Psalm 110:4 ‘Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’
This Week’s Focus Passage: Psalm 110:4
‘Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’
We begin our comments on this week’s focus passage employing a quote from a Baptist preacher, born in Great Britain in the middle of the eighteenth century in the home of his maternal grandfather, who was at the time, a vicar in the Church of England. The quotation alluded to is taken from this man’s comments on the Psalms, particularly the comments upon this psalm, the one hundred and tenth. May this inclusion bless the reader.
“The subject matter of this Psalm concerns the exaltation to and session of our Lord Jesus Christ on the right hand of the Majesty on high. The welcome he met with from the divine Father when he entered into heaven, and was seated on his mediatorial throne; of the glorious fruits of it; the sending forth the gospel; the pouring out of the Spirit; the rule and reign of Christ in the midst of his enemies; the conquest made by his royal grace and power in the souls of men who were made willing in the day of his power, and came into the kingdom of Christ, in a most triumphant manner; Jehovah’s enthroning Christ in his kingdom and priesthood, confirming the same by the oath of the covenant, saying, Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
An account is given of the complete conquests of Christ over his enemies; and of his glorious triumph and elevation of mind in all this.”
Of all the verses in the Older Testament, that one which is most frequently quoted in the Newer Testament, is the first verse of this our Psalm, the one hundred and tenth. That blessed first verse is one of the most amazing statement of Scripture, and no wonder at all that it should be the one most cited in our Newer Testament. There is a glorious exchange; a dialogue, between Jesus and a number of Pharisees that had gathered together around our Savior; unto whom Jesus posed this question: ‘What think ye of the Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.’ This question from the lips of Jesus to these religious leaders of the Jews, directly inquires of these men, not ‘what think ye of Jesus of Nazareth?’, but what think ye of the Christ?’ What think ye of the Messiah? You see, Christ is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew word, Messiah. What think ye of the Messiah? Remember the words of the Jews in their professed wonderment over who this man, Jesus, was? In John 7:40-42, we witness their questioning among themselves;
Some of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words [of Christ], said, This is of a truth the prophet. Others said, this is the Christ. But some said, What, doth the Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the Scripture said that the Christ cometh of the seed of David, and from Beth-lehem, the village where David was?
So that they acknowledged from ‘their own Scriptures’ that the Son of David was surely the Messiah; the Christ; the Anointed One. Jesus’ teaching in the gospels was consistent, of course, with those Scriptures, as He cited Psalm 110 in proof of that fact. In addition to the gospels, Peter, in his first sermon after Pentecost, also referred to this precious Psalm, and its perfect truth, and adding his interpretation, in saying:
Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.—Acts 2:36.
Peter has pronounced this blessed truth, that God has made ‘this Jesus whom ye crucified’ both Lord (Kurion) and Christ (Christon, Anointed, or Messiah). Jehovah saith unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
“In this Psalm, David is making a distinction between JHWH (Jehovah) and Adonai. YHWH, then, is addressing David’s Adonai, or, if one prefers, God is speaking to the Mediator. He is promising the Mediator such pre-eminence, power, authority, and majesty as would be proper only for One who, as to His person, from all eternity was, is now, and forever will be God.”—William Hendriksen; comm. on Matthew.
This would certainly seem to underscore the Word of God elsewhere when we are taught that Jesus, the Christ, is our All in All. Yea, Paul himself has told us, speaking of Christ, in Ephesians 1:20-23, when he penned these marvelous words:
He wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
Given every name that is named, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. Jesus has been given many names and titles. King of kings, Lord of lords. He is the Alpha and the Omega; He is all in all to His body, the church. Our Psalm, a psalm of David, informs us in the fourth verse, of that office and title given Him by Jehovah:
Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Adding to all His other titles, that He is Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Yea, He is our Great High Priest. He was the One offering at Golgotha, as well as the Offering itself; the Lamb of God. And as our Great High Priest, He is our Intercessor, One who mediates on our behalf; John uses an appropriate term for this when he has spoken of Jesus as our Advocate. That is what an advocate does, he intercedes, mediates, advocates between parties. The Holy Spirit has employed the prophet, Ezekiel, to give us something of an illustration of this Intercessor; this Mediator; this Advocate. In Ezekiel, chapter twenty-two, we may read verses 30-31:
And I sought for a man among them, that should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought upon their heads, saith the Lord Jehovah.
These of whom the prophet has spoken, or rather, of whom Jehovah has spoken through the prophet, Ezekiel, perished because there was no one among them to stand in the gap for them. There was no one to intercede for them; none to mediate for them: they had no Advocate: therefore they perished. The prophet said; God said,
that He brought their own way upon their heads. But all praise be unto our God, for He found a Man to stand in the gap. He sent a Man to stand in the gap for his people. He sent a God-man, Jesus Christ, and He laid the sins of His people upon Him.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Praise God for our Great High Priest; praise God for the Lamb of God. All praise !!
The Root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:10) has produced the righteous Branch of David (Jer. 23:5), and through Zechariah (6:12-13) we learn that the man, whose name is the Branch, shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. The apostle may say, Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
David Farmer, elder
Fellowship Bible Church
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