The Lord Said to My Lord

In the previous post, I began an examination of Psalm 110.  Jesus, Peter, Paul, and the writer of Hebrews all refer to the Psalm as Messianic.  Ancient Jewish scholars also believed the Psalm was Messianic.  Jesus used Psalm 110 in Matthew 22:41-46 when He asked the Jewish leaders about the descent of the Messiah from David. 

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The Son of David

Psalm 110 is a key Messianic prophecy cited by Jesus, Peter, Paul, and the writer of Hebrews.  For our purposes, I would like to examine three aspects of the prophecy over the next three blog posts, if the Lord is willing:

  1. The Messiah is the Son of David

  2. The Messiah is superior to David

  3. The Messiah is a priest

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Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Peter confessed Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah in Matthew 16:16-20.  As soon as He was recognized, Jesus revealed His destiny to the disciples.  Notice verse 21, “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” The rejection by the Jewish leadership and Jesus's crucifixion were a foreseen inevitability, one that Jesus reiterates both in Matthew 17:22-23 and 20:17-18. 

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A Virgin Shall Conceive

The apostle Matthew and his fellow historian Luke both record that Jesus was conceived and born of a virgin (see also Luke 1:26-35).  Both records teach that God supernaturally inseminated His divine seed into the womb of Mary in order to conceive His Son.  Their testimony is one of the key components of Christ’s identity.  Of particular relevance to this series of blogs on Messianic prophecy is verse 23’s claim:  that the conception and birth of Jesus fulfilled a prophecy from Isaiah 7:14.

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A Voice Crying in the Wilderness

The men who spent three and a half years with Jesus of Nazareth were compelled to declare Him God’s long-promised Messiah.  The gospel accounts confirm their integrity by painting a brutally honest picture of these men.  That they endured incredible hardships (including gruesome deaths) for the sake of what they believed further demonstrates their conviction.  Though they were initially slow to accept the full meaning of the Messianic prophecies, they were later convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ.  Lord willing, over the next few posts, I plan to look at some of the prophecies that convinced these men and that have in turn convinced me of Jesus’s identity.

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You Will Be Witnesses

As I noted in a previous post, the Old Testament contains a strong Messianic undercurrent.  In the first century, the men who followed Jesus of Nazareth claimed He fulfilled the predictions of Moses, Samuel, and those prophets who followed.  The antiquity of these documents and the faithfulness of their transmission down through the centuries assure us that the disciples of Jesus did not alter the prophecies in order to fit Jesus.  The number of instances where these Scriptures predict the life events of Jesus rules out the probability of coincidental fulfillment

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Age and Probability

The Old Testament records Messianic prophecies long before Jesus walked the earth.  The Jews believed that God inspired these scriptures over a period of one thousand years, stretching from approximately 1,400 – 400 B.C.  Josephus, a well-known, first century, Jewish historian testified:

For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another, [as the Greeks have,] but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death.  This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books.  The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life.  It is true, our history hath been written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but hath not been esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there hath not been an exact succession of prophets since that time (Josephus, Against Apion, 1.8, page 776).

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