Friday, May 24, 2013

P1 - Top Bible Prophecy #5 Psalm 110 - Jesus' Ascension and Session

Psalm 110:1 "The Lord says to my Lord: Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

In weeks past I have periodically written some blogs on key passages in the Bible that I am deeming: "Top Bible Prophecies".  These texts are designated by this name due to their scope and range of use throughout the rest of the Bible.  Furthermore, a Top Bible Prophecy is deemed one because it brings into focus the ministry and work of the Lord Jesus Christ in both His first and second comings.  In this continuing study, we have considered four such passages or Top Bible Prophecies thus far.  I included the date on which they were blogged in case the reader may want to review them:

1. Genesis 3:15 - Blogged on April 12, 2013
2. Genesis 12:1-7 - Blogged on April 18 & 19 2013
3. Deuteronomy 30:1-10 - Blogged on May 1, 2013
4. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 - Blogged on May 2, 2013

Of all the Old Testament passages quoted in the New Testament, Psalm 110 tops the list as the most quoted (at least 18 times).  Furthermore, Psalm 110 enables us to connect the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7:8-16 (Top Prophecy #4) directly to the Kingly Career of the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament.  As you will see, the New Testament Authors quote Psalm 110 the most, since by Divine inspiration the Holy Spirit revealed to them that what Christ is doing in this present age and what He will do in the coming Millennial age.  In today's blog we will focus on those areas that Psalm 110 predicts concerning Christ's ascension and current activity in Heaven (what we call His session).

How Jesus connects Himself as the Fulfillment of Psalm 110
Before we outline Psalm 110, let the reader note how the Lord Jesus Himself connects His life and ministry to Psalm 110.  In Matthew 22:41-46 Jesus engages in the following discussion with His opponents, the Pharisees:

"Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: 42 “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.” 43 He *said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, 44 The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, Until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet”’? 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” 46 No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question."

What Jesus does is quote Psalm 110:1.  In the context of Matthew 22, Jesus discusses the nature of the Kingdom by beginning with a parable about a king and a wedding feast for his son.  Undoubtedly the parable's point is to illustrate that Christ is the Son Whom was to be rejected by those who refused to honor the invitation sent out by the Father.  He is the King who by right isKing over all kings, including Caesar.  Eventually the opponents of Jesus attempt to trap him in a series of questions.  In Matthew 22:42-46, Jesus turns the tables, using Psalm 110:1 to point to Himself as the fulfillment of God's Covenant with David.  Because of their unbelief, the Pharisees totally missed Jesus' point.  However the followers of Christ and the New Testament would, by the Spirit's work of Divine Inspiration of the New Testament, quickly connect the dots.  By the time you journey through Acts, 21 New Testament Epistles and the Book of Revelation, virtually every verse in Psalm 110 is quoted to reveal Jesus' Kingly Career following His ascension in to Heaven. 

The Kingly Career of Jesus Christ in Psalm 110 and the New Testament
So how does the New Testament use Psalm 110 to reveal the Kingly Career of the Lord Jesus Christ? Note the following outline of Psalm 110 and accompanying New Testament verses that unfold the following predictions of His Kingly Career:

1. The Ascension of King Jesus.  Psalm 110:1
In Acts 1:11-12 we see the Lord Jesus Christ ascend into heaven before the eyes of His disciples.  What happened following that event?  The remainder of the nearly twenty quotations of Psalm 110 in the New Testament endeavor to explain what took place after Jesus disappeared from His disciple's sight.  Below are some more notable examples in which I have underlined the portions of Psalm 110:1 that are quoted by the New Testament authors.  According to Acts 2:34-36 we read: "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at My right hand,
35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Following the wording of Psalm 110:1, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:25-28 - For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. In Ephesians 1:20-21 the Holy Ghost states - "which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come."  Jesus is seated at the Father's right hand, ruling spiritually in Heaven and waiting to bring the Kingdom to earth in order to subdue all his enemies and reign until everything is made the footstool of His feet.   What follows in the remainder of Psalm 110:2-7 is an unfolding and explanation of Psalm 110:1.

Clearly then Christ's ascension into Heaven was not merely His leaving this planet to go to heaven and wait until the Father tells Him to return to earth.  Jesus is right now very busy and active in Heaven at the Father's right hand, which leads us to the second predicted event of Jesus' kingly career, namely...
2. The Session of King Jesus.  Psalm 110:2-4
When a judge comes into a courtroom, the Officer of the Court will say: "All rise, the court is now in session".  To be in session means that a supreme authority is presiding over a group of people. As Christ awaits to come to earth, He presently occupies Three Official positions as spelled out here in Psalm 110:2-4 and their corresponding New Testament fulfillments:

a. Jesus Christ is Ruling spiritually as King.  
When Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven, He became Legally and by right King on the Throne of David. Psalm 110:2 "The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”  According to Acts 2:34-36, Jesus began reigning spiritually at His ascension.  Revelation 1:5 calls Jesus right now the "Ruler over the kings of the earth".  As Spiritual Ruler over the world through His church, Jesus is awaiting to bring His Kingdom here to earth, wherin He will set up His earthly Kingdom and reign for 1,000 years. 

b. Jesus Christ is the Prophet who Reveals God through the scriptures
Psalm 110:3 predicts - "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."  That phrase "Holy Array" in the original Hebrew speaks of a pure and unique display of Supernatural power. Hebrews 1:1-2 shows how Jesus fulfills this: "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world."  By being the "appointed heir of all things", Jesus Christ is fulfilling this aspect of Psalm 110 by revealing God since He Himself shares in the same nature as God and is God revealed in human flesh. (1 Timothy 3:16)

c. Jesus Christ is the Priest who mediates between believers and God. 
Psalm 110:4 -  "The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind,
“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”  Who is Melchizedek?  We first meet this mysterious figure way back in Genesis 14, following Abraham's defeat of 5 pagan kings.  Upon his return back from battle, Abraham is met by the King of Salem, Melechizedek.  Melchizedek blesses him, and Abraham in turn gives him a tithe of the spoils of victory.  Then without warning Melchizedek dissapears off the radar screen of Biblical history, only to be mentioned again in Psalm 110:4, a thousand years after Abraham!  Clearly Melchizedek is not just any human King or Priest, since He is depicted in eternity with Jehovah God.  Once again he dissapears, with ten more centuries of time passing until Hebrews 5-7.  It is in those chapters we discover the true identity of Melchizedek.  In short, He is Jesus Christ the High Priest of Heaven, whose priesthood exceeds the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament.  Because Jesus is functioning as High Priest in Heaven right now, He is our advocate in prayer. (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 2:1-2)

In tomorrow's post we will feature the remainder of Psalm 110 and the appropriate New Testament passages that will unfold two more predicted events of Christ's Kingly Career: namely His Second Coming (Psalm 110:5) and Millennial Reign (Psalm 110:6-7). 

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