“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). In the King James Version this verse reads like a command, “Search the Scriptures”; in the New King James Version and other versions it reads like a statement of fact, “You search the Scriptures.” Both translations are valid. We may perceive it as both a command and a statement of fact. We are to search the Old Testament books; for in them Christ is revealed unto us in type and prophecy. He is the theme of the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi.
It is a fact that the Jews, scribes, and Pharisees searched the Scriptures; they pored over them, they diligently investigated them. However, they were spiritually blind to the Messiah; they saw only the Law, as they wrongly construed it. They were so legalistic that they searched the old Scriptures for but one purpose: to interpret the Law. But they were so blinded by the Law that they did not recognize the Lawgiver, who came to fulfill the Law. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). In this verse Jesus speaks of the Law and the Prophets; the reference is not just to specific laws, but rather to the whole of the Old Testament books. He fulfilled all the ceremonial laws relative to the atoning sacrifices, as well as the moral laws, both positive and negative. He fulfilled all the types (biblical objects, persons, and events that illustrate what is to come) and all the prophecies that pertained to His first coming. When He returns, He will fulfill all those related to His Second Coming.
If the Jewish rulers had truly understood the types and prophecies of the Old Testament books, they would have recognized the Christ early in His ministry, and accepted Him as their Messiah. May God open our eyes to the Messiah as He is revealed to us in these messianic Psalms.
9-1 The Messiah Exalted
This messianic Psalm exalts the name of Jesus. You can sense David’s excitement as you read the first verse, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens!” (v. 1). The name of Jesus is excellent in all the earth and His glory fills the universe. His name is above every name—every name in heaven, every name on earth, and every name throughout the vast universe (Philippians 2:9-11). The day will come when every tongue will confess that glorious, excellent name of Jesus Christ as Lord. For those who are in hell it will be too late, but they will confess it nevertheless (Revelation 20:11-15). But those of us who will be in the presence of our Savior will continue to confess and exalt that name throughout eternity (Revelation 21:6, 7).
Christ is the center and principal subject of this messianic psalm, and it is so interpreted by the Lord Jesus Himself. Matthew tells us that, on one occasion, He entered the temple and drove out the religious commercializers. Jesus said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’ ” (Matthew 21:13). After cleansing the temple of the merchants, He brought in the lame and the blind, healed them and blessed them. Now when the children saw the miracles, their voices rang out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:15). Hosanna means “Save now” (cf. Psalm 118:25). In other words, the children in the temple were calling upon the Messiah to deliver them now. The chief priests and scribes looked on in religious silence and contempt, ignorant of the fact that this was the fulfillment of verse 2. They said to Jesus, “Do You hear what these are saying?” (Matthew 21:16). They were shocked because the children proclaimed Him to be the promised Messiah. Then Jesus quoted verse 2: “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise?” (Matthew 21:12-16). God used the children in the temple to exalt the Messiah and fulfill this messianic prophecy.
9-2 The Messiah Rejected
”The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone” (v. 22). The builders who rejected their Messiah, the cornerstone of the promised kingdom, were the spiritual leaders of the Hebrew nation. John tells us that “He [the cornerstone] came to His own [Judaism, Israel]. And His own [people] did not receive Him” (John 1:11). When they rejected their Messiah, they rejected their King and His kingdom. Jesus said to them, “The kingdom of God will be taken from you [Israel] and given to a nation [Gentiles] bearing the fruits of it” (Matthew 21:43).
When Christ came the first time, national Israel rejected Him. They stumbled on the rock and became a broken, scattered nation. The kingdom of God was taken from them and given to the Gentiles. Largely from among the Gentile nations and the Jews the Messiah called His bride, the church (Matthew 21:43-46), though the earliest believers were Jewish Christians. To the true New Testament church, Christ is the chief cornerstone. The New Testament church is a “holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:18-22).
When the Messiah comes the second time, national Israel (Romans 9:6, 7) will be saved. “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins’ “ (Romans 11:25-27). Israel will enter the kingdom, and Christ (the Messiah) will be its cornerstone. But to the ungodly nations Christ will be a crushing stone. He will grind those corrupt nations to powder (Daniel 2:31-35, 44, 45). Christ is the cornerstone of the kingdom and the church.
9-3 The Messiah Forsaken
Psalms 22 and 69 are quoted by the writers of the New Testament more than any other segment of Scripture. Psalm 69 is one of the great messianic psalms.
In verse 4 the Messiah says, “Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; they are mighty who would destroy me, being my enemies wrongfully.” Christ was hated from His birth without cause, first by King Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1-15), and also by Satan, demons, religious leaders, and virtually the entire Gentile and Jewish nations. The leaders, especially the religious leaders, attempted to kill Him many times. But no man could touch Him until His hour had come (John 17:1).
In verse 8 the Messiah says, “I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children.” He was ostracized by His own, even though He came healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, and opening the eyes of the blind. He raised the dead and fed the multitudes. “He came to His own [His own creation, His own things], and His own [people] did not receive Him” (John 1:11). He was an alien to His mother’s children. Notice, He did not say, “My father’s children,” because God was and is His only Father. John wrote that before His resurrection His half-brothers did not believe in Him (John 7:5). (After His resurrection, however, they were converted. They believed in Him as the Lord Christ, the Messiah, God’s only begotten Son. Two of them, James and Jude, wrote two new testament epistles bearing their names.)
In verse 9 the Messiah says, “Because zeal for your house has eaten me up.” When Jesus went up to Jerusalem, at the time of the Passover, He found the temple desecrated by moneychangers and by those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves. These commercializers had not only turned temple worship into a business, they made it a dishonest business as well, cheating those who sincerely wanted to worship God. Jesus made a whip and drove them out of the temple, saying, “ ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’ ”(Matthew 21:13). When the disciples saw what Jesus did, and heard what He said, they remembered verse 9.
In verse 19 the Messiah says, “You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; my adversaries are all before You.” Four words in this verse express the contempt poured out on Him:
1) “Reproach. “ In verse 20 He continues, “Reproach has broken my heart.” Jesus died on the cross with a broken heart. During His crucifixion, a Roman soldier pierced His side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out. Water was evidence both of physical suffering (it builds up around the pericardium during intense agony) and of a broken heart (John 19:34). Men chided Him: “If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” The chief priests, with the scribes and elders mocked Him” “He saved others, Himself He cannot save” (Matthew 27:35-44).
2) “Shame” The shame of Calvary was the shame of the world. It is your shame and my shame. He so loved the world that He hung upon the cross and bore the shame of the world, loving us so much that He bore the shame for us. But now He is on the joyful side of Calvary, where there is no shame (Hebrews 12:2).
3) “Dishonor. “ Here again, along with our shame, He also bore dishonor in our place, upon the cross.
4) “Adversaries” His adversaries are our adversaries—Satan, the demons, and all those who crucified Jesus. Essentially, the Lord was saying to His disciples, “They will hate you; they will try to do the same to you if you are My disciples.” Yet Jesus loved and prayed for those enemies who crucified Him. He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
In verse 21 the Messiah says, “They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” On the cross “they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink” (Matthew 27:34). He refused the vinegar and gall because He knew they were given to Him to help deaden the pain. The Lord Jesus came into the world to suffer, to pay the price in full for our sins, that we might be redeemed and transformed into children of God. As the God-Man He would suffer physically, spiritually, and mentally, to the fullest extent, so that you and I might be saved (Colossians 1:13, 14).
9-4 The Messiah Crucified
This is the Psalm of the Messiah’s crucifixion. It stands alone, and is the very heart of the messianic psalms. This vivid prophecy of the Crucifixion was written a thousand years before the Romans adopted (from the Phoenicians) this inhuman method of executing their criminals. Compare the prophecies of this psalm with the accounts of the Crucifixion in the four Gospels—Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19—and stand amazed at the accuracy of this prophetic picture of the crucifixion of the Messiah.
In verse 1 the Messiah cries, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” when Jesus repeated these words from the cross (Matthew 27:46), it was His hour, the hour that He would be “made…to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). His cry came from the agony of His holy soul. He abhors sin, but loves the sinner so much that, in order that we might be made righteous, He was willing to be made that which He abhors. It is impossible for mere human beings to grasp the full significance of these exceedingly bitter words from the cross. He was brutally disfigured, “more than any man” (Isaiah 52:14). Yet His physical suffering cannot be compared with His spiritual agony, when He took on our sin and thus became separated from His Father. We cannot understand how God the Father could forsake His Son, the God-Man. All we know is that it happened—when God the Son suffered the total penalty of the sins of mankind, crying out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
In verse 6 the Messiah says, “I am a worm, and no man.” The people hated Him so much that they esteemed Him to be little more than a worm, and they treated Him as such. As He hung on the cross, in total agony, that vulgar mob expressed their contempt for Him physically in three kinds of mockery (v. 7):
1) “All those who see Me ridicule Me.”
2) “They shoot out the lip.”
3) “They shake the head” (cf. Matthew 27:39).
In verse 8 the people say of Him, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” They mocked Him on the cross, saying, “If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” The chief priests, scribes, and elders joined the people, saying, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save” (Matthew 27:40-43). The Messiah suffered the insults and contempt of the people in the hour of His crucifixion. No mere human could endure such suffering.
“All my bones are out of joint” (v. 14). The cross was His rack, an instrument of torture. The soldiers stretched Him upon the cross until His bones were out of their sockets. This is greater pain than the average human being can endure; yet Jesus endured it, refusing to take the wine mixed with gall to lessen this excruciating pain. Think of His agony when the cross was raised, then allowed to plunge into the hole in the ground with a sudden jolt. The pain was so intense that the Messiah says in verse 14, “My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me.” His physical strength dried up like a potsherd (a piece of dried, broken earthenware).
Again He says in verse 16, “For dogs have surrounded Me.” The wicked people milled around the cross, howling for His blood, for His death. He continues: “They pierced My hands and My feet.” After His resurrection, Jesus would say to unbelieving Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands” (John 20:24-29). Thomas and the other disciples with him would see our Lord’s nail-pierced hands, and believe in Him as Messiah.
In verse 18 the Messiah says, “They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” This prophecy was fulfilled by the Roman soldiers who nailed Him to the cross and gambled for His seamless tunic (John 19:23, 24).
9-5 The Messiah Resurrected
On the day of Pentecost, Simon Peter, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, preached the crucifixion and resurrection of the Messiah (Acts 2:14-39). Quoting from this messianic psalm, Peter reminded his listeners that David was a prophet: “Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne” (Acts 2:30).
This psalm reveals the Messiah’s hope, born of His perfect knowledge. The Messiah said, “My flesh also will rest in hope” (v. 9; cf. Acts 2:26). His death, burial, and resurrection were not without hope. He expressed His hope in glad expectation. His hope was at the joyful side of Calvary, where He would be seated with the Father (Hebrews 12:2).
His hope was anchored in the knowledge that God the Father would not leave His soul in hell (Hades—the place of departed souls). “Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (v. 10; cf. Acts 2:27): He Also knew that His body of flesh, which would remain three days and three nights in the tomb, would not decay or undergo corruption, , because it was a perfect, sinless, holy body. He knew that the prophecy would be fulfilled when His soul returned to His body, and the Father would raise Him and seat Him at His right hand. There He would remain until He returned to earth, to sit on the throne of David.
Simon Peter concluded his interpretation of this great psalm by pointing his hearers (Acts 2:34-36) to the fact that David could not have been speaking of his own death and burial because his body still lay, decaying, in the tomb. Instead, he spoke of Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead on the third day and is alive forever. Jesus Christ is the resurrected Messiah of Psalm 16.
9-6 The Messiah as High Priest
In this messianic psalm, the prophet David affirms two great doctrines:
1) The deity of the Messiah. David prophesied that after the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah, He would sit at the right hand of the Father. “The Lord [Jehovah] said to my Lord [Adonai], ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool’ ” (v. 1). This is one of the strongest declarations of Christ’s deity in the Bible. God the Father said to God the Son, “Sit at My right hand.” The “LORD” of this verse is Jehovah God; the “Lord” is Adonai God; both are Hebrew names for God. “LORD” (all capitals) always stands for the personal name of God or Jehovah (Yahweh). “Lord” (in upper and lower case) stands for Adonai (“master”). (Without the initial capital letter, “lord” refers merely to a human—or sometimes angelic—leader or aristocrat.) After His resurrection, our High priest, Adonai, sat down with Jehovah on His throne, where He will remain until Jehovah makes His enemies His footstool. Then He will sit upon the throne of David, His father by natural descent, and Jehovah God will say to Him, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom” (Hebrews 1:8).
The first verse of this messianic psalm is quoted or alluded to often in the New Testament, always confirming the deity of the Messiah, seated at the right hand of the Father:
At the Father’s right hand,
a) He is David’s Son by natural descent (Romans 1:3), but David’s God because of His eternal and divine origin (Matthew 22:41-46).
b) He is both God and Messiah (Acts 2:34-36).
c) He stood to welcome home Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 7:55).
d) He intercedes for all believers as Messiah-Priest (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 9:24¬26).
e) He is exalted above all authority (Ephesians 1:19-23).
f) He is greater than angels (Hebrews 1:4-13).
g) He made atonement for all the sins of all believers as our High Priest (Hebrews 10:11-14). After he offered one sacrifice for sin—Himself—He ascended into heaven to sprinkle His blood upon the mercy seat.
h) He found eternal joy after Calvary (Hebrews 12:2). All believers can have joy now (1 John 1:4). But when we see Him in our glorified bodies, we too will share His perfect eternal joy (1 John 3:2).
i) The whole host of heaven is subject to Him (1 Peter 3:22).
2) The priesthood of the Messiah. “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’ ” (v. 4). Christ is the Messiah-Priest, ordained not by man, but by the oath of Jehovah God, who consecrated Him, saying, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” And Jehovah is not a man that He should repent, i.e., change His mind (Numbers 23:19). He is immutable, that is, He does not change (Hebrews 13:8). The Messiah-Priest of this messianic psalm has no successor; His priesthood is eternally unique.
Melchizedek is mentioned only twice in the Old Testament, here and in Genesis 14. He was a mysterious priest and king who went out to meet Abraham when the latter returned from battle after rescuing Lot (Genesis 14:17-20).
As a king-priest, Melchizedek is a type of Christ who is our eternal King-Priest (Hebrews 7:17). As priest, he brought bread and wine to Abraham and then received tithes from him. In the New Testament our High Priest who is “a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek,” served bread and wine to His disciples, instituting the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-30).
9-7 The Messiah as King of Kings
In this messianic psalm, Jehovah comes to the end of His patience skit mankind. In the end time, ungodly philosophies will penetrate and permeate the hearts of kings, rulers, and most of the world’s population. The psalm takes us through the Great Tribulation, up to the millennial throne of the Messiah, King of kings (Matthew 25:31 – 46).
The first two verses of this prophetic psalm were fulfilled at the crucifixion of Christ (Acts 4:23-29). The fulfillment of the remaining verses began at Calvary when the leaders of nations and religions continued to cry, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us” (v. 3). This call to rebellion will continue until the Lord Jesus Christ sits upon the throne of David: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion” (v. 6; cf. Isaiah 9:6, 7). When Jesus comes He will crush the ungodly nations: “You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (v. 9; cf. Revelation 19:11-16). Christ is not yet upon the holy hill of Zion. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. He promised, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).
The psalmist asked a twofold question:
1) “Why do the nations rage?” (v. 1). Why do the nations act in an insane manner, in uncontrolled anger, against God and His Anointed (Messiah, Christ)?
2) “And the people plot a vain thing?” (v. 1). They will be convinced that they no longer need God. Today, much of the world has already reached this stage of delusion. The rulers, with their humanistic or atheistic convictions, will lead the people to believe that they will solve all the world’s problems, that there will be no more hunger and that they will control the population growth. The people will not have the hope of eternal life in Christ. They will be persuaded that, sometime in the future, science will be able to extend life indefinitely. The great leaders of the world will convene a council to plot their strategy against Jehovah and against His Messiah. They will say, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us” (v. 3). They will refuse to recognize any of God’s holy laws, and will revert to the corruption and violence that existed in the days of Noah. They will become totally corrupt (Matthew 24:36-39; cf. Genesis 6:1-7). According to Isaiah, God pronounces certain woes upon the wicked—the secular humanists—and their philosophies: “Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity” (Isaiah 5:18). They will break the cords of God that bind the sacrifice to the altar (Psalm 118:27(, braiding cords of vanity, with which they will attempt to lift themselves above God.
This is God’s response (vv. 4-9):
1) He laughs: it is the laughter of ridicule and derision. “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh” (v. 4).
2) He speaks: “Then He shall speak to them in His wrath” (v. 5). It is in derision that He laughs at them, but it is in wrath that He speaks. God is a God of love, but His holiness demands the punishment of sin.
3) He agitates them: “Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress [agitate] them in His deep displeasure” (v. 5). Some may be shocked to imagine God laughing at them in derision, speaking to them in His anger, and agitating them in His displeasure. Yet this happened when Pharaoh’s army pursued Israel. When they came to the Red Sea, God parted the waters and Israel marched through on dry land. Pharaoh sent his army after them. When the army reached the middle of the sea, with walls of water on either side, the Scriptures record that God “took off their chariot wheels.” He distressed them, He confused them, He made them realize that they were fighting against Almighty God. Then He brought the walls of water down to destroy them (Exodus 14:24, 25).
4) He places the Messiah on the throne of David: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion” (v. 6; cf. Isaiah 9:6, 7).
5) He decrees: “I will declare the decree” (v. 7; cf. Daniel 4:24).
a) “You are My Son” (v. 7). God’s Son is the Messiah-King (Acts 13:33).
b) “Today I have begotten You” (v. 7; cf. Hebrews 1:5). Jesus the Messiah, as God’s only begotten Son, is officially recognized as such (John 1:14).
c) “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession” (v. 8). The Messiah, the King of kings, will rule and reign forever over this world kingdom. The thousand-year reign will be the beginning (Revelation 20:4). After the thousand years, Christ will continue to rule with His bride forever in the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1-8).
d) He will rule the nations with a scepter of righteousness (Hebrews 1:8), breaking the ungodly with His rod of iron (Revelation 19:15, 16).
Now we come to the conclusion of this great messianic psalm (vv. 10-12,). God in His mercy and love makes one great final appeal to the wise and the rulers of this world—that they repent and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord of lords and King of kings. “Be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth” (v. 10). This is God’s call of grace. He called upon them to “serve the Lord with fear [reverence], and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son,” in love and worship, “lest He be angry” (vv. 11, 12). It is impossible to worship God without loving “the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37; cf. Deuteronomy 6:5).
This psalm closes with these words: Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (v.12). This free offer of salvation is still extended to the unsaved.
Master Outline 9 – Messianic Psalms
 Is the verse, “You search the Scripture for in them you think you have eternal life, and these are they which testify of me, “a statement or a command?
 Who is the theme of the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi?
 What did Jesus mean when He said, “Do you think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets? I did not come to destroy, but fulfill?”
 In what seven (7) ways do we see the Messiah illustrated in the Psalms?
 How does David’s exaltation of Psalms 8:1 correlate with Philippians 2:9-11?
 How does the children’s proclamation of Matthew 21:15 tie in with Psalms 8?
 Who rejected the Chief Cornerstone?
 What nation was Jesus referring to in Matthew 21:43 when He said, “The kingdom of God will be given to a nation bearing fruit of it?”
 The New Testament Church is a ______________ _________________ ________________
_________________ ________________________. (Study Eph. 2:19-22)
 What will happen to national Israel the second time Christ comes?
 When Christ returns the second time, He will be a what To the ungodly nations.
 What do Psalms 22 and 69 have in common?
 Two half-brothers of Jesus who didn’t accept Jesus prior to His death after His resurrection believed and wrote New Testament Epistles? Name them.
 What’s the Messianic significance of Psalms 69:9?
 What four (4) words in Psalms 69:19 express the contempt poured out on Jesus?
 How was Psalms 69:21 fulfilled in Jesus’ life?
 This vivid prophecy in Psalms 22 was written how many years before the Romans adopted the inhuman method of crucifixion for executing criminals?
 What four (4) chapters in the Gospels compare with the description given in Psalms 22?
 What is the significance of Psalms 22:1?
 What were the three (3) ways the vulgar mob expressed their contempt for Jesus?
 Who were the dogs spoken of in Psalms 22:16 with respect of Jesus?
 What prophetic significance does Psalms 22:18 have?
 What does the statement, “Nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption” mean concerning Jesus?
 Explain the prophetic meaning of Psalms 110:1.
 Explain the Hebrew meaning of “Jehovah” verses “Adonai.”
 What are two (2) great doctrines affirmed by Psalms 110?
 Explain the meaning of Psalms 110:4.
 When were the first two verses of Psalms 2 fulfilled?
 What are the two (2) great questions of Psalms 2?
 What is God’s answer to these questions? (List 4 items)
 How did God “distress” Pharaoh’s army?
 What will be God’s decree that he will declare? (List 4 items)
 Explain God’s call of grace in Psalms 2.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM.