March 19, 2017
Prophets of the Cross: Psalm 110
Among all the Old Testament passages that we find quoted and alluded to in the New Testament, Psalm 110 is the undisputed king. No text is more quoted by the authors of the New Testament than Psalm 110. When it comes to prophecies of the Messiah, this scripture is the holy grail, and for good reason.
When Jesus wanted to get the religious leaders thinking about the Messiah in a new way, he turned to this psalm, written by King David. He asked them a question that left them stunned: “How can the Messiah be David’s Son if he calls him Lord?” Fathers don’t call their sons “Lord,” especially a man of the stature of David. What Jesus left unsaid in this encounter is that the Messiah must be greater than David, the one of whom it was written, “he was a man after God’s own heart.” Everyone looking for the Messiah should be looking for someone greater than David. But who could that be? Psalm 110 points us toward the conclusion that the Messiah must be divine.
The implications of this are radical. First of all, this means that all of our souls’ enemies are lying dead at the feet of Jesus. The prophecy declares that he will be victorious, and his victory was fulfilled in his resurrection. Secondly, this means that he is praying for us, right now. He is a priest forever, and the author of Hebrews, reflecting on Psalm 110, tells us that he is constantly interceding on our behalf.