I said last Sunday afternoon that among the many types of Christ in the Old Testament two men make particularly important statements about the Lord. And I want to capitalize that word LORD, because the lesson I am trying to emphasize is this – Jesus Christ is the sovereign King over all things both by His divine nature AND through the covenant between the Father and the Son. In Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, with the Father’s approval proved by the resurrection, Jesus has been made Lord in a special way which did not exist earlier. “There was given him dominion, and glory and a kingdom” – Daniel 7:14. Christ “is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” – I Peter 3:22. The God Man has authority and Lordship which is different from being simply – God. AFTER Christ “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross… God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” He was exalted and given a name which He didn’t have before. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” These and other scriptures declare that this particular Lordship belongs to Christ as a result of what He accomplished on the cross.
As we saw last week, Adam depicts Christ’s Lordship in that both are heads or fathers of their own people. But Adam gave death to all of his children, while Christ gives life to all of His people. Theologians speak of federal headship in both the first Adam and the last Adam – Christ Jesus.
Well, now we come to the second great type of Christ – David, the King of his particular people. In other words, Adam did not exhaust all that God had to say about Christ’s Lordship. In order to explain more to us about Christ, the Holy Spirit adds a new dimension in David. In the Mediatorial Lordship of Christ we see not only the dominion of the last Adam, but also the reign of the Son of David.
Early in the Book of Acts, the Apostle Peter recognized Christ’s Davidic Lordship.
In his surprising preaching on the Day of Pentecost, we hear of Christ’s exaltation in three ways – resurrection, ascension and glorification. Verse 29 – “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.” But David was a prophet declaring that God “would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ……… This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
David’s throne and its fulfillment in Christ’s glorification was an emphasis in Peter’s sermon. The point was not that Jesus would some day occupy David’s throne far off in the distant future. Christ is Lord AT THIS MOMENT; He has authority and power to do whatever He chooses, as the miracles of that Pentecost proved. Peter cited several Old Testament scriptures declaring that they had been recently fulfilled in Christ.
The Old Testament prophesied the Lordship of Christ.
These prophecies began in the Book of Genesis, and we will start with Genesis 49:8-12. Jacob was dying, but the Holy Spirit was speaking through him to the future nation of Israel. When the old man came to his son Judah he said, “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” According to the prophecy, Judah would be the kingly tribe, holding the scepter of authority over his brothers and ultimately over the world. After the first king, Saul, the kings of Israel all came from the tribe of Judah. Specifically, Bible history shows that David and Jesus Christ were descendants of Judah. And just as David was king of Israel, his great, great grandson, through both Mary and Joseph, Jesus Christ possesses royal blood. And as Jacob referred to the son of the lion, Revelation calls Christ “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” – Revelation 5:5.
Later, as God was speaking to David through the prophet Nathan, He got much more specific. II Samuel 7:12-17 – “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” God promised a perpetual throne to David – an eternal throne – temporarily through Solomon. Then verse 14 uses terminology unheard of in the Word of God thus far – “I will be his father, and he shall be my son.” Of course Jesus Christ did not and could not commit iniquity. But Christ was the Son of God in an absolutely unique way – hinted at in this prophecy. The New Testament identifies Jesus Christ as the ultimate fulfilment of this prophecy. Hebrews 1 – “Unto which of the angels” (or to anyone else for that matter), “said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” “To which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?”
Please turn to Psalm 2 – a glorious Messianic Psalm – a Psalm speaking of the Messiah. In verses 1-3 we see earthly kings – representatives of generally rebellious humanity, opposing the Lord and His King. They conspire against the Lord politically, socially and religiously. But “why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” In response God mocks their impotence. “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” In verse 7, the one who is speaking is the Son, who steps forward affirming the divine covenant. “I will declare the decree: the LORD (Jehovah) hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” In this verse God addresses the Son in His office as mediator; it has nothing to do with their eternal relationship. This statement is quoted three times in the New Testament all in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then the Father continues, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Total dominion is promised to the Son. And in this, it reminds us of Psalm 110:1 which is so often quoted in the New Testament. “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalm 2 concludes with an earnest plea for the enemies of Christ lay down their arms. “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
Out of many more scriptures, let’s return to Psalm 110, to which we referred two weeks ago. “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” As I said before, this is the favorite verse of both Christ and the Apostles. David the poet was also a great king and many of his enemies became subject unto him. But David bowed his head and his knee to a higher King whom he addressed as “my Lord.” “The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” The mention of “Zion” brings David back to the covenant which God made with him. And it speaks of “dominion.” “Zion” by definition means “fortress.” “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” The subjugation of Christ’s enemies is depicted as spiritual not military. The final Davidic King will conquer by changing the hearts of the people – His people. They shall be conquered through the efficacious power of grace. “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” There is only one man with this name in the Bible. Melchizedek is mentioned as a priest of the most high God. And the name literally means “King of Righteousness” – but who only deserves such a title? When we meet him in Genesis he is the king of Salem – which was on the site of Jerusalem. The Book of Hebrews explains that Christ is that priest after the order of Melchizedek. “”The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.” Here is David’s reply – “LORD, look at what your Messiah will do.” All those who are not conquered by His saving grace will be conquered by His righteous wrath. “He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.”
One day many years after David wrote this Psalm, Christ was in the midst of a controversy with the Jews. Jesus replied to their attempted entrapment in Matthew 22:41-46 by quoting the first verse of Psalm 110. They couldn’t explain how the Messiah could be both David’s Son and his Lord. The answer is, He was exalted as David’s Lord after He became the Son of David in His incarnation. David knew that the promise of a King who would rule over the nations, also meant that particular Man would rule over HIM. The two titles are interwoven.
There are a dozen other Psalms or verses from Psalms which make statements proving that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Including the scripture we read during our song service this morning – Psalm 89.
David is a type or representative of Christ. They were both from the tribe of Judah – the tribe prophesied to be the kingly tribe. They were both born in Bethlehem which is so highly coincidental that it is miraculous. Every Sunday School child can repeat the story how Mary and Joseph were brought down from Nazareth to Bethlehem just in time for the birth of Jesus. That journey was foreordained by the omnipotent God in order to answer the picture in David. David was a shepherd, while Christ is the infinitely good shepherd. Both David and Jesus had to endured opposition from their family as well as from opposing dynasties – Saul’s and Satan’s. Both men were specially chosen to rule, and both were anointed – “Messiah” means “anointed one.” David ruled in Zion, while Christ rules in another Zion. And even though it might be argued that he should not have done so. David exercised the offices of prophet and priest as well as king. Christ deserves all three offices and occupies them without question.
Christ the Lord, the Anointed One, is the glorious fulfilment of what was required of Adam and David, but which they both failed to accomplish. Adam was appointed to take dominion over the creation, but he failed. And David as the King of Israel, was less than perfect. The problem in both cases was sin.
But Christ as the perfect man and the perfect king, has now, and will have even more, complete victory. The man who refuses to submit himself to this Lord will be crushed. David is a type of Christ in His royal Lordship. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” But those who refuse to bow before Jesus Christ the Lord, will prove themselves to be eternally condemned and lost.