26 April – 2 May 2015.
Rather than being a hymn, Psalm 110 is actually an incredible prophecy about the coming Messiah. Therefore, it’s not surprising that it played such an important role in the life of Jesus and his church. We hear this psalm from the mouth of Jesus himself; it was used so many times by so many New Testament writers; and it even appears in the Apostles’ Creed! In each case, it is used to highlight the authority of Jesus as the true Messiah, the real Christ.
Jesus is the one who sits at the right hand of the Father until the entire earth is gathered before him. And Jesus is the one who embodies religious power and political power: he is both priest and king.
Normally, this would be a terrible thing! History has shown us the disasters that come from combining political and religious power, when nations and rulers think they represent God. But this psalm reminds us Christians that the only person who can really fulfil this prophecy is God himself in Christ. The only one who can be our king and priest is the one who is completely human and completely divine. Only the meek and crucified Lamb of God can be trusted with such immense authority. Indeed, the reason we have this prophecy is because the writers knew just how badly Israel’s own kings had failed at this job. A True King and a True Priest must finally come to take over from David and all the other failed rulers of this world, putting an end to failed kings and unjust kingdoms. On that day, all nations and kings must finally end, because in the end there can be no other power that stands against the authority of Christ and his kingdom.
Again, normally this would be a horrible thing because we know how little we can trust human beings with this kind of power. Even this psalm’s writer still describes his hope and his messiah with images of terrible violence, of corpses piled high among Israel’s neighbours. But this is not the Messiah revealed in Jesus. Christ does rule over all nations, but not with violence and anger, but with compassion and love; not leaving a trail of broken bodies but rather repentant hearts. Christ sits at the right hand of the Father and, with grace and forgiveness, justice and love, his rule brings salvation to all. He is the triumphant Priest and King!
Pastor Stephen Lakkis