Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The exaltation of Jesus (Psalm 21)

The psalm is in two parts. Verses 1-6 celebrate a victory by the King and verses 7-13 express confidence that further success will come. It is likely that the psalm was composed in response to a victory enjoyed by David, although there are statements, such as the King’s prayer for endless life in verse 4, which cannot be said to have been experienced by David as a king. The psalm is a prophecy of the enthronement and the reign of the Messiah.

The psalm opens by describing the Messiah’s joy at experiencing the Lord’s power and salvation. Verse 2 shows that he received this deliverance in response to his prayers, and we can read such requests in his prayer recorded in John 17 when he asked the Father to give to him the glory he had known before he came into the world. Verse 4 indicates that this deliverance was in fact his resurrection from the dead, which was the commencement of a chain of triumphant events that included the reception of the ‘blessings of goodness’ (v. 3). This phrase covers all the expressions of divine favour that had been promised to Jesus once he completed the work of atonement.

Verse 5 says that Jesus has been highly exalted (see Philippians 2:9-11). In verse 6, there is a wonderful description of the ongoing fellowship between the Father and the Son in heaven – it is marked by great joy as they contemplate one another.

Verses 7-13 describe the progress that the kingdom of Jesus will make in overcoming those who rebel against him. His throne is unshakable (v. 7), continually protected by divine power. Verses 8 to 12 are a description of one aspect of Christ’s reign, which is to identify and punish those who persist in evil. The reality is this: each one of us is either going to be rescued by the hand of Jesus or punished by the hand of Jesus.

Verse 13 is an expression of praise to God for his great display of power expressed in Christ’s resurrection. We can take part in that song if we trust in him.

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