The Proverbs Messiah

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The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

Proverbs 8:23 KJV

The entire first proverb focuses on the persona of wisdom. From the very beginning of the story in the Bible, God has been wanting us to choose His wisdom instead of seeking to gain it for ourselves. Adam and Eve were the first to fail in that choice by laying hold of the fruit in order to gain wisdom for themselves, apart from God. The results were devastating. Proverbs one reinforces that notion once again. Contained within the choice of God’s wisdom as compared to worldly wisdom, is also the choice of following Jesus or rejecting Him. You see, God’s wisdom is not just a concept. Jesus is God’s wisdom.

…but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:24 NIV

The Messiah is so much more than a person. He’s the embodiment of God’s wisdom. The way He lives…the way He loves…the choices He makes…everything about Him…contains the wisdom of God. We can reject the Messiah and try to lay hold of wisdom ourselves, but it will destroy us in the end. Or we can choose Jesus, and follow in His example, and that way is life. Need further evidence of the connection?

By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place…

Proverbs 3:19 NIV

Here, wisdom is the source of God’s creative genius. No surprise there. But couple this passage with one out of the first chapter in Colossians and the meaning explodes with importance.

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Colossians 1:15-16 ESV

Jesus created everything. God’s wisdom is the way to life because it is the source of life and so is Jesus our Messiah.

When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Colossians 3:4 NKJV

Peace in Christ brothers and sisters!

The Messiah of Psalm 118

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Often regarded as the center chapter of the Bible, Psalm 118 contains multiple prophecies regarding the Messiah. This psalm is beautiful and it paints a glorious picture of the future hope the Messiah brings. From verses 17 through 26 God addresses His chosen nation. The Messiah will be sent to Israel, be rejected, but while the temple still stands, He will be presented and His death will only be temporary. Below are three prophecies and how they played out many years later in Jesus of Nazareth.

  1. Death is not the end for the Messiah (Psalm 118:17)
    • In Luke 24 the tomb of Jesus is found to be empty. Not only that but there is an angel watching over it declaring that Jesus is risen. He says, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Jesus met with hundreds of people after He had risen from the grave. Death was not the end for Him.
    • “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:20 ESV
  2. The Messiah is the rejected Chief Cornerstone (Psalm 118:22-23)
    • Jesus told several parables or stories about how the religious authorities of the time would reject Him. And most did. The parable about the landowner in Matthew 21 was particularly concise at building this theme. His time here on earth, Jesus was met by constant criticism and hostility by the religious authority.
    • “For it stands in Scripture: Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 1 Peter 2:6-8 ESV
  3. The “Blessed One” of the Lord will be presented to Israel while the Temple stands (Psalm 118:26)
    • Multitudes sang praises about Jesus as He entered Jerusalem as being the Blessed one of God. Check out Matthew 21. Not long after this, Jesus enters the Temple to cleanse it from the profane acts being done there. Not long after, the vail would be torn and the Temple period would come to a quick close. But the Temple still had to be there. Let’s not forget that Israel was without a Temple for a long time until Herod rebuilt it just in time for Jesus’ arrival on planet earth. If the Messiah had come at any other time, these three prophecies couldn’t have worked. They could only come true in Jesus.

This concludes our walk through the book of Psalms. There are so many other Psalms we could look at. Here are some that were not included if you’d like to give them a read for further study: Psalm 78:1-2, 80:17, all of 88, 89:27 and 35-37, 90:2, 91:11-12, 129:3, and 147:2-6. We’ll conclude phase II of this study by looking at a couple of the Proverbs. Stay tuned! God bless brothers and sisters.

The Messiah of Psalm 72

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The entire gospel message surrounding the life of the Messiah is presented in Psalm 72. From the birth of Jesus to His death, and ending with His exaltation and the impact on those who believe…it’s all there. Some of it is symbolism and other passages are quite clear. I’m going to divide up the three phases in a table below and put them with their New Testament counterparts. As always, I would encourage a full contextual reading of all of the passages below.

Theme Psalm 72 New Testament Meaning
The birth of the Messiah May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!

(verses 10-11)

Matthew 2:1-11 When Jesus was born, kings from all of the known world came to visit Him and bring Him gifts.
The death of the Messiah May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field!

(verse 16)

John 12:23-25

John 1:12-13

The grain in this passage is a symbol that Jesus used to reference Himself. When the “grain” dies or is harvested, it produces an abundance in the land. That abundance causes people to blossom or come to life.
The exaltation of the Messiah May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!

(verse 17)

Galatians 3:8

John 12:13

Revelation 5:8-12

The name of Jesus lives on forever and those who live in and believe in Him are blessed in the best possible way. 

In addition to all of these passages, the Psalm opens up with an address to God about His Royal Son. He is declared to be one who brings justice and care for the needy. The Son will uphold the cause of the oppressed and declare the righteousness of God. Any reading of the New Testament shows the life of Jesus did just that. Praise God for His Royal Son!

The Messiah in Psalm 69

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So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

John 18:11 NASB

For those who love Jesus, Psalm 69 is a grim reminder of what the Messiah had to endure. This psalm reflects the anguish of the Messiah, from several angles. He would be hated without cause (verse 4), was a stranger among His own siblings, endured tremendous pain leading up to and during his crucifixion (verses 14-20), obviously sorrowful (verse 20), and thirsted while hanging on the cross (verse 21). Just look at how this psalm opens up:

I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me.

Psalm 69:2 NASB

It’s pretty apparent the distress that the Messiah would have to endure. When we parallel it with several New Testament passages we see how Jesus experienced precisely what Psalm 69 is talking about. In John chapters one and seven we’re told how Jesus was not received by his own. This refers to both the nation of Israel and His own siblings. Eventually many would come to recognize Him for who He was. But not initially. To be constantly mocked, criticized, and followed by mostly two-faced “friends” would be emotionally draining, to say the least. Matthew 26 describes Jesus’ experience in the Garden of Gethsemane in the early morning hours before His crucifixion. He is literally sweating blood and prays that His soul is exceedingly sorrowful.  He’s about to face the most excruciating death sentence. He lived a perfect and sinless life, was constantly misunderstood, and then put through a sham trial and tortured to death even though he was guiltless.

Reproach has broken my heart and I am so sick.
And I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
And for comforters, but I found none.
They also gave me gall for my food
And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Psalm 69:20-21 NASB

Matthew 27 tells us that one of the soldiers gave him some vinegar wine to ease His thirst. But it could not ease His suffering. While hanging on the cross, Jesus faced jeers from the crowds. No one stepped in to provide Him comfort. How could they? His hands and feet had nails driven through them. His lungs were filling with blood. His shoulders were dislocated. His body was riddled with gashes from the whip. His forehead was pierced with a crown of thorns. If the pain weren’t enough, the crowds offered Him insult after insult.

But I am afflicted and in pain;
May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high.
I will praise the name of God with song
And magnify Him with thanksgiving.
And it will please the Lord better than an ox
Or a young bull with horns and hoofs.
The humble have seen it and are glad;
You who seek God, let your heart revive.
For the Lord hears the needy
And does not despise His who are prisoners.

Psalm 69:29-33 NASB

The Psalm closes in praise. The purpose of God was to work salvation through the Messiah. Three days after Jesus died on that cross, He rose from the dead. Salvation for all who believe was achieved. And when Jesus rose to heaven, He was placed at the right hand of God to be the name above all other names. The story of the Messiah is that which shows the heart of God in pursuit of His creation. Those in captivity can be freed. Those in sinful bondage can be loosed. Those in depression can have their hearts revived. All because our Messiah endured the heartbreaking hardship on our behalf. Praise Jesus! The next time you read Psalm 69, take the time to appreciate what our Messiah has done and what He had to walk through.

The Messiah of Psalm 35

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This is our third Messianic post from the book of Psalms. So far we’ve covered Psalm 2 and 22. As we skip around, I want to be sure to point out some of the other Psalms that we are jumping over in case you’d like to do some more exploration on your own. It’s so fascinating! Today we enter the 35th Psalm. For your interest, there are some prophecies that appear in Psalms 23, 24, 30, and 31 as well. They are super rich with themes like words Jesus spoke while on the cross (to continue our crucifixion theme from last time), the resurrection, and the sinless life of Jesus. They even talk about how Jesus was a reproach among His neighbors and many plotted to put Him to death. But for today, let’s journey to the night, or early morning I should say before Jesus was crucified.

Psalm 35 mentions that false witnesses will one day rise up to testify against the Messiah. They will bring a barrage of lies with ill motives, solely based off of their own fears and pride.

Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about.

(verse 11 NIV)

Indeed those who spoke up in those early twilight hours were of wicked intentions, ruthless bent on the death of Jesus…and innocent man. Of course, the Messiah would know nothing about the events of the testimony because they were all made up. But the Messiah would have known the intents of their hearts. In Matthew chapter 27 it says that the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin looked for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death but they couldn’t find any. It was a crooked, rig trial from the beginning.

They repay me evil for good and leave me like one bereaved.

(verse 12 NIV)

All Jesus had done in His life was for good. He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry, freed those in spiritual bondage, and taught the world to love as it always should have. Instead, He is treated as a criminal.

Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye.

(verse 19 NIV)

In the prayer of Psalm 35, there’s a plea for victory…a victory that actually came. Those who conspired against the Messiah would have a short-lived win. The persecution and death of the Messiah were only temporary. When Jesus rose from the dead three days later, those who winked their eye in malicious intent would now turn the eyes away in shame or in repentance. God glorified His sinless Messiah.

If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you. When that happens, remember this: Servants don’t get better treatment than their masters. If they beat on me, they will certainly beat on you. If they did what I told them, they will do what you tell them. They are going to do all these things to you because of the way they treated me, because they don’t know the One who sent me. If I hadn’t come and told them all this in plain language, it wouldn’t be so bad. As it is, they have no excuse. Hate me, hate my Father—it’s all the same. If I hadn’t done what I have done among them, works no one has ever done, they wouldn’t be to blame. But they saw the God-signs and hated anyway, both me and my Father. Interesting—they have verified the truth of their own Scriptures where it is written, ‘They hated me for no good reason.’

John 15:18-25 The Message

If you ever find yourself misunderstood or even hated, know that your Messiah knows your pain. He felt it too. A world that does not know God struggles to embrace the love of God. It should never stop us from laying down our lives for those around us, just like it never deterred Jesus. The love of the Messiah is not conditional upon how it is received. His heart was still full of love for those who lied about Him, who spit on Him, and who eventually yelled out for His blood to be spilled. Our sin demanded a sacrifice and His love compelled Him to be that sacrifice on our behalf.

Peace in Christ brothers and sisters!

The Messiah of Psalm 22

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We are continuing our journey through the book of Psalms, picking out several of which God used to reveal who the Messiah was for future generations…for you and me. In the last post I used Psalm 2 so we are skipping quite a few. We will have to do that as we move through the book. There are some great prophecies in Psalm 8, 9, 16, and 18 if you’d like to grab a cup of coffee, your Bible, and have a read. But for today, let’s dive into Psalm 22.

This psalm is unique in the sense that it highlights, in a lot of depth, one specific event in the life of the Messiah…the crucifixion. There are actually 17 specific verses that point to 13 connections to the crucifixion. For simplicity sake, I created a table below that show the side by side comparison between the verses of Psalm 22 and verses in the New Testament, along with a brief explanation of what connects them.

Connection Psalm 22 New Testament
The Messiah was forsaken for our sins Verse 1 Matthew 27:46

2 Corinthians 5:21

The Messiah cried out in darkness, just as He did when darkness fell upon the earth for 3 hours. Verse 2 Matthew 27:45
Those who looked upon the Messiah ridiculed Him. Verse 7 Matthew 27:39-44
They mocked Him by saying let God save Him. Verse 8 Matthew 27:43
The Messiah is born the Savior, connected with God from birth. Verses 9-10 Luke 2:7-12
They sought His death from birth and throughout His ministry. Verses 12-13 Matthew 2:13, 21:46, 26:3-4, 27:23
The blood from His side was accompanied by water when He was stabbed with the spear. Verse 14 John 19:34
The Messiah suffered on the cross. Verses 14-15 Mark 15:34-37
Jesus thirsted while on the cross. Verse 15 John 19:34
They pierced His hands and feet. Verse 16 John 19:34-37, 20:27
They stripped Him before everyone who looked on Him. Verses 17-18 Luke 23:34-35
They cast lots over Him. Verse 18 John 19:23-24
Jesus declared His Father, once He was resurrected, to His disciples while they were assembled. Verse 22 John 20:17

It’s absolutely astounding how much this Psalm overlaps with the New Testament accounts of Jesus. For many who had the Old Testament memorized, it must have been a very eye-opening experience after Jesus was crucified. What was maybe even more incredible is that so many people struggled to see that the Messiah would have to suffer and die. I guess it’s evidence that we only see what we want to see, no matter how convincing the evidence is. I’m sure that Jesus would have had the words of Psalm 22 running through His mind as He reminded His followers of what was ahead of Him. I can’t imagine choosing to endure something like this, especially when you didn’t have to. But thankfully Jesus did. For all of us.

Peace in Christ brothers and sisters! It came at such a great price.

 

The Messiah of Psalm Two

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The Psalms were songs of praise, repentance, remorse, and promise. They proclaim so much about who God is and who were are. The Psalms are also very rich in prophecy. Most breakdowns of the Bible do not have the Psalms grouped with books of prophecy, but few books of the Bible have nearly as much detailed messages for identifying the Messiah. Perhaps the only books that do rival the Psalms in this area would be Genesis and Isaiah. Maybe that’s not a fair statement since Jesus Himself proclaimed that the entirety of the Book is about Him. However, in my studies of prophetic messages about the Messiah, I’ve come across 28 different psalms that point to the coming Savior. Most of those 28 psalms contain multiple Messianic messages for us to interpret. Because my studying and knowledge are limited, and the scriptures are vast, I am fully aware that I have missed so many Messianic prophecies contained in this wonderful book.

Today we are beginning part two of the Messiah Series by looking at the Psalms and Proverbs. Over the next couple of months, we’re going to go through these beautiful songs and look at probably six to eight in detail. For the first one, I’ve chosen the second psalm. This psalm gives a very broad picture of the Messiah, from who his character to his crucifixion. Below, I will break down seven specific connection between the promised Messiah in this song and the revealed Messiah in the New Testament.

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 2 ESV

We have an advantage with the beginning of this Psalm because it is directly quoted in the New Testament by the disciples of Jesus. As the believers prayed for boldness they quoted from the Psalm and followed it up with this:

…for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

Act 4:27-28 ESV

A mixed group rose up to persecute Jesus. The nations were truly represented through the Jews and the Gentiles gathered in Jerusalem. Among them were two rulers, Pilate and Herod, both of whom plotted and discussed what to do with Jesus. Both rulers played a role in His destiny.

Also contained in the first three verses is a title. The Messiah/Christ means anointed.  In multiple places, Jesus is described with the same title. Peter said it in his sermon discourse to the people of Jerusalem on Pentecost:

Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”    Acts 2:36 ESV

Simon’s brother, Andrew, first introduced him to Jesus by calling Him by that very name:

One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.  He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).   John 1:41 ESV

Here are five more New Testaments connections back to the language of the Messiah in Psalm two:

#1- The Wisemen called Jesus the King.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2 ESV

#2- God proclaims Jesus to be the Beloved Son at His baptism.

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17 ESV

#3- Jesus again to declared the Son.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the fleshand was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord…  Romans 1:1-4 ESV

#4- In Paul’s recount of the crucifixion and resurrection in fulfillment he draws off of the second Psalm.

And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead,and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people.And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers,this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’   

Acts 13:29-33 ESV

#5- And finally, life comes through Jesus, the Son, the Messiah, God in the flesh. To kiss the Son brings life.

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.   

John 20:30-31 ESV

Praise God for the life-giving Messiah!