Christ in the Psalms

Is Christ In The Psalms?

by William J. Coleman

“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The Psalms foretell the incarnation of Christ, the deity of Christ, the eternal of Christ Sonship of Christ, the offices of Christ  as Prophet, Priest and King, the betrayal of Christ, the agony  of Christ, the trial of Christ, the rejection of Christ, the  crucifixion of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the ascension  of Christ, and the second coming of Christ to judge the world.

Jesus Christ is the subject of the Psalms. They tell us of  holiness of heart and life and Jesus was the one perfectly holy  man in the moral history of the world. The Psalms tell us much  of the blessedness of the good life and Jesus was the most  blessed of men. The Psalms tell us often of the enemies of the  good man and Jesus was encompassed with enemies who at last sent  Him to the cross. The Psalms tell us of the punishment of the  wicked and Jesus is at last the judge of all. Jesus is set forth  in the Psalms as the Covenant God of the true Israel. He is the  Redeemer, the rock, the Refuge, the Shepherd, the Shield, the
Fortress, the High Tower of his people. Christ is the sun of  righteousness around which the whole Psalter revolves.

God gave His people a book of praises in the Old Testament.  Why did He not give such a book in the New Testament? Could He  not have endowed some one of the Apostles to write a book of  Psalms? Is God’s power limited in providing poets any more than  in providing prophets? Could not the Holy Spirit have dwelt  richly in some one of Christ’s disciples to write songs for the  new dispensation? The answer seems to be that the songs they  then had were the praises of God in Christ and that they were  prepared with heavenly skill to be the songs of all the ages.  Jesus told no one to write Psalms. No warrant, no promise of the  Spirit is found in the New Testament for any one undertaking to  write a new book of Psalms. What He had inspired long ago was  full of truth, suited to the latest age and the need was already  met. He Himself sang what He had inspired and appointed to be  sung.

The Gospels tell us much about the kingdom; the Psalms much  about the King. Despite the rebelling of kings and princes, the  Father hath appointed his Son to be King in Zion; and he shall  rule the nations with a rod of iron. David with his throne on  Zion is the chosen type of Christ Who will rule from heaven as
David ruled on earth. “For the kingdom is the Lord’s; and he is  the Governor among the nations.” “Yea, all kings shall fall down  before him; all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver  the needy when he crieth, the poor also; and him that hath no  helper.”

The New Testament contains two hundred and forty-three quotations from the Old and one hundred and sixteen of these are  from the Book of Psalms, showing that our Lord and his Apostles  felt that the Psalms had Him, his life, experience and work, as  their subject. Jesus on the cross expressed his greatest agony
and his final trust in quotations from the Psalms. The Psalms  are in the Gospels and the Gospel in the Psalms. Both have the  same subject and their accounts of Jesus coincide. The Gospels  give the life of Jesus in story; and many of the Psalms that same  life in experience. One gives the outer life of the Son of man;
the other his inner thoughts and feelings.

It is remarkable that the Psalms to which some Christians  object as unchristian, as the 69th and the109th, are Messianic,  and tell of the sufferings of Christ and the doom of his enemies.  It is not dangerous to object to the work of the Holy Spirit?  One might as well object to the 23rd Chapter of Matthew. Christ
is to be the Judge and he will deal with every one according to  his deserts.

As long as Christians hold to the singing of the Psalms in  the worship of God, they hold to the justice of God and the  atonement wrought by Jesus Christ that satisfies that justice.  No conscientious Psalm-singer doubts the deity of Jesus Christ,  or the validity of the atonement, the twin pillars of evangelical  preaching and practice. Opened understandings will see the  Savior in the Psalms.