20), then and also now.
Psalm 8: The Son of Man
Lets look first of all at the eighth Psalm. It not only tells us about the Son of Man, but it tells us about mankind himself. This has been one of my favorite Psalms of the Old Testament. It says: O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet (Psalm 8:1-6).
Think about this. The Bible asks the question, What is man? Thats the question that pervades all philosophy and most psychology, and about everything else in all the world. The core of ones world view must be the proper answer to the question, What is man?
The Bible suggests an answer to that question. The Bible says that man is a creature made in the image of God, who therefore possesses fantastic possibilities. So, when we see the Bible ask the question, What is man?, in my opinion we ought not to suggest that the Bible is saying, What is mana lowly creature, a worm in the dust, amounting to nothing. But rather, the Bible is asking the question in a different way: what must man be, to be the object of the thoughts of God? What must man be, that is fashioned by the Lord Himself? The heavens are the work of His hands, but He put man in the midst of all of that as a remarkable and fantastically capable creation. Therefore, lets remember: the Bible does not demean man. Rather, the Bible exalts man, and talks about man as having infinite possibilities that reach out into eternity. But theres also a Messianic element to this Psalm. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor (Psalm 8:4-5).
Thats a description of exactly what was to take place in the life of Jesus Christ. And now, we know it is what has taken place. The Bible teaches about Jesus Christ: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And, being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him (Philippians 2:5-9).
That, in the words of the Apostle Paul, is the fulfillment of this Messianic passage about Jesus Christ. If you want to know what man is, and what his sublime possibilities are, implicit in the Person of Jesus Christ, read Psalm 8. Then, read how the New Testament expands this proposition.
Psalm 16: The Holy One
Lets also notice what the Psalmist says in Psalm 16 about the Holy One. Reading the Book of Psalms is a tremendously profitable enterprise. It gives us great facts, and triggers our imaginations. All of Psalm 16 is of immense value, but especially note what it says as we get to the end of the passage: For thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:10-11).
So we have the promise concerning the Messiah, that God would not leave His soul in sheol, the place of death, neither would He see corruption. We have a very remarkable set of things about that found in the New Testament. In the Book of Acts, this passage from the Psalms is quoted by the Apostle Peter, to vouchsafe the fact of the Deity of Christ (Acts 13:35). After he says that God would not allow Jesus to see corruption, notice what Peter said: Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses (Acts 13:38-39).
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and He died on the cross for our sins. The fact that His flesh did not see corruption, proves that He is who He says He is. Thus the Bible promises that when you believe in Him, you are justified from everything from which you could never be justified by the law of Moses.
Psalm 22: The Crucifixion
Speaking of Messianic promises in the Psalms that demonstrate the reality of Christ the Messiah, have you noticed Psalm 22 of late? Psalm 22 should touch us every time we read it, for it says: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them (Psalm 22:1-4).
Where have you heard these words before? The answer is, youve heard Jesus Christ, on the cross, who cried: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46). He was quoting from the 22nd Psalm, in which are found these exact words, that He knew well. He had studied them during the days of His boyhood examination of Scripture. We now find these words on the lips of Christ when on Calvary, there He was forsaken of God, in order that you and I could have everlasting life.
The most awesome moment in the history of the world was when Jesus Christ gave Himself to die on the cross. We can discover from this Psalm and then from His words in the New Testament, how desolate a moment it was. He appeared to be forsaken of God! Why? Because God had gathered that awful package of human sin, every sin that had ever been committed or would be committed by man, and placed it upon His son. Jesus Christ died as the paschal Lamb, the Person under the burden of our sin, and He took away sin, by the sacrifice of Himself.
Psalm 24: The King of Glory
Psalm 24 gives us another insight from the Old Testament as to the reality of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. In Psalm 24, we have a remarkable expression that we ought to keep in mind: Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be you lifted up, you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle (Psalm 24:7-8).
Here we have a presentation of Jesus Christ given to us in advance from the Book of Psalms, as to how He is not only the humble servant, being obedient unto death, but via His death and resurrection, He has become the King of Glory. He has become obviously the Master of earth. The Psalm says this here, and it is expanded upon in various parts of the New Testament. Jesus Christ, as the King of Glory, will come in power, and in great glory. He will establish His kingdom, and He will rule the world to the very ends of the earth.
During the days of His earthly ministry, people hardly believed that. When the Jewish scholars thought about the Messiah in the Old Testament, they did not see Him in all the richness that the Book of Psalms presents about Him. Especially they could not perceive His death, burial, and resurrection, which happened by their own hands. But here they were supposed to realize that Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, would not be for Israel alone. Instead, he would rule the world. Jew and Gentile alike would do obeisance at His feet. The King of Glory, the Prince of the universe, is Jesus Christ Himself. Who is the King of Glory? He is the Lord, mighty in battle!
The Jews must have read this, and it must have been a source of great confidence. Those who believed, those who trusted, back in the Old Testament, knew that despite all of the pressures and problems and lost wars and betrayals and battles that they had, the King of Glory would be produced as a Jew to rule the world.
Psalm 40: The Resurrection
Theres an old hymn that I recall, that says, None of the ransomed ever knew, how deep were the waters crossed, or how dark was the night that the Lord passed through,ere He found His sheep that was lost. I believe that. I believe that one of the darkest abysses of human misery that has ever been sustained by anyone in the history of mankind was the misery, the desolation, the awful burden, borne by Jesus Christ in those days between His death on the cross and His resurrection.
Those days were awful beyond description. In fact, so much so, that all scholars I know of agree that here we have a Psalm which describes what happened to the Messiah during the days of His desolation.
I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man that makes the Lord his trust, and respects not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies (Psalm 40:1-4).
So here we have a picture of Jesus Christ, overwhelmed by the sin of mankind, as He purchases atonement for all who believe. He calls it an horrible pit and miry clay. But God, after Christs death and burial, brings Him up in a glorious resurrection!
To be brought up out of that horrible experience, out of that pit, and have ones goings established, can be the greatest experience in all of life. For you and me, that experience is salvation. We are all in a terrible condition before we come to Jesus Christwe are lost!
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one (Romans 3:10-12).
Psalm 41: The Betrayal
There is an interesting and very solemn note sounded in the 41st Psalm that we have called The betrayal of Jesus Christ. The word betrayal, particularly when it applies to the Lord Jesus, is a very somber thing. Look carefully at this: Yea, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me (Psalm 41:9).
Here we have a Messianic Psalm that describes, of course, the betrayal of Jesus Christ by that evil person, Judas. Judas was one of the disciples. Judas was one who was a familiar friend, and ostensibly, trusted by the Lord, even though He knew Judas was a thief. The day came when Judas was given an offer he couldnt refuse. For 30 pieces of silverimagine thathe turned his back upon Jesus Christ! He became a traitor to the cause of life eternal. He betrayed the Son of God.
Psalm 45: The Triumphant Return
Im happy we have chosen not to end on that sad note. After speaking about the betrayal, we only have to turn a page or two to find the predictionin Psalm 45of the triumphant return of Jesus Christ. Here we have many wonderful things that are said to us.
My heart overflows with a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer (Psalm 45:1).
The writer of Psalm 45 then says: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter (Psalm 45:6).
Kings daughters were among thy honorable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir (Psalm 45:9).
And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favor (Psalm 45:12).
So, there is coming a time, as we approach the consummation of history, that Jesus Christ will be worshipped by an admiring world as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. What a marvelous denouement to this! Jesus Christ is coming again in power and great glory: not now as the humble Person who was betrayed, who put Himself in the hands of men, but as the King of the world, the Lord of the universe. Every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him. Every knee shall bow to Him, and admit that He is the Son of God; that He was all of the time.
From the writings of Dave Breese
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