The book of Psalms is quoted over 100 times in the New Testament, and the one quoted the most is Psalm 110. Jesus quoted this prophetic psalm to stump the Pharisees, and the writer of Hebrews devoted an entire chapter to one of its verses.
Psalm 110 was written by King David and opens up with a conversation taking place in heaven in which God is speaking to David's "lord" and tells him to sit at His right hand "until I make your enemies your footstool." A few verses later, God proclaims, "you are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek" (Psalm 110:4b). These few verses are explained in the New Testament as proclaiming Jesus as both priest and king forever.
In Matthew 22, Jesus used this psalm when He confronted the scribes and Pharisees. He asked them whose son is the Messiah? "The son of David," they replied. Jesus then asked, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord,'" and then he quoted the entire verse of Psalm 110:1. Matthew tells us that "No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on, no one dared to ask him any more questions" (Matt. 22:45, NIV). They could not explain how David could call his son "Lord."
Jesus quoted another psalm of David when hanging on the cross—in fact, the words of this psalm were the last Jesus would utter before His death. Psalm 22:1 (MEV) says, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" Jesus did not utter those words because He was questioning God but because He was quoting the prophetic psalm that described in detail His excruciating death by crucifixion.
King David had amazing prophetic insight, and these two psalms not only help us to understand events in the life of Jesus, but our Lord also found comfort in them.
If you would like to learn more about Jesus' use of the psalms, join me for this week's Out of Zion podcast episode on Charisma Podcast Network called The Most-Quoted Psalm. Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away! Invite your friends and family to join us! I can't wait to Walk Thru the Bible with you!
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