Saturday, January 20, 2018


Even the Psalms testify of Jesus. He told His fearful disciples of this important fact:

·       Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (Luke 24:44 ESV)

He then opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. This must have been a needed encouragement for them. It is also for me. I need the encouragement of observing the harmony between the OT/NT fit. Let me just give you the example of Psalm 118:18-28:

18  The LORD has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
19  Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
20  This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.
21  I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
22  The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
23  This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24  This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25  Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success!
26  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
27  The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!
28  You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.

First of all, Israel recognized this Psalm as Messianic. When the Apostles were charged with preaching Jesus and brought before the Sanhedrin, the Apostles charged:

·       “…let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12)

Evidently, the Apostles knew the “Cornerstone” to be a person (Zechariah 10:4) and that the religious leadership regarded Psalm 118 as Messianic. Therefore, they declared that the Sanhedrin had fulfilled verse 22 by rejecting Jesus, the Cornerstone.

Jesus had also applied this verse to Himself when debating the religious elites:

·       Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” (Matthew 21:42-44; also see Ephesians 2:20 and 1 Peter 2:7-8 where the “cornerstone” is associated with Jesus)

Had the leaders not regarded this verse as Messianic, they would have exposed Jesus’ reference as inappropriate, but they didn’t. Evidently, this Psalm had been widely regarded as Messianic.

The people, in general, also regarded this Psalm as Messianic. When Jesus made His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, the people recited a verse from this Psalm in recognition that Jesus was fulfilling it:

·       And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! [quoting from Psalm 118:26] Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)

“Hosanna” means “he saves.” They might not have understood how Jesus, the Savior, was fulfilling this Psalm, but they did know that He was fulfilling it.

Verse 25 associates this coming Messiah with salvation, but what form of salvation – physical (from his enemies) or spiritual (from damnation)? The opening verses of this quotation from Psalm 118 indicate that this Cornerstone will save Israel from their sins. In verse 18, the Psalmist confesses that he is badly in need of the mercy of God. He therefore requests that God would open the “gates of righteousness” for him (verse 19), acknowledging that, in himself, he is not righteous.

Israel had to pass through the Temple gates in order to find the mercy of God through sacrificial offerings. However, the Psalmist acknowledges that there is one particular gate through which he must enter (verse 20). Why one gate when there were numerous gates through which the Israelites could enter? Evidently, it had been revealed to him that there is only one way (verse 20) to the Father, and that is through the Cornerstone – the stone which held the other stones of the arch together, allowing a passageway through the gate to find the mercy of God (John 14:6).

Verse 21 is most illuminating about the work of the Messiah. It is He who will “become my salvation,” not my righteousness but His alone! Therefore, He is my salvation – an unmerited and merciful gift from God. The Cornerstone alone is the gate unto salvation:

·       So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door [or “gate”] of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:7-9)

I love seeing these portraits of Jesus in the Psalms. They assure me that I am looking at a Divine and eternal plan – the one harmonious plan of God, knit together throughout Scripture by my Redeemer and Designer.

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