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1The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
2 The Lord sends forth from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your enemies!
3 Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day of your power,
in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning,
the dew of your youth will be yours.
4 The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
over the wide earth.
7 He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.
Whenever you read Paul’s letters to a church, you have to remember that he was super smart. He went to the best schools, excelled among others his age, and many historians think he would have been famous as a Jewish leader even if he hadn’t converted to Christianity. Part of his education was memorizing Psalms. These ancient prayers, inspired by God, were a constant reference
When Paul talks about Jesus, he is talking with all of the knowledge of the Old Testament in mind. That means that when Paul considers that Jesus is the king, he will consider the king upon His throne and be reminded of this Psalm. Paul isn’t just using flowery language in Ephesians when he says that God…
raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, (Ephesians 1:20)
Paul is showing that Jesus is the fulfillment of Psalm 110. As Paul refers to Psalm 110 in Ephesians, that would call to mind everything else about Psalm 110 and identify the object of the prayer as Jesus.
God will seat Jesus at His right hand, the seat of power until all of His enemies are His footstool.*
God will make Jesus the victorious conqueror over all of His enemies.
People will come in holy garments, purified people, to serve Him with joy and freedom.
God has established Jesus forever as a mediator for God.
No matter how powerful evil powers or people are, God will win over them and Jesus will rule peacefully.
As we slow down and read the Bible with good footnotes, we can catch up to Paul and see all of the things he refers to that we might miss. Jesus is all of the king described in Psalm 110 that David only glimpsed. He isn’t just on a throne, but He is the king
* Extra credit: How about that part about the enemies being a footstool? It’s only weird because it’s true! Ancient kings would shame their enemies by having them squat on all fours and hold up their feet while the victor sat on his throne. Feet were a kind of a shameful thing to touch, so you would really show your victory by putting your feet up on the loser.
Pray through that for a bit. You enter God’s throne-room, and there is Christ casually sitting and He’s super glad to see you. He is reclined and relaxed, like One who has defeated every evil and is enjoying peace. His hands are folded behind His head and His feet are propped up on an ottoman. But it’s not an ottoman. It’s a vanquished foe. Despair, depression, loneliness, pride, lust, it could be any of them.
And it whimpers in defeat under the weight of Christ’s bare pierced feet.