Jesus Is King and Priest
“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
“The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Men Need a King and Priest
- In a nation with division of powers and no absolute authority of any kind, we must imagine!
- In a religion with no priests for the last 2000 years, we must review their great importance.
- In a world of sin and trouble, men need both a king and a priest for their respective functions.
- We do not read far before a mighty man Nimrod became king of a kingdom (Gen 10:8-10).
- The nations of the earth had kings (or queens), no matter what title they used (I Samuel 8:5).
- We need a king to protect, provide, empower, and inspire us by sovereign power and wealth.
- Men rejoice in a king, for he is perceived as the nation’s best, richest, strongest, wisest, etc.
- We need a priest to intercede, comfort, offer sacrifices, make peace, and bless our worship.
- Men take comfort in a priest, for he is perceived as safety and security with God for death.
A King has Desired Functions
- Israel described the desired role of the king they sought like other nations (I Samuel 8:20).
- One function is a court of hearing, legislator, and executor of judgment against civil enemies to protect the person, property, and rights of each citizen. [Israel resented Samuel’s sons for their corruption (I Sam 8:3).]
- Efficiency is clear – a single man could hear a case, issue a new law, and execute it in minutes without all the arguing, bickering, posturing, and limitations of power we observe. [Consider the effectiveness of Esther in soliciting her husband the king to reverse genocide!]
- If he heard and accepted your plea, a remedy could be enacted instantly with supreme authority not to be questioned, opposed, or modified. [See Ezra 6:12; Esther 8:8; Dan 6:8.]
- A king is a courageous leader of men to face other nations in battle. [Israel misjudged the value of Samuel’s prayers compared to a royal general of the army e.g. I Sam 7:10.]
- It is the authority, courage, and presence of a king that helps motivate serfs to die in battle.
- They wanted a man with supreme authority to negotiate or to wage war with foreign nations.
- With police power and a standing army, a king could muster the whole nation for a great war.
- For enemies greater than you, your community, or city, a king could wage war against them.
- No matter if your fears or needs were private or public, a king could quickly remedy them.
A Priest has Desired Functions
- Paul explained the function of a priest to Israelites, which they understood well (Heb 5:1-3).
- A priest officiates as mediator between God and men to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. It is his business to know God, His demands, and how to satisfy those demands for constituents.
- He is a compassionate and sympathetic man, even for sins of ignorance or presumption, because he also has the same infirmities of his identical human nature that cause him to sin.
- He is motivated by his own sins and his constituents’ to offer sacrifices to appease God.
- A priest is able to make complete peace with God and bless your worship to be acceptable.
- A priest over time is able to get to know you, your weaknesses, and your temptations to help.
- A priest is able to assist your petitions for help or convey your gifts or blessings to God.
- A priest is able to instruct, teach, correct, rebuke, and warn you how to please God better.
Separation of Powers
- Pharaohs, Emperors, and other kings have combined both offices, or even claimed to be God, for in so doing they obtain the greatest authority and influence over men, even to die happily.
- God limited His kings (after Saul) to the tribe of Judah and His priests to the tribe of Levi, so there was a very real separation of powers and division of labor.
- Under David the king, there were two high priests at different times, Abiathar and Zadok.
A Hint at Combined Powers
- Before we can read very far in the Bible, we encounter a hint at combined powers for good.
- After Abram’s victory over a confederacy of kings, Melchizedek blessed him (Ge 14:18-20).
- Melchizedek was a king. He was king of Salem, the shorter name of Jerusalem (Cp Ps 76:2).
- Melchizedek was a priest. He was priest of the most high God; he blessed Abram and God.
- His name Melchizedek means king of righteousness – the kind of king you want (Heb 7:1-2).
- His title king of Salem means king of peace – the kind of king you also want (Heb 7:1-2).
- Melchizedek was greater than Abraham by virtue of the blessing and the tithe (Heb 7:4-10).
- Observe what constituted a celebration and fellowship between these two men (Gen 14:18).
A Prophecy of Combined Powers (Psalm 110)
- If you love the Lord Jesus Christ, this Psalm should mean very much and bring you delight.
- Combining king and priest is exalted in this short psalm and used by the Spirit in the N.T.
- Priests of Moses, Rome, Mormons, or any other are nothing. Our high priest made us priests.
- His priesthood does not depend on a pedigree, but God’s decree for a perpetual priesthood.
- The exalted position of this Man before God and total dominance over enemies is glorious.
- This psalm is the gospel of Jesus Christ from beginning to end, without any other thought, and it describes one of the greatest events in the history of the universe (the coronation and installation of the Man Christ Jesus as King and Priest in heaven) and establishes a very precious theological doctrine (the elect have a King and Priest for every need for eternity).
- This psalm is quoted by Jesus, Peter, and Paul (Matt 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44; Acts 2:34-35; I Cor 15:25; Heb 1:13; 5:6; 7:17,21).
- Jesus argued to the Pharisees that the sixth word proved Him much more than David’s son.
- This psalm is also referred to without exact quotation in several other places in the New Testament (Eph 1:20-22; Heb 1:3; 6:20; 10:12-13; 12:2; I Peter 3:22).
- There may be near 30 references to this Psalm in the New Testament, depending on degree.
- Five hundred years after Moses and his law, which established Levi and Aaron, came this prophecy; compare Paul’s reasoning about Psalm 95 coming after Joshua (Heb 4:8; 7:18).
- This psalm should be studied in conjunction with Psalm 2, for they speak of the same event.
- For more about Messianic Psalms (see also).
1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
The LORD said unto my Lord.
- The LORD is Jehovah, the Most High God, God of Abraham, Moses, and David (Ex 6:3).
- The capital letters indicate this is the Hebrew tetragrammaton for YHVH, Jehovah God.
- This is the designation for I AM THAT I AM, Jehovah of the burning bush (Ex 3:14).
- For much more about Jehovah.
- The Lord, without capital letters, is Jesus Christ, using Hebrew Adonai instead of Jehovah.
- Jehovah chose one out of the people to be King over all (Ps 2:6-9; 89:19-37; Is 9:6-7).
- He ordained a Man to be king, who would be even David’s king, as admitted by David.
- The LORD made the decretive announcement in eternity and fulfilled it at Christ’s ascension.
- The event here is Christ’s ascension into heaven and His coronation at God’s right hand.
- All events in time result from God’s eternal decrees before the world began (Acts 15:18).
- A review of Psalm 2 and Hebrews 1-2 would help to reveal the glory of this past event.
- David used the first person, singular, possessive phrase my Lord for His worship of Christ.
- David by prophetic revelation knew that his son would also be his Lord and Saviour.
- Jesus argued from this phrase that He was more than the Jews admitted (Matt 22:41-46).
- It is only by revelation and prophecy that we get to read such things and them in advance.
Sit thou at my right hand.
- God told His king to sit at His right hand, which is the most exalted position in the universe.
- A position of sitting is reigning and resting, for the outcome of His reign was perfectly sure.
- He has been ordained and installed with total power to rule over all His enemies, as He sits at God’s right hand with a rod of iron dashing the nations in pieces (Ps 2:6-12; Rev 2:26-27).
- Scofield and premillennialists are wrong, denying Jesus His present and perpetual kingdom!
- For His work of redemption, the Man Christ Jesus has been highly promoted (Phil 2:5-11).
- This is where He is always found (Matt 26:64; Mark 14:62; 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33-34; 7:55-56; Rom 8:34; Col 3:1; Eph 1:20; Heb 1:3,13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; I Pet 3:22).
Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
- He promised the king that He would bless and enable Him to conquer all enemies of the king.
- Peter used this verse to confront and warn Jews at Pentecost of His lordship (Acts 2:33-36).
- It was only forty years later He had come with Roman armies and destroyed those enemies.
- The last enemy to be destroyed when Jesus delivers up His kingdom is death (I Cor 15:25).
2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion.
- Jehovah would provide divine power for Christ’s kingdom (Is 9:6-7; Mat 28:18; Heb 1:1-14).
- The rod here is the rod of iron of the LORD’s king’s rule (Psalm 2:9; Rev 2:27; 12:5; 19:15).
- Zion is the city or fortress on Mt. Zion held by Jebusites and then Israel, but now in heaven.
- David took the stronghold of Zion (with Joab’s help), and it became his city (II Sam 5:7).
- Paul identified Jerusalem above as mount Sion that N.T. believers join (Heb 12:22-24).
- It did not take long before power and strength proceeded from Jesus Christ in His kingdom.
- He had promised power at Pentecost, and He delivered with an outpouring of the Spirit.
- He bound the devil by victory at Calvary, so the gospel went everywhere (I Tim 3:16).
- However, the main intent of these words should be toward enemies by context in the verse.
- Since the following clause refers to ruling over enemies, this should be kept preeminent.
- He soon brought the Roman armies and the world’s greatest tribulation on the Jews.
- It is foolish or ignorance to understate the importance of Christ’s destruction of the Jews.
- For value of destruction of Jerusalem.
- The LORD Jehovah, the most High God, added further promises of total victory for the king.
- The king would have divine strength from the capital fortress of Zion to hold absolute rule.
Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
- Jehovah committed all authority and judgment to Jesus Christ (Ps 2:1-12; 45:1-7; Jer 23:5-6; Luke 22:69; John 5:22,26-27; 17:1-5; Acts 10:42; 17:31; I Tim 6:13-16; Rev 2:26-27; etc.).
- He had told the Jews that some would still be alive to see Him in power (Matt 16:28; 26:64).
- He also was promoted over the devil and his angels (Eph 1:20-23; Col 2:15; I Pet 3:22).
- The LORD Jehovah encouraged and instructed Him to confidently rule over all His enemies.
3 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.
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.
- Since the clear and only theme of the first two verses is Christ’s coronation as king, we will not teach regeneration from the text, as if it were Paul writing of Christ’s regenerative power.
- The citizens of Christ’s kingdom, His people, would be very submissive and obedient in the coming day when His power would be more fully revealed, which occurred after His resurrection by the explosive growth of the gospel in the world (Matt 21:41-43; Mark 16:15-20; Acts 2:37-41; 4:4; 15:14-18; 19:20; 21:20; 28:28; Rom 15:12; I Tim 3:16; Rev 7:9).
- The day of His power was His resurrection and ascension and sending forth of the Holy Ghost for the gospel era, which is called Today in the scriptures (II Cor 6:2; Heb 3:7,13).
- Remember, Psalm 2 was fulfilled following His resurrection (Acts 13:32-34; Hebrews 1:1-6).
- If we understand power as authority, Jesus obtained the promotion to the right hand of God (the definite context here) following His death, resurrection, and ascension (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 13:34; Acts 2:33-36; Rom 1:4; Heb 2:6-9; I Tim 3:16; Rev 12:10).
- The coronation of Jesus Christ was the greatest event in the universe. Read it in Revelation 5.
- The king’s citizens would be willing subjects under His reign, especially in the day of his great power, when beautiful holiness would cover and pervade everything like a sunrise.
In the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning.
- In the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning is likely the most obscure phrase in Psalms, but its context limits it to Christ’s coronation and building His kingdom (vss. 1-3a).
- Holiness was exalted when the Spirit of holiness raised the Holy Child Jesus from the dead and sanctified the church by His Holy Presence and power (Mal 3:1-4; Acts 4:27,30; Rom 1:4; 15:16; I Cor 3:17; 6:19; Eph 1:13; 2:20-22; 5:27; I Pet 1:12-16; 2:9; etc.).
- The womb of the morning is a metaphor for sunrise or a new day, which we find fulfilled in Jesus Christ in these passages (II Sam 23:4; Isaiah 9:2; 49:6; 60:1-3; Mal 4:2; Luke 1:78; 2:32; II Pet 1:19; I John 2:8; Rev 22:16; etc.).
- The resurrection, ascension, coronation, and glorification of Jesus Christ set off profound blessings on His church and kingdom that resulted in great willingness by His people, such as at Pentecost where Peter and the other apostles declared that they had seen Him alive!
- The king would have a day of special power and promotion, in which the king’s holy person and office would appear very clear and obvious like the rising of the sun for a new day.
- This event would also contribute to the king’s youthful (and perpetual) strength and vigor.
Thou hast the dew of thy youth.
- How does Jesus have the dew of His youth? In full agreement with the context of coronation?
- By His resurrection! His body was delivered from corruption and locked in at near 30 years!
- By His glorification! He was glorified in youthful energy, strength, vigor, and zeal forever!
- The scriptures testify of this immortal prince alive forevermore (Job 19:25-27; Ps 16:10; Acts 2:31; Rom 6:9; 14:9; I Cor 15:45; II Cor 13:4; Heb 7:16,25; Rev 1:18; 19:11-16; etc.).
4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent.
- Why does this verse occur right here? Because Jesus Christ’s perpetual youth just described.
- Jehovah also ordained Jesus to be Mediator and High Priest like Melchisedek (Heb 7:1-28).
- The LORD Jehovah further swore, as God that cannot change – the king would be a priest!
- Paul used this fact of an oath as further superiority to the Levitical priests (Heb 7:20-22).
- Paul also argued that from a God that cannot lie provides double assurance (Heb 6:18).
- As if we needed further assurance, the Holy Spirit declared Jehovah would not alter His oath.
- God is not like men that repent of their choices when they face difficulties (Num 23:19).
- The threat to repent is very real for men that get themselves in costly situations (Ps 15:4).
- Persia thought their laws unalterable, but they were changed and eliminated (Daniel 6:8)!
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
- This king, which would rule over all His enemies and flourish greatly, would also be priest!
- We have no priest or pope on earth – not Jewish, Roman Catholic, or Mormon – we have the Apostle and High Priest of our profession sitting in heaven to save us (Hebrews 3:1; 8:1-2).
- The separation of powers and division of labor that existed in Israel was abolished by the institution of a new priest after the order of Melchizedek, effectively ending Levitical priests.
- Before Jesus Christ, priests came from the tribe of Levi and kings from the tribe of Judah.
- Not only would he be a priest, the king would be a priest forever – a perpetual priesthood!
- Not only would he be a perpetual priest – he would be a king-priest like Melchizedek.
- See the outlines at the end of this document that further describe the Melchizedek priesthood.
5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
The Lord at thy right hand.
- The Lord (lower case), meaning the God-ordained king/priest, is at Jehovah’s right hand.
- At His right hand is where God told Jesus to sit after His ascension and coronation (verse 1).
- This is where He is always found (Matt 26:64; Mark 14:62; 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33-34; 7:55-56; Rom 8:34; Col 3:1; Eph 1:20; Heb 1:3,13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; I Pet 3:22).
Shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
- God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, would execute the fierceness of God’s wrath, which He has done and will yet do (Matt 3:11-12; 16:27-28; 21:40-46; Rev 19:11-16).
- Every upheaval among nations by politics or war is totally under His sovereign control of all.
- A day of wrath is coming in which Jesus will sit as Judge of all men (Acts 17:30-31; Rom 2:16; 14:10-12; II Cor 5:9-11; II Tim 4:1; Rev 20:11-15).
6 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 judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies;He shall wound the heads over many countries.
- The king will judge among the heathen, those who know not God, and annihilate their host.
- He shall destroy all His enemies and reign gloriously forever and ever – King of kings and Lord of lords – Hallelujah! See Revelation 19:11-21.
- No matter how many kings or other great leaders are confederate, he shall defeat them also.
- Read another New Testament description of His coming in judgment (II Thess 1:3-10).
- Who are the heathen? The God-rejecting pagans of the Gentiles – a great victory for a Jew!
- His success will be so complete that the metaphor describes no more room to bury the dead.
- Rather than mere soldiers, our glorious King wounded other kings, for He is King of kings1
7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.
He shall drink of the brook in the way.
- The psalms are poetry, designed for singing, and we should not let the metaphors distract us.
- Based on the complete success and victories of His reign (verses 5-6), He refreshed Himself.
- The context is a successful and victorious king defeating all his enemies, not being defeated!
- Commentators put the crucifixion here, but drinking of a brook is not the same as drinking the cup of God’s wrath or God’s waves and billows going over Him (Matt 20:22; Ps 42:7)!
Therefore shall he lift up the head.
- Based on his successful campaign and having stopped to refresh Himself briefly from a brook in the way, as a result He lifted up His head in exultation and rejoicing in His success.
- This victorious conqueror heading to His palace refreshed himself and rejoiced confidently, before getting to the palace and entering upon much greater celebrations (Psalm 45:1-17).
- Pursuing and pursued kings do not have time to drink; defeated kings do not lift up the head.
Why Fear Trouble or Enemies or Death?
- You have a king! You have a great King! The King of kings and Lord of lords is your Friend!
- If He speaks the word, He can easily alter your world in ways you need and cannot see relief.
- In the day of trouble, He will hide you in His own pavilion (Ps 27:5-6; 31:20; Heb 13:5-6), which is the royal tent in the middle of the camped army of millions of tents of angels, for He is the Lord of hosts, the captain and general of the armies of heaven. Go to His pavilion!
- If men solicit kings for financial mercy for a sick child – your King can heal your children!
- Paul stood trial alone before a pagan Caesar, but our King was with him (II Tim 4:16-18).
- He has destroyed all His enemies and will destroy all yours as well. Put your trust in Him.
- Why fear death? He already died for you and showed you how to do it! He will receive you!
Why Fear Sin?
- Fear and guilt for sin are due to the Lawgiver, but your priest is the beloved son of the Judge!
- Every other priest you have heard about had his own sins, but your priest is impeccably holy!
- Every priest is chosen by those in need, but your priest chose you before you knew the need!
- He has paid for all your sins past, present, and future to never be remembered again! Glory!
- The sacrifice He carried to heaven was not your imperfect anything – it was His lifeblood!
- He lives forever, unlike priests before Him, to make constant intercession for you (Heb 7:25).
- Earthly priests may ascend a few steps; your Priest is higher than the heavens (Heb 7:26).
- Our King-Priest has declared that those who come to Him He will not cast out (John 6:37).
Our King-Priest Has Gone Further
- Some kings have died in battle while fighting for their serving people, but never willingly.
- Our Jesus died in battle willingly and knowingly, while purchasing the adoption of enemies.
- What resume did David have? Goliath? David’s Son openly defeated the devil and death!
- No priest ever lived through the temptations of sin without sinning … but your Jesus did all!
- What priest, knowing the fear of death, died for His people and came back to comfort them!
- Jesus perfectly kept the law of God and blotted out the handwriting of ordinances against us!
- What is the best relationship a priest can have with God? Our Priest is His well-beloved Son!
- He has made us king-priests to tread our enemies down with Him and enter God’s presence!
Believest Thou This?
- It should purge your conscience to answer and serve God (He 9:14; I Pe 3:21; II Co 5:14-15).
- Jesus reasoned from this psalm with the Pharisees about Messiah’s identity (Matt 22:41-46).
- Peter and the apostles declared this glorious message of hope and perfection by the gospel.
- Peter at Pentecost, quoting Psalm 110, declared Jesus both Lord and Christ (Ac 2:30-36).
- Apostles used this psalm directly and indirectly (I Cor 15:25; Eph 1:20-22; Heb 1:13; 10:13).
- Paul repeated and explained Psalm 110:4 over and over to wean the Hebrews from their esteem for the Levitical priests that Jesus had gloriously replaced (Heb 5:6; 7:17,21).
- The angels announced to shepherds in Judea, “For unto you is born this day … a Saviour”!
- What is the Lord’s Supper? Remembering our King-Priest died for us and is coming soon!
For Further Study:
- Sermon: The Order of Melchisedec.
- Sermon: Our Great High Priest.
- Sermon: Jesus Is Our Priest.
- Sermon: Jesus the Son of David.
- Sermon: King of Kings.
- Sermon: Blessed and Only Potentate.
- Sermon: Stronger Man.
- Sermon: Psalm 45.
- Sermon: Coronation of Jesus.
- Sermon: This Day Have I Begotten Thee.
- Sermon: Kings and Priests.
- Sermon: Messianic Psalms (see also).
- Sermon: The Stronger Man.
- Sermon: You Need a Lawyer.
- Sermon: Jesus Is our Surety.
- Sermon: He Ascended Up on High.
- Sermon: Great Mystery of Godliness.
- Sermon: Seed of the Woman.
- Sermon: Jesus and the Angels.
- Sermon: Delighting In Jesus Christ.
- Sermon: He Is Altogether Lovely.
- Sermon: Witness of 70 A.D..
- Sermon: Exposition of Hebrews.