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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
Once again, David
prophecies about Jesus, and we can prove this from the sermon Peter gave at the
Birth of the church in:
"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
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.
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.
can know that this verse talks about Jesus ascension because Paul uses this
verse to talk about Jesus ascension in:
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,
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.