Today we’re concluding our message series “Praying the Psalms.” We’ve been looking at different types of psalms, which represent different types of prayers. As we learn more about the psalms, God can help us grow in our prayer lives.
Today, our message is entitled “Prayers about Jesus.” You might think that Jesus is not mentioned in the Old Testament. Although Jesus is not mentioned by name in the Old Testament, the whole of the Old Testament points toward the coming Messiah, whom Jesus was and is. Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the messianic psalms. These are psalms about the promised Messiah or Anointed One, who was to come. In the New Testament, the title Christ means Messiah or Anointed one. So when we say Jesus Christ, we are saying Jesus the Messiah.
Let’s look at little more closely at how the Old Testament looks forward to the coming Messiah. In Genesis, we see God creating the universe and placing humans, created in His image in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve succumb to Satan’s temptation and sin, coming under the curse of sin. Yet, in announcing their judgement and the curse, God gives a promise about a coming deliverer as He announces a curse on the serpent.
Genesis 3:15 (ESV) I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he [Messiah] shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
God speaks of the warfare between Satan and mankind. He prophesies that an offspring or seed of the Eve will crush the head of the serpent, Satan, while Satan will strike His heel. This pointed forward to Jesus, the Messiah, defeating Satan on the cross, through dying and rising from the dead.
Isaiah 53:5 (ESV) But he [Messiah] was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of the suffering Messiah, who died for our sins to bring us peace and healing.
Psalm 16:9-10 (ESV) Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
These verses in Psalm 16 speak of the Messiah, whose body would not see decay, as He would be raised from the dead. These verses are quoted in Acts 13 as being about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Daniel 7:13-14 (ESV) “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. Finally, this vision of the prophet Daniel saw the second coming of Jesus Christ to rule and reign forever over the kingdom of God.
The Old Testament contains over 300 references to the coming Messiah, which were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. These fulfilled prophesies are supernatural confirmations that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Son of God. We see the New Testament writers using two main things to establish that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The spoke first of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and secondly of the fulfillment of messianic prophesies from the Old Testament. The Messianic psalms that we’re going to be looking at today, should help us to better understand and appreciate who Jesus is and what He has accomplished. We can praise and thank Him for being the Messiah through these psalms.
Secondly, these psalms can increase our confidence in the supernatural nature of God’s Word as these prophesies were fulfilled in Jesus. Finally, these psalms can help us in our witnessing to unbelievers, showing them the internal coherence of Scripture, speaking accurately about Jesus the Messiah over thousands of years. So, let’s get started with Psalm 2 which speaks of Jesus as …
Psalm 2, one of the best-known Messianic psalms is quoted ten times in the New Testament.
Psalm 2:2-3 (ESV) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
Verse 2 is quoted in the prayer of the early church in Acts 4, where the Anointed or Messiah refers to Jesus. The kings of the earth are the worldly leaders who are in general in rebellion against the Lord Jesus Christ. Worldly leaders do not want to submit to God’s Word or His commands. They want to be in charge of their actions and their kingdoms. What is God’s response to the rebellion of worldly leaders.
Psalm 2:4-6 (ESV) He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
God is not threatened by the rebellious actions of unbelievers anymore than a parent is threatened by a child’s tantrums. God laughs at the antics of the ungodly, even those who are leaders. The wrath of God is directed against all who oppose His rule. God, the Father, has set His king, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who is the Lord Jesus Christ. He rules and reigns now, even though not all acknowledge Him. Jesus rules over His Kingdom, here called Zion, God’s holy hill. In these last days, God gives opportunity for the rebellious to repent and acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
Psalm 2:7-8 (ESV) I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
In this psalm, God the Father, the Lord, is speaking to Jesus His Son. He speaks of the future when Christ returns in judgement. At that time, all the rebellious will be judged and removed from His Kingdom. At that time, all the nations and the ends of earth will be renewed in righteousness. And the glory of the Lord will fill the earth, as the waters cover the seas.
Psalm 2:12 (ESV) Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
This psalm ends with an appeal to those who are rebellious and refuse to submit to the rule of the Messiah. The appeal is to kiss or worship the Son. Those who worship and take refuge in Him will be blessed and will not perish under the wrath of God. Jesus is the anointed one, anointed as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
This psalm can bring us great hope in the midst of the situation we find ourselves in today in America. We are tempted to think that everything is out of control with the pandemic, riots and violence rampant. God in heaven is not worried or fearful, He is sitting in heaven and laughing at those who are shaking their fists at Him and His Word. He loves people who are rebellion, but He is not threatened by them in the least, He is sovereign and completely in control.
So, we also, must be like our Father in heaven. We put our trust in Him and His Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah. He will bless us as we take refuge in Him. Next we’ll turn to the messianic psalm 22 abut the …
One of the main reasons that the Jewish people did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah was that He did not come as a conquering King.
Psalm 2 prophesied of Jesus as ruling and reigning over the whole world. Yet, we do not yet see everything and everyone in submission to Him.
Jesus came the first time as a suffering servant and we as His people in these last days, also live as suffering servants. Psalm 22 has many prophetic details about Jesus’ death on the cross as the suffering Savior.
Psalm 22:1 (ESV) My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
These words from Psalm 22 were spoken by Jesus as He was dying on the cross. Because of the sin of the world being placed on Jesus, the Father turned His face from Him. Their close relationship was broken because of the weight of our sin.
Psalm 22:7-8 (ESV) All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
These verses speak of the mockery of those who were watching and assenting to the crucifixion of Jesus.
Psalm 22:16-18 (ESV) For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
Verses 16-18 describe in great details the things that happened to Jesus on the cross. They speak of the nails piercing his hands and feet. Despite his death on the cross, none of Jesus’ bones were broken, contrary to normal practice in crucifixion. Even the details of the soldiers casting lots for his clothing was accurately prophesied thousands of years before it happened.
Psalm 22:27-28 (ESV) All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.
Psalm 22 ends with the triumph of the Messiah. With all the families of the nations worshipping Him as He rules over the nations after the second coming. Psalm 22 has some of the most amazing prophesies of Jesus’ death on the cross. It builds our faith and informs our witness as to the reliability of God’s Word. As we study and pray about Jesus as the suffering servant, we must realize that He calls us to be suffering servants of Him as well.
Oh, we would all like to rule and reign with Him now. While there is a sense that we can exercise spiritual leadership now, we will not rule and reign with Him in an earthly sense until He comes again. In the meantime, we take hope as we look to the future and what is coming. In the present, we follow the path of Jesus, the suffering servant, who brought the kingdom’s power into our world through miracles and signs and wonders. Jesus was the suffering servant. Finally, we see Jesus as …
Psalm 110:1-2 (ESV) The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies!
Jesus Himself quoted the first verse of Psalm 110 to confound the Pharisees. They could not figure out how the Messiah could be both Son and Lord of David. Yet, that’s what Jesus was. A descendant of David and yet the Lord of David. Jesus is now ruling in the midst of His enemies. He is in the process of making His enemies His footstool. Yet, now everyone has not bowed the knee to King Jesus. One day, every knee will bow, every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Until that time, as Christians, we should only kneel and worship God alone.
Psalm 110:4 (ESV) The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Not only is Jesus the reigning eternal King, He is also a priest like Melchizedek. Melchizedek was an Old Testament priest that had no genealogy, had no recorded beginning or end. He was a type of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. What does a priest do? A priest enters into the presence of God to pray for and bring about forgiveness of sins. And that’s what Jesus does.
Psalm 110:5-6 (ESV) The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth.
The psalm ends with the great day of the Lord, judgement day. On that day, the wrath of God will be revealed against all sinners who have not bowed the knee to the Lord Jesus. He will execute judgement on the unbelievers and consign them to eternal destruction in hell. The righteous will shine with Him forever in His glorious kingdom. Jesus will always be the eternal King and Priest.
The book of Hebrews goes into great detail of Jesus as the great high priest, who continually intercedes for His people. We can take comfort in the fact that not only does Jesus rule, He also cares about each believer who puts their faith in Him. He is interceding, He is praying for you today. The Scripture says that Jesus knows exactly what you’re going through in your life. He lived on this earth, He was tempted and attacked in every way just as we are.
He is praying for you to remain strong, that your faith would not fail. He wants you to be with Him forever, that’s why He died for you. Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed one, the suffering servant and the eternal King and priest. Every day we should worship Him for who He is and what He has done for us because of His great love.