PSALMS (CHRIST IN THE PSALMS)
Tonight we are going to take a closer look at some of the things that the Psalms say about Jesus. I think it is neat to see how Jesus was prophesied about in the Psalms, which proves that these Psalms were more than just a collection of songs and poems written by mere men.
This is proven by what Jesus said to His disciples after He was raised from the dead in:
Luke 24:44 "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."
When you read some of the Psalms that talk about Jesus, it is not always apparent that it talking about Him. In fact, if were not for the New Testament, we have hard time knowing, which Psalms were talking about Him. Part of the reason it is difficult to figure this out is because some of the Psalms have a duel application. Part of the Psalm will deal with situations from the past, present, and future. While the writer may be dealing with a current event, part his Psalm will also apply to Jesus.
You will see what I am talking about as we examine these Psalms. For example:
Psalm 8:4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, 7 All sheep and oxen -- Even the beasts of the field,
In this Psalm, David is amazed that such an awesome God would have anything to do with mankind. We learn that, we have been made a little lower than the angles, yet we have been given dominion over all living creatures on the earth. This Psalm is applied to Jesus when He was in the flesh in:
Hebrews 2:5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
Since Jesus became like us in the flesh, we can see why Ps. 8 refers to us as mankind, but also refers to Jesus.
Or next Psalm prophecies about how Jesus would be King of the Kingdom and no one could stop it from happening.
Psalm 2:1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."
Although the author of this Psalm is not stated, the N.T. tells us that it was written by David (Acts 4: 25). While this Psalm can apply to any king that was anointed by God, its overall fulfillment was in Jesus. The nations that rage are talking about gentile nations and it also refers to the kings and rulers of Jesus’ day that plotted against Him. We can see this in:
Acts 4:24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: "Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 "who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: 'Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.' 27 "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 28 "to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
Psalm 2:4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion." 7 "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.
No matter how strong a nation may be or how strategic they are, they cannot change God’s plan. David cannot believe that a nation can convince themselves that they could stand up against God, which is why David pictures God as laughing at their futile plans.
When David wrote that God said that He set His King on His
holy Hill of Zion, He was referring to
Acts 13:32 "And we declare to you glad tidings -- that promise which was made to the fathers. 33 "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.'
This is also confirmed Heb. 1:5 and 5:5. As David finishes up the Psalm, he talks about how this king would have complete authority and power over the nations, and he explains to the nations how they should respect the king and trust in God as we read in:
Psalm 2:8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.' " 10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
The Psalms also talk a lot about Jesus’ reign as king and high priest and His Deity. This information can be seen in Psalms 45, 72, 110 and 132. I wish, we had time to look at all these Psalms and I encourage you to read them all, but for our time, we use Ps. 110.
Psalm 110:1 A Psalm
of David. The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make
Your enemies Your footstool." 2
The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of
The other Psalms that I mentioned, talk about this same theme, of Jesus’ reign as King. We can know that this is talking about Jesus because Jesus confirms that this talking about Him in:
Matthew 22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "The Son of David." 43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 44 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool" '? 45 "If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?" 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.
Not only does this prove this Psalm is talking about Jesus, it shows that Jesus is the Son of God. Since He is the Son of God, He is Deity.
Psalm 45:6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
This saying is attributed to Jesus in:
Hebrews 1:8 But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.
Therefore Jesus is God or we could say Deity. We also see that our Psalm is talking about Jesus reign as King over His kingdom on the Day of Pentecost at the birth of the church in:
"For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The LORD
said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand,
35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." ' 36 "Therefore let all the
Jesus is reigning over His kingdom right now, and He is not waiting for some future earthly reign as many in the religious world teach because He finished His work on the earth. The Psalm also speaks of the end of time when Jesus judge the nations as spoken of in Matthew 25 and He will continue His reign as it is now until the last enemy is destroyed, which is death. Again, this confirmed in the N.T. Paul speaking of Jesus wrote:
1 Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
This is also confirmed in Heb. 1:13.
When David wrote: ”You are
a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek” this proves that
Psalm 110 is talking about Jesus because no one under the Law of Moses could be
a priest according to the order of Melchizdeck because he was a priest before
the Law of Moses. Those under the Law of Moses had to be a Levite and in the
Priestly line of Aaron. So, the only person this could be talking about is
Jesus and this is proven in Hebrews 7.
When Jesus made His entry into Jerusalem on a donkey shortly before His death, we learn that Ps. 118: 26 is applied to Jesus in:
Matthew 21:9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' Hosanna in the highest!"
David also writes about how Judas would betray Jesus in:
Psalm 41:9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.
This in another instance where this Psalm could apply to one of David’s friends, but it was a fulfillment of what Judas did and it is quoted by John:
John 13:18 "I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.'
Jesus is talking to His disciples here and just few verses later He says:
John 13:21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me." 22 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke. 23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. 25 Then, leaning back on Jesus' breast, he said to Him, "Lord, who is it?" 26 Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
Judas was the friend of Jesus that ate bread with Him and lifted his heel against Him.
We also learn from:
Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.
We can know this was talking about Jesus and how the Jews rejected Him, and His church. This can be confirmed in:
Acts 4:10 "let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 "This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.
Psalm 22 is one the most quoted Psalm in NT and it deals the suffering and circumstances that Jesus went through on the cross. When David writes this Psalm, it appears that he is writing about a troublesome time he went through, but as we read part of this Psalm, we will see that it was ultimately talking about Jesus.
The first 21 verses of this Psalm is used to express grief about his situation, and verses 22 – 31 are used to express thanksgiving and praise to God. For our time tonight, I want you to listen carefully to these first 21 verses and envision in your mind Jesus hanging on the cross and how these verses apply to Him at that moment.
Psalm 22:1 My God,
My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And
from the words of My groaning? 2
O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season,
and am not silent. 3 But You are
holy, Enthroned in the praises of
All you have to do is go to the N.T. and read about those things that happened at the cross and you will see how well Psalm 22 predicted what would happen. With this Psalm being fresh on your mind lets take quick look at some of these events in the N.T.
Matthew 27:39 And
those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, "You who
destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are
the Son of God, come down from the cross."
41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes
and elders, said, 42 "He
saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of
John 19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. 24 They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things.
John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." 37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."
We can only begin to imaging what Jesus went through physically and mentally as He was given an illegal trial by the Jews, eas beaten, spit on, and scourged and then crucified. As if this wasn’t bad enough, He then had to experience the worst thing He had ever experienced and that was temporary separation from God.
As you read about Jesus’ death and the suffering He went through in the N.T. it gives you deeper understanding of the grief expressed in Psalm 22.
We also learn about Jesus’ resurrection in:
Psalm 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
Once again, David prophecies about Jesus, and we can prove this from the sermon Peter gave at the Birth of the church in:
Acts 2:25 "For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the LORD always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. 27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.' 29 ¶ "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 "Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
This also confirmed in Acts 13:33-36.
There arte other areas in
the book of Psalms that talk about Jesus, but we simply do not have time to
explore them all, but I would like to mention one more before we close our
lesson. In Psalm 68, David is praising God for the power and strength He gives
to His people and some think this particular Psalm was written in response to the
ark being transported to
Psalm 68:18 You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the LORD God might dwell there.
If you read this verse in context, this is an example of a verse about Jesus that I don’t think anyone would be able to know that it was about Jesus without the N.T. making reference to it because as I have already said, many times these Psalms deal with something the writer has experienced or heard about and at the same time, but his words can also be prophetic about Jesus and other events.
We can know that this verse talks about Jesus ascension because Paul uses this verse to talk about Jesus ascension in:
Ephesians 4:8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men." 9 (Now this, "He ascended" -- what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
Personally, I find it interesting to see how much the Psalms talk about Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
As we come to the close of our lesson, I hope you learned that the Psalms are not just a bunch of poetic words that will make a person feel good, but that they are inspired by God and contain many prophetic statements about Jesus that He fulfilled in His birth, death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father.