Welcome to Through the Psalms, a weekend ministry of the Truth Pulpit, teaching God's people God's Word. Over time, we'll study all 150 Psalms with Pastor Don Green from Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
We're so glad you're with us. Let's open to the Psalms right now as we join our teacher in the Truth Pulpit. Well, I feel like I should give you a brief word of understanding why we are turning to Psalm 110 here. On a particular pragmatic level, in the middle of April, we're going to return to our full exposition of the Psalms. We've been preaching through the Psalms off and on for a number of years now, and we have actually come to Psalm 110, and we'll be picking up the Psalms again on Tuesdays in a couple of weeks and preaching through them consecutively again.
And I'm greatly looking forward to that. And so I wanted to kind of give a Sunday prominence to this Psalm on a human level to encourage you to be with us on Tuesdays as we go through that great portion of God's Word, and to let you have a little bit of a sample of what is present for us in the Psalms. Beyond that, here in Psalm 110, we have a uniquely focused Psalm that is entirely about the Lord Jesus Christ, as we will see. And it seemed to me to be a fitting text to be able to introduce this week where we will remember his crucifixion and resurrection, and to see from God's own Word the glory of this one that was crucified on behalf of sinners.
Like you and me. And so there are multiple reasons that I'm turning to this text here today. It's the first time in my ministry that I've preached on it, and I've been waiting for a long time to get to it. And it's a blessing to be able to open God's Word week by week with people like you that want to hear it, which I presume to be the vast majority of you, and to be able to open it to the rest of you who maybe do not know Christ yet, and you're conscious of that, and you're straining to understand, who is this one of whom I hear this text will help you?
And for those of you that I fear are settling into indifference, perhaps, toward the things of Scripture, settling into a life pattern of neglect of God's Word, of neglect of prayer, of neglect of the eternal destiny of your soul, this is a text that is uniquely designed to wake you up to the one whom you are neglecting and sinning against with your spiritual indifference. Because Jesus Christ is great. He is a King. He is the King of Kings who is now at the right hand of God in heaven. Jesus Christ is great. He is the great high priest, the one alone who can mediate between man and God. Jesus Christ is great.
He is the final judge who will bring judgment to earth and judgment to nations and judgment to every man and woman, boy and girl, that has ever lived and ever will live. And so as we contemplate the greatness of Christ and as it's brought to us in this text, we just see him ever increasingly lifted before our understanding, lifted before our eyes, and the righteous response is to bow in repentant faith before him, acknowledging his greatness, forsaking the world, forsaking self, forsaking sin in order to own this one as your own King. And to ask for the help of the Holy Spirit as you come to hear God's Word today, for each one of you to silently ask the Holy Spirit to open your mind and open your heart to receive these things from the Word of God today.
Because Jesus said the ministry of the Holy Spirit, when he comes, he will honor me. He will point people to Christ. And that is what we are seeking to do here today with our feeble lips and with our feeble mind, seeking to feebly point you to one who is of surpassing greatness. And so let's read the text again to set it in our minds.
I realize that most of you probably have not looked at this text in the past few days at least, and it will do us all well for it to be very fresh in our minds as we approach it. Psalm 110, a psalm of David, verse 1, the Lord says to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. The Lord will stretch forth your strong scepter from Zion, saying, rule in the midst of your enemies.
Your people will volunteer freely in the day of your power. In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, your youth are to you as the dew. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, you are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
The Lord is at your right hand. He will shatter kings in the day of his wrath. He will judge among the nations. He will fill them with corpses.
He will shatter the chief men over a broad country. He will drink from the brook by the wayside, therefore he will lift up his head. You know, in days gone by, there were these cheap bracelets that had the initials WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? And the idea, the somewhat sanctified thought behind it all, I guess, was to have people think beyond their own desires and try to process life through the perspective of Christ.
And if you understand it in that way, all well and good. But the problem with by putting that question in the hands of untaught people, unsaved people, carnal people, is that what Jesus would do simply becomes a euphemism for what do I want to do in this situation? And you just describe your desires to Christ and assume that he would do exactly what you would do without processing anything through the prism of the Word of God. And invariably, my friends, when carnal people try to assess what Jesus would do in any particular situation, it's always in a kind of a liberal, social gospel, liberal politics sort of way.
He'd feed the poor, and he'd be kind to everybody, and he'd accept everybody no matter who they were, and you know, he just becomes this soft, squishy teddy bear that just conforms to whatever you want him to be. Now it's really vital for you and I to understand that that's a very bad, wrong way to think about Christ. If we are going to consider what Jesus would do, we should look to Scripture and see what the Bible says he has done, and speaking today a little bit more prophetically, we should be looking to see what the Bible says he will do. And what we find in this text of Scripture is, is that Jesus Christ is a conquering warrior. He is a conquering warrior who will judge nations, and men will be slayed by his hand when he returns to judge the earth.
Now I'm pretty sure that no one that was wearing the multicolored bracelet was thinking that Jesus would do that. And so we need to have our perspective informed by the Word of God. Psalm 110 is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the greatest messianic psalm, in other words a psalm that is pointing to the future of who the Messiah will be and what he will do.
Psalm 110 is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament, and we're not even going to begin to give justice to all of those New Testament usages of this text. We just want to see this psalm in its trifold splendor. It gives us three offices of Christ to consider. It gives us three perspectives on who Christ is and the different roles that he fulfills in the eternal plan and sovereign purpose of God. And as I said, it elevates him far beyond our understanding, and yet we can see these things truly even if we only see them in a mirror dimly, as the Apostle Paul said in the New Testament.
So who is this Christ? Who is this prophecy about, and what is it telling us about this one who was still future to the writer of Psalm 110? He was still future to David. He was a thousand years away from the time David wrote this. Now we look back 2,000 years and we see some of it fulfilled. We see from, with New Testament eyes, a fuller picture of what David was saying.
And we still, like David, however, look forward to more to come. Christ is coming again. He is a coming king.
He is a coming warrior. It is so vital for us to see all of these things, to give him the worship that he deserves, to have our faith informed and shaped by the reality of who he is rather than projecting our unsanctified thoughts upon him. You see, and I guess this is part of what I get concerned about, and I don't say often enough, you know, you and I, we don't get to make Jesus into whatever we want him to be. He's not a little cup of putty or Play-Doh that we just get to take our hands and mold into whatever fashion we want him to be. Why picture Jesus like being this? Or I think of Christ in these terms.
You know what, unless your thoughts are biblical, it makes absolutely no difference what you think about him, because he is who he is, and we come to him as he is. We worship him as he is, and we submit to him as he is. We do not conform Christ to who we want him to be. We do not make Christ after our image.
The whole idea of biblical salvation is he saves us and then he makes us and conforms us to his image. And so we must start with Scripture and seeing who this Christ is, and that's what we're going to do in the time that we have here this morning that I'm sure will be all too brief. Well, what can we say about this psalm, and what does this psalm tell us about Christ? Well, first of all, we see Christ the King.
That's our first point for this morning. We see Christ the King. And as this psalm opens, God the Father is conversing with God the Son. Yahweh, the Lord, as it opens up in all caps there, that's an English designation of the fact that the underlying Hebrew term is Yahweh, the proper name of God. And God, Yahweh, is speaking to someone who is of equivalent essence and power. And what we see is this in verse 1, the Lord says to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. And so what happens here is Yahweh is telling someone's Lord to sit at Yahweh's right hand. And we're going to explain that and let Jesus himself interpret it for us in just a moment. The right hand of which God is speaking is, in old times, the right hand was understood to be the place of honor and the place of authority. And so God himself is telling the one to whom he is speaking, come and share in my place of honor and authority. Immediately you know that he must be speaking to one who is of equal essence.
Because there is no created being that has the right, the essence, the power, the ability, the position to share in the very honor of God and to share in the very authority of God. And so there is something great, far beyond human comprehension that is going on in the opening clause of this first verse. We are witnessing nothing less than communication between two members of the Trinity taking place before our very eyes. And so to sit at the right hand of a king was to share in his rule, to share in the very rule and sovereign authority of God himself. And so whoever this Lord is that Yahweh is speaking to is someone who shares in the dignity and the power of God himself. This is an early dawning of the sun, an early rising of the sun speaking to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. David, the human author, as he is writing this psalm, notice that he himself honors this one of whom he is speaking.
Notice the possessive pronoun here. The Lord says, to my Lord, this one, David owns this one as the one who has authority over him. Well even that speaks to someone of transcendent authority and greatness because David was the king of Israel, who is over the king.
In human terms, there was no one, and so David was all obviously speaking to someone who was of transcendent greatness, who is this Lord of whom he speaks. Now, as we contemplate this, the Scriptures help us understand, the New Testament helps us understand fully that this is speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ himself quotes this very verse in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 22 to make a very profound point.
Look at Matthew 22, turn in your Bibles there with me. Matthew 22, Jesus is interacting with his implacable foes, the Pharisees, and in verse 41 he says this, Now, while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question. What do you think about the Christ?
Whose son is he? So Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and he immediately puts the identity of the Messiah at issue. He puts that issue on the table so that we know that he is speaking about who the Christ is, and that is the issue that he is about to address with the Pharisees.
Who is the Christ? He asked them, and the Pharisees thought that was an easy question. They spoke up quickly, they said to him, he is the son of David. In other words, they knew from 2 Samuel 7 that the Messiah was going to descend from the line of David. He was going to be one who was in the kingly line that is traced back to David.
And so that's what they said, and to the extent that they said that, they were correct. The Christ would be a son of David. Jesus is a son of David, as we see in the genealogy recorded for us in Matthew chapter 1. But Christ had something further in mind for them to understand. He tells them that your understanding is inadequate, it is incomplete.
You have not fully considered what the Scriptures have to say about it all. So he says to them in verse 43, he said to them, then how does David in the Spirit call him Lord? Psalm 110 was written by David, as affirmed by Jesus himself. David, as he wrote this psalm, was speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that what he spoke was the very word of God. It wasn't simply a human word, this was God speaking through the king who wrote this psalm. And so the Spirit is speaking through David, and Jesus asks the Pharisees, how does he call him Lord?
And what does he go to? He quotes this verse, Psalm 110 verse 1. He says, David said in the Spirit, verse 44, the Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I put your enemies beneath your feet. If David then calls him Lord, how is he his son? See, what Jesus is saying is, don't you understand that there's more than a human ancestry involved here?
This is more than human bloodlines that is being spoken of in Psalm 110. Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and he tells them, you have not adequately thought through what Scripture speaks. David calls the Messiah his Lord, and therefore he is a transcendent being of deity, not simply a human conqueror. In verse 46, they walked away with their tail between their legs.
No one was able to answer him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask him another question. You see, my friends, if you're going to understand who Christ the King is, you must understand this. He is indeed the son of David, but he is also the son of God. In other words, he shares in the human nature of David, but he also shares in the uncreated essence and deity of God himself.
He is fully God, he is fully man. Look over at the book of Romans, if you would, Romans chapter 1 with me, and you say, well, how would we know this? Well, let's look at the first four verses here that Paul wrote, also in the Spirit when he wrote his words. In Romans chapter 1, it says this, Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures.
Now stop there for just a second. I want the greatness of what we have in front of us to sink into you as much as is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. What we are reading in Psalm 110, what we are studying here today, is a portion of that scripture of which the apostle Paul speaks. Speaking through David, the Spirit of God spoke about the coming Christ and what he would be, promised that he would come, in other words. And now here you and I are, 3,000 years after David, with the great inestimable privilege of being able to read and study these words for ourselves and to be able to see what they mean. In words that existed long before we were ever born and that will continue forever because the Word of God will not fail, the Word of God will endure forever. Here you and I are, the puny, sinful creatures that we are, and we have the privilege granted to us by God to peer into these things that transcend millennia and that come from the very mind of God himself. And tell us who the pinnacle of the universe is.
That's what we're doing here today. Paul goes on and says, what is it about, what was it that was promised beforehand, verse 3, that concerns God's Son, and then he lays out this dual nature, the two natures of Christ, right in the opening of his letter. His Son was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh. In other words, he was a human descendant of David the king.
Verse 4, there was more to him than that, however. He was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness. This Son of David, Son of God, is no one less than Jesus Christ our Lord. He is king.
He is in the line of David and therefore he is a king, and yet he preceded the line of David and he excels the line of David because he is the very Son of God. Let me remind you of the pre-existent, the pre-eternal glory and nature of Christ. Just look at the Gospel of John for just a moment.
In the Gospel of John chapter 1 verse 1, it says, in the beginning, I'll give you a moment, I hear those pages turning. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Verse 14, the Word became flesh.
This is speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ. Now I want you to notice something in verse 1 of great significance. There is a distinction between the Word and God because it's shown that the Word was with God.
He was with someone, in a sense, separate from himself. And yet, while there is a distinction, there is an identity with God because the Word was God, distinct from God and yet sharing fully in the essence of God. That's what we have when we look at the Lord Jesus Christ and what we understand. All of this helping us, go back to Psalm 110, all of us helping us understand the significance of this opening verse. The Lord says to my Lord, God speaks to God.
The Father speaks to the Son and lays out before him his earthly career and what lays ahead for the glory of the Son. Let's read on in verses 1 and 2 here. The Lord says to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. The Lord will stretch forth your strong scepter from Zion saying, rule in the midst of your enemies. He's speaking about a king here, and what we see in these two verses here is that Jesus the King is ultimately going to have victory over all of his enemies.
This King will conquer. And Scripture tells us, as we think about this from our perspective today in the year 2021, still looking forward to this event, Scripture tells us that there is a time coming when Jesus Christ will return to earth, and when he returns, he will conquer his enemies. There are literal, genuine enemies of Christ, and we must see the world through this perspective to understand that God is not the universal Father of all men in equal ways, because he does have his enemies. Christ does have his enemies, and not everyone will be saved. So that we see, turn over to Revelation chapter 19.
I know we're going in a lot of different directions here today. Revelation chapter 19. Christ the King will conquer his enemies, and we see this for us in the prophetic book of the book of Revelation. Chapter 19, verse 11. The Apostle John says, I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he who sat on it is called faithful and true, and in righteousness he judges and wages war.
His eyes are a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written on him which no one knows except himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God, exactly what we saw in John 1.1. Verse 14.
And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it he may strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, and he treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God the Almighty. And on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords, Christ coming to conquer, Christ coming over his enemies, Christ judging and waging war. My friends, I ask you whether your view of Christ has somehow incorporated this, not simply looking at him as your own personal Savior, and someone who is concerned with your personal problems, and letting it all stop there.
He is a friend to sinners, he is a friend to us in our trials, he is with us always, but my beloved friends, he is so much greater than just that. And if you would have a mature faith, if you would have a mature growth in Christ, you must see him in the fullness of his majesty, not in the narrow way that we are so prone to see him, as if he's someone that we use to soften the edges of our lives and never go beyond that. Do you see that this king, a king is one with sovereign authority over his subjects? Do you see that as king it means that he has sovereign authority over you? Do you see that as king he has authority over all of the nations? That as a king ultimately there must be a final triumph over his enemies?
His office as king compels all of those conclusions, and Scripture teaches us that. You don't need to turn to this Old Testament text, but in Zechariah 14 9 it says, the Lord will be king over all the earth, and in that day the Lord will be the only one. There in verse 2 in Psalm 110 you see that phrase, the strong scepter from Zion, it's speaking to the fact that when Christ returns he's going to rule over all of the earth from the city of Jerusalem, Zion being a poetic name for Jerusalem.
And the scepter, a king's scepter, was the symbol of his authority. And so what this verse is telling us is that Christ is going to stretch forth his rule from Jerusalem and spread it over all of the nations. And that's what we saw in the book of Revelation, Scripture points to this again and again and again. Let me quickly say, I don't want to get off on this tangent very far, but it is common for theologians who do not like pre-millennial thinking to say that the only text that speaks to pre-millennialism is Revelation chapter 20.
That's not true my friends. All of Scripture speaks of this coming reign of Christ, speaking of Christ reigning over the earth. Revelation 20 fills out some of the details, but there is a whole Old Testament and New Testament context to that. And so it's not true to say that the pre-millennial case lands squarely and exclusively and only on Revelation 20. It rests on far greater biblical foundation than what is given credit for. Looking back at Psalm 110, with that little aside behind, and if all of that stuff about pre-millennialism, if that's all foreign to your ears, don't let that worry you.
It's just a side point that maybe in time we'll be able to come back and study in greater depth. But other people hear this message and I needed to say that. Look at Psalm 110 verse 2. David is now speaking to his Lord and he says, the Lord will stretch forth your strong scepter from Zion saying, rule in the midst of your enemies. Verse 1, he had said, I will make your enemies a footstool for your feet. And so all of these mighty men of earth who are opposed to Christ, those that have actively opposed the gospel, those that have been godless, those that are energized by the devil in all of their worldwide philosophies, all of that which is opposed to Christ, and I speak with great longing for the culmination of that coming day, all of that is going to be defeated in the end when Christ exercises his authority as king and puts it all in subjection to himself. And so complete will the victory be that those who in our eyes seem strong and powerful right now are going to be nothing more than a footstool upon which Christ rests his feet. The footstool pictures complete subjugation, complete victory over them in ancient times, and David would have been familiar with this approach to warfare, because it goes back even to what you can see in the book of Joshua. In ancient times, conquering kings would do this, conquering human kings would do this. They would put their foot on the neck of a defeated enemy king. And this king who had his own realm of sovereignty at one point and ruled over people on his own suddenly found his neck under the boot, so to speak, under the boot of someone else who had defeated him. And what that means for us in our day as we contemplate Christ, all of the enemies, the philosophical enemies, the spiritual enemies, all that is raised up in opposition to the name of Christ that we witness in our day is one day going to be put under his foot. And he will be recognized as we saw in Revelation 19 16. There will be no question, there will be no doubt that when Christ is on the throne, he is the King of kings and everything that has opposed him will be under his foot, under his sovereign rule. Let me say this. I appreciate I'm really going someplace I probably shouldn't go.
Let me do it this way. There are those Christian leaders who are very discerning about the culture in which we live and see the trends and the philosophies that are driving things, and they are helpful for us to discern and understand the times in which we live and what are going on around us. My concern about some of those men sometimes, often, is this, is that they leave it there in their columns, in their podcasts, in the things that they say.
They simply say, look at what's happening in the world. It was said recently there was a column in USA Today. I did not read the column, so I really shouldn't be going like this, but talking about how the opposition to Christian colleges being in the NCAA basketball tournament because they are anti-LGBTQ, XYZ, whatever that amalgamation of letters is. If they're opposed to the homosexual movement, they have no right to be in the national basketball tournament. And the point of the article was, look, this is what they are going to do to you. They're coming for Christians, not simply the basketball team. They're going to be coming after churches and Christians and all of that. Okay, fair enough.
That's probably true. But here's what I want you to see in the context of what we're talking about today. My friends, there is no way under God's created rule, under the lordship of Jesus Christ, that any of us should be frightened by what a columnist in USA Today is saying should happen to Christians and their beliefs. Do you realize that this columnist, unless there is repentance and faith granted to them, this columnist and all that is stood for in what is being said there, it's all going to come under the foot of Christ in complete subjugation at the end. And so while we want to understand to some extent what's happening in the world around us and we realize that threats are coming, we do not view those things from a perspective of fear as if those people have some kind of lordship over us.
They don't. Our lordship is under Christ. He is over them. Whatever his enemies do to us in the interim is at his hand, is at his pleasure. He will use it to sanctify us, to keep us, to mold us into his image. But after that, after that, there is this coming day of victory for Christ the King and all of his enemies will be subjected to his feet.
Philippians 3 talks about that, by the power that he has to subject all things to himself. And so, my friends, I just want you to see something of the implications of the glory of the reign and the kingship of Christ. The fact that he is king has implications for the enemies that we see around us, for the threats that are made against the church. You know, our ultimate destination is not in the hands of political leaders at all because Christ is king and he will have his way. He is with his people always, even to the end of the age, and he will not lose one of them in the end. That changes the whole perspective on the way that you view what's happening around you.
And my point is this, my long-winded point is this. No discussion of current human events and the implications for the church, no discussion is complete until it ends on this note of triumph and hope. Because only then can we see it in the proper perspective and understand that this is, this can only be temporary because the ultimate triumph of Christ is guaranteed in his Word.
It's been standing for 3,000 years and it's going to be fulfilled in time. We should not be people of fear because Christ is king. Now, going back to Psalm 110 in verse 3 there, Psalm 110 verse 3, as it looks forward to this great triumph of Christ, he says, Your people will volunteer freely in the day of your power in holy array from the womb of the dawn. And what he's saying here is this, is that one of the things about being a king is that you have a people. You know, a king has a territorial land, a territorial boundary.
You know, there's not a nation without land that goes with it. And a king has a people that is under his authority. Now, what this means in the context of Christ is that when Christ comes back, when Christ wins his victory over the world, his people are going to be alongside him, participating in the battle and participating and sharing in the victory.
So much so that this great king is going to have a great people who are gladly and voluntarily alongside him in the battle and in his triumph. And so what this means for our Lord is this, is that when Christ returns, his return will display his power. The angel told the apostles in Acts chapter 1, he's going to return just like you saw him go up. He's going to return in the same way. When he visibly returns, it's going to be a return of glory. What verse 3 here adds to our understanding is this.
Watch this. The manifestation of the might of Christ in his return and in his conquest over all of the earth, the glory of that is going to be enhanced by the fact that his people will be alongside him. There will be the Church of Christ alongside him, giving him glory, recognizing him as king. He's not going to be a solitary conqueror. He is going to be surrounded by untold numbers of people who love his triumph, who join in it, and thereby augment the glory because there is a people with him.
He's not acting alone. And so, look at it there in verse 3. It says, in holy array from the womb of the dawn, your youth are to you as the dew, your children, those that have been born again. And the dew is suggesting people, just like the dew is fresh on the lawn in the morning when you wake up, and there's a freshness to that dew, the people of Christ are going to be fresh for battle, and they are going to be fresh and invigorated by the triumph of their king. The glory will be in his conquest of his enemies, yes, but his glory will be augmented by the fact that there will be a multitude of people who rejoice in his triumph. In other words, put it this way, this conquering king is loved by his people. They love him, they rejoice in his triumph, and thereby help to display his worth as the conquest takes place.
His victory and his subsequent rule will be glorious. Christ is king. And as we go on in this magnificent psalm, we see that Christ is more than a king. There's a whole other office about Christ that this psalm speaks to. Point number two is that we see Christ the priest.
Christ the priest is point number two. We saw Christ the king, we see now Christ the priest. And as a priest, Christ will bring his people to God. Christ will bring his people to God and reconcile them with him. Verse four says this, says the Lord has sworn and will not change his mind. You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Again, you see the Lord, Yahweh, God the Father, speaking to Christ the Son. And he promises that Christ will be a priest forever. Now understand this, having just said that Christ was a king, this idea that this same one would be a priest would have been shocking to the readers of the day because in the Old Testament, with one exception that we'll see in a moment, the office of priest was separated from the office of king.
They were two functions that were kept separate in the nation of Israel. What we find here is that Christ has a transcendent glory, a transcendent wonder about him so that the office of king and priest are joined in one person. This is what is described in the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis pointed to one who was outside the Mosaic economy.
Look at Genesis chapter 14. Genesis chapter 14, where we see this brief reference to the one known as Melchizedek. Genesis 14, in verse 18, this one named Melchizedek is greeting Abraham. In verse 18, it says, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. Now he was a priest of God Most High.
He was a king and he was a priest at the same time. And Melchizedek blessed him and said, Blessed be Abraham of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. In the New Testament, realizing we're covering a lot of ground quickly here, in the New Testament, we'll limit it to Hebrews chapter 5. In Hebrews chapter 5, verse 6, speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, the writer of Hebrews quotes this verse 4 from Psalm 110.
Let's go back to verse 5. Christ did not glorify himself so as to become a high priest, but he who said to him, You are my son, today I have begotten you. Just as he says also in another passage, you are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. There was this one-time person deep, buried deep in the patriarchal era, who was both a king and a priest.
Didn't happen in the nation of Israel when it was established later. What Scripture teaches us is that Christ is a king, and he is a priest after that pattern, that pattern of Melchizedek. And as a priest, let me remind you what a priest does, the whole purpose of a priest is to mediate between God and man.
Stated most simply, man cannot approach God because of his sin, man cannot approach God because he's a creature going after an uncreated one. We need someone to mediate for us if we are to know God and to be safe with him. Christ, who is God, is also that priest. And as a priest, Christ offered himself as a sin sacrifice on the cross so that the gulf of sin could be bridged, and those who believe in Christ could be brought safely into the presence of God. Beloved, you must be God in order to bring someone to God.
If you are not God, you cannot bring someone to God. And thus, the whole system of Roman Catholicism falls before our eyes. In Christ, you have one who is God in human flesh, and because he's God in human flesh, he therefore bridges the gap of essence between God and man, and through his sin penalty paying death on the cross, he removes the sin barrier that keeps us from God, and he offered that final sacrifice for sin that reconciles us to God. He is a priest, he is a king, and yet he is also a priest, as we see here in verse 4, and much of the book of Hebrews is an exposition of that great fact. We're treating it all far too lightly here, but just for the sake of getting through the text in a somewhat timely fashion, we see Christ as king, and we see him as priest.
Watch this. As king, he conquers his enemies. As priest, he conquers sin. As a king, he rules over his enemies. As a priest, he reconciles his people to God.
He reconciles his friends to God. Is it starting to dawn on you the surpassing majesty of Jesus Christ, this one who is so greatly sovereign that every worldly power will be under him? And as priest, this one who is so great in his love, his mercy, and his power over sin to be able to remove all of that from us, and to reconcile us to a holy God, king and priest in one person? This is what Psalm 110 is pointing us to. It's from that glorious position of who Christ is that we see the third and final aspect of Psalm 110. The prophetic picture of Christ rounded out, king, priest, and thirdly, Christ the judge.
Christ the judge. We speak of one who, by very essence, is God himself. We speak of one who rules in sovereignty as king. We speak of one who is a great and merciful high priest who reconciles his people to God. And we're in an ocean of greatness as we consider Christ and who he is.
We're in an ocean of greatness as we consider his different offices. We are dwarfed by the surpassing glory of who he is as we contemplate these things. And I know that there are many of you who are deeply moved in your heart as we consider these things. And from that deep movement of our hearts, we offer our worship and our praise to him. What I want you to see as we're in a pivot point between point number two and point number three, is that this is the way that worship is supposed to work. True worship of Christ is in response to the truth of who he is. It is not artificially generated by external things such as platform pyrotechnics that thrill people in the flesh and thrill people in a visual way but leave their hearts actually unmoved by truth. True worship is in response to truth. Jesus said in John chapter 4 verse 24, God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. It's in truth and the visual aspect, which is what our culture lusts after, the visual aspect is actually contrary to the nature of true worship. It undermines it by taking your focus away to that which is external and away from the truth that is moving our hearts as it does now. We see the greatness of the king, we see the greatness of the priest and from that our hearts are humbled, our hearts are lifted up in adoration and worship and it's in response to truth, not in response to anything that's happened on this platform. And I want you to see that difference. It's critical.
It's critical. You can have the pyrotechnics and not have true worship. You can't have worship without the truth, without Christ being at the focal point of it all because Christ is the one and only way, the one and only life, the one and only truth, no one comes to the Father except through him and so we cannot bypass who Christ is and still think that we're worshiping God. And we have to go through the true Christ, not one of our own invention, and the true Christ is this one who is king, who is priest and who we see here in the remainder of Psalm 110 is judge. And so from that glorious position of Christ, a glorious victory will necessarily follow. Let's look at verses 5 through 7 rather quickly here.
Verse 5, the Lord is at your right hand. He will shatter kings in the day of his wrath. He will judge among the nations. He will fill them with corpses.
He will shatter the chief men over a broad country. He will drink from the brook by the wayside, therefore he will lift up his head. David is still addressing Christ here in verse 5.
Look at it there. He's speaking to his Lord. He says the Lord is at your right hand. And so he's speaking to someone.
He's not speaking about himself. He's speaking to his Lord, telling him what the Father is going to do for him. And what he says is this, is that God is going to help you in the battle. Christ will defeat kings and judge nations by his power. You can read about that in Matthew 25. Speaking of the nations, he'll separate the sheep from the goats, the goats, and he speaks to them. Some are told, enter into my kingdom, some are sent away.
Not just on an individual basis, somehow in a national way. Can you imagine? Can you imagine the greatness of this? Christ will summon all people, all nations before his throne, and they will come. They will have no alternative but to come and to appear before him. And Scripture tells us that he will judge them when they do. We saw from Revelation 19 how he shatters kings in the day of his wrath.
He's judging nations. He'll fill them with corpses. There will be fatalities involved in the establishment of the kingdom of Christ.
It's what it says. What's a corpse? What's a corpse in battle except one who has been defeated by his foe? And yet in verse 7 we see this ultimate triumph pictured. Christ will drink from the brook by the wayside, therefore he will lift up his head. What is this saying to us?
Well, just very briefly, a drink from a cool brook is picturing renewal, renewed vigor. After the battle is done, there will be a time of refreshment. Christ is calm as he lifts up his head. The battle is over, the battle is done, his enemies are defeated, and every knee bows, every tongue confesses Jesus Christ is Lord, and there is no contrary voice to be heard anywhere in the created universe.
How could there be? The conquest was complete. And so he lifts up his head in victory, and he will be exalted when his judgment is complete. Christ the King, Christ the reconciling priest who offered himself as the sacrifice that the priest brings to God, Christ the judge having conquered all of his enemies.
Friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, we cannot measure the greatness of his glory. He is a king who is both son of man and son of God. He is a priest who made the final sacrifice for sin.
He is a judge who will return and conquer the world. Now, so happens in the providence of God, we are preaching this message on the Sunday before we remember his crucifixion when he made that sacrifice for sin. Is it not astonishing that this same one who was crucified in apparent weakness is this exalted one who is king, priest, and judge?
Doesn't that astonish you? What king, what judge submits himself to that? What king, what judge, what priest humbles himself like that? Christian friend, Christian friend, this gives us something of a measure of the greatness of what the cross represents to us. That great exalted one humbled himself even to obedience of death, even death on a cross for you and me. There are times where in my human thinking as we walk through these things together, I just want to say, Lord, stop!
Stop! Your greatness seems inconsistent with this. And then you remember that in the plan of God, his greatness is magnified even more by the cross. How great he is gives us a measure of how great the cross is, and how great the cross is gives us a measure of how deeply evil our sin is.
It could be put away by nothing less than the crucifixion of the king, the priest, the judge, all in one. And so, I ask you all here today, I ask you personally, one by one, will you be in the end, will you be found among those who are serving Christ gladly in his conquest? Or will you be on the receiving end of his wrath?
There is no third choice, there is no other option, there is no alternative. The offer of refuge in Christ is free and open to you, and this king, this priest, this judge, the son of God, the son of man, stands before you as it were in his word and calls you to come. In mercy, he calls you to come to him for salvation, and to be on the merciful side of destiny. My friend, if you refuse that call, you'll be on the other side of destiny, on the receiving end of his wrath. Why would you do that when Christ calls you and welcomes you to come in repentant faith to him?
Without cost. Now, immediately, free and full forgiveness, free and full salvation. All the riches of Christ offered to you right now before the throne of grace. If you walk out of this room, it won't be because Christ didn't call you and that Christ didn't want you.
It's because you wouldn't have him. Let's pray together. Our Lord, our king, our priest, the coming judge, we bless your magnificent name. You said that if you're lifted up, you would draw men to yourself. We have tried to do that here, dear Lord.
Tried to use your word to lift you up. And in response to that, we simply ask you to do what you said and now draw men to yourself. Father, whether it be a young person trapped in the fatigue of rebellion and indifference to you who needs to be refreshed in Christ, draw that young person to yourself. Draw them out of sin.
Draw them with your spirit. Give them new life. For that older man, older woman, Father, we pray for their souls.
It's not too late for them. Father, as long as we're living and breathing, the offer of salvation is open and free to us. Draw them too, Lord. For those of us in your church, in your kingdom, in Christ, Father, refresh our hearts with the knowledge of the greatness of our King, to be again refreshed and overwhelmed by the majesty of having been owned and bought and purchased at the cross by such a one as this. We marvel at your grace. We marvel at your mercy. We freely, gladly, completely, wholeheartedly worship you, O Christ, and own you as our Lord, even as David did 3,000 years ago. Have your way with us now. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Well, friend, thank you for joining us on Through the Psalms. Did you know that we also offer a daily podcast? It's a shorter format that is a perfect companion for you as you start your day, drive to work, or maybe have your workout on your treadmill. You can find that daily podcast at thetruthpulpit.com. Look for the link that says Radio Podcast. Again, that's found on thetruthpulpit.com. God bless you. Thanks, Don. And, friend, Through the Psalms is a weekend ministry of The Truth Pulpit. Be sure to join us next week for our study as Don continues teaching God's people God's word. This message is copyrighted by Don Green. All rights reserved.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 05:29:44 / 2023-03-12 05:50:07 / 20