Messianic Psalms - Psalm 2: Jesus the King
On the resurrection day, the risen Christ met two disciples on the way to Emmaus, and from Moses and all the prophets He explained to them the things concerning Himself. As a result, their whole outlook was changed. Later they declared: “Did not our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32).
At eventide, in the Upper Room, He appeared to the gathered disciples and said: “These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me” (Luke 24:44). He then opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
This summer we are going to engage in a study through selected Psalms which speak of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are called Messianic psalms obviously because they speak of the Messiah. The question may be asked: “How can we recognize a Messianic psalm?” The answer would be where there is a reference to the Messiah in a psalm, and it is applied to Christ and expounded in the New Testament. Sometimes a whole psalm applies to Christ, e.g., Psalm 22. Sometimes a paragraph, e.g., Psalm 40:6-10. Sometimes several verses, e.g., Psalm 69:4, 9, 21. Sometimes a single verse, e.g., Psalm 41:9.
It is obvious that some of the psalms are occupied entirely with the Person and the thoughts and feelings of our Lord while others clearly refer to the experience of the psalmist, and then there is included an isolated reference to the Messiah. Psalm 69 is an example. When David exclaims: “O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you,” he obviously is referring to himself (v5). But when he says: “They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink” (v21), these words are applied to Christ in Matthew 27:34, 48, and they are clearly Messianic. So, we must be careful to distinguish between the spiritual experience of the writer of the psalm and the prophetic reference to Christ Himself.
While keeping in mind this rule, that a quotation in the New Testament from a psalm, which applies it to the Lord Jesus, confirms it as Messianic, there are three psalms which are exceptions. They are obviously Messianic but are not quoted in the New Testament: Psalm 24, 72, and 89. We will include them in the list of Messianic Psalms.
It is to be noticed that the references to the Messiah in the psalms do not follow in sequence or in chronological order. We will begin this week with Psalm 2, an introduction to the whole collection, giving a prophetic outline of the official glories of the Messiah. There are approximately sixteen Messianic Psalms, and we will consider the majority of them over the summer.
We trust and pray that our understanding may be opened to see the things concerning our Lord in these precious psalms, and that the Holy Spirit who inspired them will help us to understand and apply them with power to our hearts.
Plan to join us throughout the summer as we take a ‘Journey to Christ in the Psalms.’ And if you are out one week due to vacation, you can keep up with the journey as our sermons are recorded and placed on our YouTube channel.