Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Interceding King

"The LORD says to my Lord:
 "Sit at my right hand,until I make your enemies your footstool."
 2The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter.

    Rule in the midst of your enemies!3 Your people will offer themselves freely
   on the day of your power, in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning,
   the dew of your youth will be yours.
4 The LORD has sworn
   and will not change his mind, "You are a priest forever
   after the order of Melchizedek."
 5The Lord is at your right hand;
   he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.6He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs
   over the wide earth.He will drink from the brook by the way;
   therefore he will lift up his head. Psalm 110

A few things to notice about this Psalm written by David. This Psalm is used several times in the New Testament (Matthew 22, Hebrews 1, Hebrews 5, Hebrews 10) to identify Jesus as Israel's Messiah, the one who would rule on David's throne forever. Twice it is used (once by Jesus, and once in Hebrews) portraying Jesus as the one who is the King, who will sit at God's right hand. The other reference is used to portray Jesus as the priest (Hebrews 5). Given the way in which the New Testament interprets these passages, it is clear that an audience that was contextually Jewish, would have understood this Psalm as one about the Messiah. 

So, what kind of Messiah did the Old Testament foretell? 
  1. The Messiah was to be King (vs. 1-2). He was to take the throne of David for eternity. Not only was he to be Israel's king, but he was to be king over all of creation. Just as Israel was elected for the purpose of being God's vehicle of blessing to all the nations (Genesis 12), the Messiah would be king over all the nations. He comes bringing salvation to all the nations. He is the one true God, above the other gods of the nations. His reign is universal. Yet, with His reign comes judgement. As Messiah, he will execute justice.
  2. The Messiah was to be a priest (vs. 4). This is quite a marvelous statement. Not only is the Messiah to come as King, ruler of all the earth, bringing justice and establishing righteousness. He is also coming as Priest. But, what does a priest do? In a general sense, a priests role is to mediate between God and man. They are to intercede. In the Old Testament, the priests offered sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. They entered the holy of holies in order to intercede for the people. So, from the Bible, we know that Jesus as the Messiah was King, but he was also Priest. And how did Jesus fulfill this role as Priest? 
God the Son, came to earth in the flesh, the person Jesus Christ, and did for sinful man what they could have never done themselves. Jesus made the ultimate intercession for His people at the cross. Jesus sits at the ultimate Holy of Holies, being exalted at God's right hand, making intercession for His people. His blood speaks a better word than any of the sacrifices the Old Testament (levitical) priests were able to make.To see the role Jesus played as Priest, I would high encourage you to read the letter to the Hebrews, (chapters 5-10 especially). I'll end with a passage from Hebrews. This stuff pretty much speaks for itself. But, this is truly amazing, that the Ruler of all, the true King, not only rules with perfect justice and righteousness, He descended from his throne in heaven, became man, lived among us, was willingly handed over into the hands of sinners, and allowed himself to be crucified in order to atone for the sins of the His people. We have a true Savior King. That is awesome!

"But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God."
Hebrews 9:11-14

"And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,13waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified."
Hebrews 10:11-14

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