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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Smith :: Portraits of Christ

Don Smith :: Psa; Messianic Psalms

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Portraits of Christ
“Psalms”

Messianic Psalms of Jesus Christ

Psalm 2 The Son of God Matthew 3:17
Psalm 8:2 Praised by children Matthew 21:15-16
Psalm 8:6 Ruler of all Hebrews 2:8
Psalm 16:10 Rises from death Matthew 28:7
Psalm 22:1 Forsaken by God Matthew 27:46
Psalm 22:7-8 Derided by enemies Luke 23:35
Psalm 22:16 Hands & feet pierced John 20:27
Psalm 22:18 Lots cast for clothes Matthew 27:35-36
Psalm 34:20 Bones unbroken John 19:32-33, 36
Psalm 35:11 Accused by false witnesses    Mark 14:57
Psalm 35:19 Hated without cause John 15:25
Psalm 40:7-8 Delights in God’s Word Hebrews 10:7
Psalm 41:9 Betrayed by friend Luke 22:47
Psalm 45:6 The Eternal King Hebrews 1:8
Psalm 68:18 Ascends to heaven Acts 1:9-11
Psalm 69:21 Given vinegar & gall Matthew 27:34
Psalm 109:4 Prays for enemies Luke 23:34
Psalm 109:8 His betrayer replaced Acts 1:20
Psalm 110:1 Rules over His enemies Matthew 22:44
Psalm 110:4 A priest forever Hebrews 5:6
Psalm 118:22  The Chief Cornerstone Matthew 21:42
Psalm 118:26  Comes in name of the Lord    Matthew 21:9

Portraits of Christ
“A Messianic Song for the Son” – Psalm 2

There is no substitute for a father’s affection and affirmation for his children.

  • It can be a powerful and positive influence in forming a healthy sense of worth.
  • However, affirmation withheld may result in poor substitutes who may not have a godly impact on their lives.
  • Even today, I treasure my father’s encouraging words and enthusiastic embraces.
  • I look forward to his phone calls every week.
  • In them he never fails to say, “Your mom and I love you so much.”
  • I am not sure we ever outgrow our delight in being praised by those who love us.

The same was true for Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

  • While upon the earth, He loved to do what pleased His Father.
  • The Father called out of heaven to affirm His Son.
  • His words were selected to remind the Son of His divine purpose and reinforce His delight in Him.
  • These words were also recorded for us in the Scriptures so that we might believe Jesus is the Son of God.
  • Psalm 2 is one of the clearest Messianic songs in the Bible.

There are four different speakers or perspectives in Psalm 2.

  • In Psalm 2:1-2, King David is perplexed by humanities’ rage and anger at God.
  • In Psalm 2:3, earthly kings are heard plotting their conspiracy against the Lord.
  • In Psalm 2:4-6, the King of Heaven reiterates His redemptive purposes for humanity, in spite of their rebellion and hatred for Him.
  • In Psalm 2:7-9, the Son reflected back upon the Father’s eternal purposes and decrees.
  • In Psalm 2:10-12, the implications of these things call out for our response to God.

This Messianic Song begins with ancient truth spelled out in Genesis 3:15.

  • “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

David recognized the enmity of the Serpent’s seed against the woman’s seed.

  • He was amazed at the audacity of the creature defying his creator. (Psalm 2:1-3)

Therefore, he asked two perplexing questions:

  1. Why do the nations rage or furiously grind their teeth in anger? (Psalm 1:1)
    • He himself had met with much opposition when he was crowned Israel’s King.
    • The Jebusites tried to keep him out of Jerusalem.
    • A Philistine army, as well as other nations, plotted his defeat outside the city gates.
    • David called upon the Lord and was delivered. (2 Samuel 5:6-9)
    • As the Lord’s anointed, he faced enmity throughout his years as king.
    • He also prophetically predicted that this same enmity would be uniquely directed to His anointed Son, the Messiah.
    • He foresaw the peoples tossed around on a turbulent, raging sea in confusion.
    • They were like frustrated war horses preparing to enter battle.
    • They pawed the ground, snorted, neighed and bucked in restless agitation.
  2. Why do the people plot such a vain thing?
    • He pictured a fierce confederacy of humanity muttering and murmuring their vile contempt of God.
    • David was bewildered by their vain resolve against God.
    • Kings set themselves against the Lord and His Anointed. (John 15:23-25)
    • He foresaw them in Jerusalem conspiring to kill the Messiah.
    • They set themselves up in places of power and prestige to plot their heinous plan.
    • Their hatred for God would fall upon the Messiah.
    • Man’s enmity against God would fall upon the Messiah just as it was foretold.
    • In John 15:23-25, Jesus said, “He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’”
    • These God-haters were bound together by a common hatred for God and His Son.
    • His ultimate purpose was to save sinners from their sin.
    • For this He was crucified and murdered—the just for the unjust.

David also foresaw earthly rulers plotting together against the Lord and His Anointed. (Psalm 1:1; 83:2-5)

  • Their hostility was blatant.
  • They proudly boasted, “Let’s break their bonds and cast away their cords from us.”
  • This was open warfare.
  • Man is by nature God’s enemy.
  • The creature is in open revolt, deceived by his desire to be his own god.
  • His reasoning is futile.
  • He considered God’s absolute standards and values to be fetters that must be broken.
  • Humanity deeply resents any challenge to his moral autonomy.
  • Absolute truth is anathema to the unregenerate.
  • The only absolute they will tolerate is the absolute right to determine for themselves what was good and evil.
  • Man must be absolute or he is absolutely outraged at anyone who teaches the objective truth of God’s Word.
  • Christ’s enemies considered Him and His teachings a threat to their perception of righteousness.
  • His slant on the Law was repugnant to the self-righteous.
  • They preferred enslavement to the Law, rather than faith in God.
  • But it is true, Christ does have bonds and cords.
  • His bonds and cords are not chains and shackles.
  • Rather they are love and grace.
  • Those who would follow Him must be ruled by Him.

Psalm 1:1, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.”

  • Human history is best understood by this enmity between the Serpent’s seed and the Seed of the Woman.
  • Psalm 83:2-5 echoes the same theme as Psalm 2.
  • “For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.’ For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You.”
  • Two worlds are in deadly conflict—the kingdom of man and the Kingdom of God.
  • This explains the vain attempts made by Gentile and Jewish rulers to murder Christ.
  • Herod failed to find the Christ Child.
  • The crowd in Nazareth failed to kill Christ by pushing Him off a near by cliff.
  • The Scribes and the Pharisees succeeded in crucifying Him, but not in keeping Him in the grave.
  • All attempts by the Serpent and his seed are doomed to fail.
  • If the enemies of God raged at Him and His Anointed, why are we surprised by the rage they plot today against Him and His Church?
  • The question we must ask is: “Who are we trusting for our deliverance?”
  • David found no hope in man, even godly men on the thrones of government.
  • Instead, his eyes turned to heaven.
  • That is where the perplexed saint must always look.
  • It is the only picture that can give hope in our chaotic world.

The Lord reigns supreme over the free will acts of evil men, to accomplish His eternal pleasure. (Psalm 2:4-6)

    • What the Lord ordains will never be thwarted by evil men.
    • He is never frustrated over human attempts to hinder His purposes.
  1. Instead He laughs at the schemes of evil men and holds them in derision.
  2. He shall speak to them in His wrath. (Psalm 29:10-11)
    • Even as the Lord brought judgment upon the earth at the flood, so He will speak and frustrate the vain attempts of man today.
    • It is only by His Grace that any of us are sustained long enough to take one breath.
    • His providential plan will not be thwarted.
    • In spite of universal opposition to His redemptive purposes, the Lord announced the coronation of His Son.
    • His voice thundered from heaven, “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion!”
    • He will enthrone His own Son as King on His holy hill in Zion.
    • He will rule over all creation and faithfully build His own house.
    • Hebrews 3:4-6 says that Christ the Son was faithful over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
    • The believer in Christ is a holy temple in which this Priestly King resides.
  3. The Lord shall distress all human attempts to hinder His divine purpose.
    • Nothing will be able to turn back His eternal purposes. (Isaiah 14:26-27)
    • He who sits above the earth and its inhabitants brings the princes and judges of the earth to nothing. (Isaiah 40:21-23)
    • He declared the end from the beginning.

What the Lord ordains will come to pass. (Acts 4:25-28)

    • There is no clearer picture of this than found in Acts 4:24-28.
    • The Apostles, when challenged by the religious rulers in Jerusalem prayed out to the Lord in one accord, “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ. For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.’”
    • Even though Herod and Pontius Pilate plotted Christ’s death, they were unknowingly accomplishing the eternal purpose of God, the sacrificial death of the Son to redeem a chosen seed from the earth.
  1. The Father’s will is to establish His Son’s Kingdom through discipleship.
    • The Church has been commissioned to preach and teach the Gospel to all peoples everywhere, so that Christ may be glorified and His kingdom enlarged.
    • Prior to Christ’s ascension, He spoke these words in Matthew 28:18-20.
    • “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”
    • The Lord was pleased to entrust this mission to His people.
    • He is pleased to tarry until the mission is complete.
    • But He will complete it in His timing.
    • And when it has been fulfilled, He will come in righteous judgment.
  2. The Lord’s response to His adversaries was to promise that He would reveal His Son on His holy hill of Zion. (Psalm 132:13-18)
    • From this holy city, the Gospel of Christ has gone out to all the world.
    • It is a place that He will someday, reclaim for His throne.
    • Earthly crowns will be thrown at His feet, as every knee shall bow and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father. (Philippians 2:10)

In Psalm 2, the Lord’s King speaks to His only begotten Son, as He prepared to step out of eternal glory to fulfill His Father’s will. (Psalm 2:7-9)

  • In these verses, the Anointed One, the Lord’s King, and His Son repeated the promises decreed by the Father before the foundation of the world.
  • This was included in Christ’s High Priestly prayer recorded in John 17.
  • History has a purpose.
  • This purpose was ordained by the Father.
  • For the joy set before the Son, He willingly humbled Himself taking on the form of a servant, even enduring the atrocities of the cross that we might be saved.

Jesus was the Father’s faithful prophet, speaking only what He had been taught by the Father. (John 7:16; 8:28-29)

  • He did nothing on His own but only those things that pleased the Father.

Jesus was the Father’s obedient Son.

  • In this passage the Father’s affirmation is proclaimed, “You are My Son. Today I have begotten You.”
  • The word “begotten” means “manifested, declared, or exhibited for all to see.”
  1. The Son was worshiped by angels and appointed to be our Great High Priest.
    • Hebrews 1:5-6 quotes this phrase to identify Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
    • “For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world He says; “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
    • On the night the Son was born in human flesh, the angels glorified the Son.
    • Hebrews 5:5 uses Psalm 2 to identify Jesus Christ as our Great High Priest.
    • “So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’”
    • He came not only as King, but also as Priest.
  2. The Son was called and sent by the Father to give us everlasting life. (John 3:16)
  3. The Father audibly affirmed the Son three times by using Psalm 2.
  4. The first time the Father spoke from heaven was at Christ’s baptismal.
    • “Suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:17)
    • The Father was affirming His Son and His ministry.
  5. The second time the Father spoke from heaven was on the Mount of Transfiguration.
    • A bright cloud overshadowed Jesus and His three disciples.
    • “Suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’” (Matthew 17:5)
    • The Father was affirming His Son’s eternal glory and the glory that awaited Him.
  6. The third time the Father spoke from heaven at the Temple on Mount Zion.
    • The Father thundered His approval of the Son. (John 12:27-33)
    • These words were not recorded, but they were intended to build up the Apostles’ faith.
    • It was a sign that the Son would come in judgment and that the cross would defeat the ruler of this world.

Was Christ the Beloved Son?

  • Jesus accepted the title of the Son when questioned by Pilate. “Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said.”
  • Even the demons recognized Jesus as the Son of God. They cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time? (Matthew 8:29)
  • It is only in the realm of humanity that there is any question about Christ’s identity.
  • The apostles fell to their knees and worshipped Christ in their sinking fishing boat, after He calmed the sea and they declared, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
  • When Jesus asked Simon Peter to give his opinion of Him, he replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:16-17)
  • Likewise, the Apostle John in his first Epistle agreed. “I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:34)

Jesus Christ was proven to be God’s Son by the resurrection. (Romans 1:3-4)

  • The Apostle Paul understood that the significance of Christ’s resurrection was based upon the truth of Psalm 2.
  • In Acts 13:32-33 He announced, “We declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers, God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’”
  • Who do you say Jesus Christ is? If He is the Son of God why do we rage at God’s providential plan?

The Son of God came to receive His inheritance (John 3:35; 17:1-5; Colossians 1:15-20)

  • The Father further promised His Son an eternal inheritance prior to creation.
  • “Ask of Me and I will give you the nations for your inheritance and the ends of the earth as Your possession.” (John 17:1-2)
  • As the first-born of all creation, Christ the Son of God, will receive all creation as His inheritance.
  • Nothing will be held back from Him because the Father has given all things into His hand.
  • He will inherit a redeemed remnant from the earth, who were given to Him by the Father.
  • They shall some day be united with Him in glory.

The Son will come to judge the earth. (John 5:27; Revelation 2:26-27; 12:5; 19:15)

  • But before this reunion the Father made this prophecy: “You shall break them with the Shepherd’s iron rod and dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
  • The Son will break their mutiny with His iron Shepherd’s staff.
  • Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world.” “He shall judge among the heathen and destroy the enemies of His kingdom.”
  • The Great Shepherd of our souls will sort out His sheep from the multitudes.
  • His holy wrath will be satisfied.

This message is to be proclaimed throughout all the earth. (Psalm 2:10-12)

With this picture of God’s Son coming in judgment three admonitions are given.

  1. Be Warned! “be wise, be instructed!” (Psalm 2:10; 2 Timothy 4:1)
    • It would be foolish to continue this rebellion against His Anointed.
    • For Christ will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.
  2. Therefore we are to “Repent!” (Psalm 2:11)
    • We are admonished to “Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.”
    • He is the great God worthy of honor and praise.
    • We should bow in humble service.
    • True joy in life comes from reverent service of the Son.
    • Fear without joy is torment.
    • Joy without fear is presumption.
  3. Trust in the Lord! “Kiss the Son”—Submit! (Psalm 2:12)
    • We are called to “Kiss” or be reconciled by submitting to the Son and avoid His wrath and anger.
    • The call goes out to all peoples, “Acknowledge Christ as the Son!”
    • Long ago this call came through the wisdom of Proverbs 30:3-5.
    • “I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know? Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” (Proverbs 30:3-5)
    • Who do you say is the Son?
    • Our God is a consuming fire.
    • He is also gracious to those who put their trust in Him.
    • Call upon the Lord and you shall be saved.
  4. The Song of the Son ends with a blessing. “Blessed are all who put their trust in Him”

    “In this the love of God was manifested toward us that God has sent His only Begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)

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Psa 8; A Messianic Song Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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