Psalm 110 – The Song on Jesus’ Heart

Intro: Some of my lessons are long time in the making. Thoughts that linger for a while.

  • What was Jesus thinking about in the last week of His life? Considering what He knew, what was on his heart?
  • One answer might be that there was a song on his heart. Have you ever thought that the words of a song were especially applicable to your current experience? The words keep coming back to you.
  • Let me suggest that if there was a song that Jesus was singing to Himself in that last week, it may have been the 110th Psalm, a Psalm of David.

Read Psalm 110 (HSCB)

Consider the significance of Psalm 110. Out of the 150 recorded Psalms in the OT, this one may be considered the most theologically significant one.

  • Psalm 110 is the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament.
  • We have direct quotes in Matt. 22:44, Mk. 12:36, Luke 20:42-43, Acts 2: 33-34, and Heb. 1:13.
  • We have indirect references to it, saying “It is written,” in Matt. 26:64; Luke 22:69; 1 Cor. 15:25; and Heb. 5:6, 7:17, 21.
  • Allusions and direct comparison of the text can be found in Mark 14:62; 16:19; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3; 5:6; 8:1; 10:12-13
  • There is even some scholarship that suggests the book of Hebrews is a sermon letter based on Psalm 110.
  • It is been called David’s creed, the Christian’s confession of hope.

That is one way to assess the significance and place of this Psalm. Another, maybe more decisive way, is to consider who the Lord utilized the words and thoughts of this Psalm as He contemplated His mission and made His way to Calvary.

  1. Sealed His fate with a Song. One writer said it this way – Jesus sealed His fate with a Song. That song was the 110th Psalm.
  2. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a Sunday atop a young donkey and stirred up the messianic hopes of the whole city. They welcomed Him as their long anticipated King – “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ (Matt 21:9)
  3. Then Monday He made His way to the Temple, and drove out the money-changers, calling this Holy Place, His Father’s house. He refused to silence the children’s voices as they cried out “Hosanna to the Son of David”.
  4. The expectant words of the Messiah’s song was being played all around town, and there was no turning back. Jesus confirmed it on Tuesday. Each hour he was drawing nearer to His appointment with betrayal, suffering, and death. In three days He would be executed. Yet on the inside Jesus was rehearsing the words of the song that would sustain Him. He was living out the ancient Script with every act of faith. On Tuesday, it was the words of this song that he used to stump and silence the brightest and most influential minds of His day. They understood the tune he was singing, and for that they sought to kill him.
  5. David called him Lord –Among the religious scholars of the day, the simple words of Psalm 110 was among the greatest riddles of scripture. But the words were not ambiguous or obscure to Jesus – the One of whom they spoke.
  6. On that Tuesday, Jesus strode unafraid into the den of His enemies and held His ground. When they questioned his authority, he answered with three parables (Matthew 21:28–22:14). When they ran out of trick questions and were afraid to ask him anything else, He challenged them with a question of His own. He unsheathed Psalm 110 and turned the tables on them.
  • Matt 22:41-45Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: 44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”‘? 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”
    • How could the younger be greater than the older? Unless . . . but the dialogue was done. “No one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions” (Matthew 22:46).

III. At God’s Right Hand – Jesus would not leave Psalm 110 behind on Tuesday. Later that week he was standing trial late Thursday before the high priest. Said nothing as they gathered false witnesses and espouses trumped-up charges against Him. (Matthew 26:59–63). Finally, the high priest erupted, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” How would Jesus respond? What words would He choose to make known His identity, and in essence, seal His fate? Jesus combined Psalm 110 with the prophecy of Daniel 7:13:

  • You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy.” (Matthew 26:64–65)
  1. Jesus condemnation by His own people was predicated on the words of a song that rang in the hearts of many of God’s people. These words of David emerged from Jesus’ lips as a both a proclamation of coming judgment and a herald of fulfilled Jesus was the One who would sit at the right hand of God.
  2. The Refrain in Apostolic Preaching – On the other side of the grave, his apostles would follow their pioneer and unleash David’s greatest oracle.
  • Peter preached Psalm 110 at Pentecost -Acts 2:33-3633 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”‘ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
    • and before high priest – Acts 5:29-32– But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
  • Stephen’s last words echoed Psalm 110Acts 7:55-56 – But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
  • Paul stepped onto that same holy ground (as he preached the message to the Gentiles Rom 8:34- 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
  • Ephesians 1:19-20 – 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. Colossians 3:1– where Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.
  • And what do we say of Hebrews, which has Psalm 110 at its very heart, and referenced eight times?
  1. The great riddle of David’s prophecy gave way to one of the new covenant’s great revelations. We might even summarize the message of the New Testament like this: Psalm 110 has come true. Jesus is not only of David’s line but also his Lord, now seated at the Father’s right hand. But before the great oracle fed the faith of the church, these words nourished the faith of Jesus himself.
  2. Nine Great Promises- What did Christ hear as he rehearsed Psalm 110 during the week of his passion? How did David’s great oracle give hope to David’s greater son?
  3. Jesus would have tasted at least nine promises of his Father’s provision in these seven short verses. The first is implicit: “until I make your enemies your footstool” (Psalm 110:1). God will do it; he will see to the victory. Then eight explicit promises follow, seen in the eight repetitions of will (in our English). How would these faith-feeding pledges have landed on Jesus as he stared down death and listened again and again to the Psalm?
  • Verse 1: I will both defeat your enemies and put them under your feet, for your everlasting joy.
  • Verse 3: I will work in your people’s hearts to follow you gladly, not begrudgingly.
  • Verse 3: I will refresh you continually, not leave you languishing.
  • Verse 4: I am God and will not change my mind.
  • Verse 5: I will defeat leaders who oppose you.
  • Verse 6: I will repay unbelievers who threaten you.
  • Verse 6: I will destroy those who mean harm against you.
  • Verse 7: I will give you all you need to endure.
  • Verse 7: I will preserve you in what is coming upon you.
  1. His Father’s Right Hand- As Jesus sings verse 1, he remembers who he is to his Father: his right-hand man. How emboldening to walk into that holy week knowing himself more than “son of David,” and even more than “lord of David.” He pursues Calvary’s arduous path knowing something greater still: he is the Son of his Father, who will welcome him to his right hand.
  • What is the deepest meaning of Jesus being at his Father’s right hand? This: the very power of God Almighty is for him. With unassailable sovereign muscle, the Father will execute perfect justice, in his perfect timing, for every uncovered detractor of his Son — all the way to the top, to “shatter kings” and “shatter chiefs” (Psalm 110:5–6). Weak and vulnerable as this Lamb may look before his shearers, he has been sent by his Father, with a mighty scepter in his hand, to rule, even from the cross, in the midst of his enemies (Psalm 110:2).

What does this Psalm teach Us? – 6 revelations

1- Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. This refers to His exaltation and enthronement. The significance of this verse is seen in the fact that it is mentioned approximately twenty times in the New Testament.

2- His power, His authority, His scepter. He is the exalted One, the enthroned One, the Victor, and the One who has the scepter. The rod is in His hand (v. 2).

3- the victory of Christ. He has won the victory, and He is going to win many more victories. The fact that God has promised to make all His enemies His footstool is an aspect of His victory.

4- The fourth point is that Christ is still fighting, and He will fight to the end. In verse 3 we have this phrase: “In the day of thy power.” The word “power” in this phrase has another meaning. The margin of the American Standard Version says, “in the day of thy army,” and the Goodspeed translation has “on your day of war.” It is not only the day of His power, but also the day of His fighting. God’s people will fight for His cause (not physical warfare with physical weapons

5- The fifth point is that He is today the Priest. He is the King, He is the Warrior, and He is also the Priest. He is a Priest according to the order of Melchizedek, not according to the law of a carnal commandment, but in the power of an endless life (Heb. 7:16).

The sixth point is that He will eventually return to judge all nations.