Themes about the Messiah from the Psalms
The book of Psalms is one of the most important books in the Bible. Although it is difficult to classify books in terms of their significance, Psalms is a unique book regarding its content, message and significance in Christianity. Christians use the Psalms to preach the gospel, for personal worship and for devotion although it was initially used as a hymnbook in Israel. It is possible to classify the Psalms in terms of their themes, with each classification having its own unique characteristics. However, the most salient feature of the Psalms is that they contain prophecies about the messiah/Jesus Christ that were later fulfilled in the New Testament. In fact, Jesus Christ is the main topic in the Psalms. The role of the Messiah, his suffering, his relationship with God and the kingdom he will establish in the earth are the main themes about the messiah that we can learn from the Psalms.
The messiah as the suffering servant
The Psalms present Jesus as a suffering servant who would suffer for the sake of the people who will mistreat him. False persecution and rejection are among the kinds of suffering that the messiah would undergo in order to cleanse the peoples’ sins.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
So far from my cries of anguish? (Psalms 22: 1)
This verse prophesies how the messiah would lament his suffering to the point of questioning his father. The messiah would go through difficult experiences in the hands of the people who will mistreat and reject him. However, all the suffering that Jesus will go through will be to cleanse human beings of their sins. Psalms 51 indicates the significance of the suffering that the messiah would go through by associating them with forgiveness of sin. Therefore, the Psalms present the messiah as one who would suffer for the sake of forgiveness of sins. Tracing the fulfillment of the prophecies about the suffering of the messiah is an ideal approach of developing this theme. All the prophecies about the suffering of the Messiah were fulfilled in the New Testament, with some gospels quoting the psalms.
The Messiah as the son of God
The Psalmist refers to Jesus Christ as the son of God who would help in uniting God His people. God has appointed the messiah to proclaim repentance and forgiveness in the world. The Psalms portray the messiah as the son of God who was chosen to represent God’s will in the universe. Developing this theme will involve quoting some verses that present the Messiah as God’s son as well as tracing how the gospels relate the messiah as the son of God.
I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
And I will make the nations your inheritance… (Psalms 2: 7-8)
The verse indicates that God had chosen Jesus to represent Him in the Universe as well as redeem the sins of human beings. Therefore, God had chosen the destiny of his son as well as the nature of his mission in the Universe. This explains why Jesus could not escape His destiny although he knew what would become of him. The events that took place during the mission of Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection affirmed this prophecy that the messiah was indeed the son of God. The gospels give examples of events that confirmed that God chose the messiah to fulfil his will for the universe.
The messiah’s kingdom
The Psalmist prophesied that the Jews would view the messiah as an ordinary human being who would occupy the throne after David. However, Jesus would establish a stronger kingdom that would be based in heaven. God will occupy the throne of the kingdom created by the messiah in heaven.
The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
Until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.” (Psalms 110:1)
This indicates that God will occupy the throne of the Kingdom created by the messiah. Jesus will be at the right hand side of God, the ruler of the kingdom. The Psalmist suggests that the Messianic kingdom will expand its boundaries beyond Israel, which suggests that it would be larger than David’s kingdom. Therefore, the Psalms gives us an idea about the kingdom that the Messiah established in the universe.
The role of the messiah
The Messiah’s role was predetermined according to the Psalmist. His main mission was to cleanse human beings from the mystery of sin and to establish a strong kingdom on earth. The Messiah is a warrior who would help the Israelites in overcoming their enemies. However, it is important to acknowledge that the powers of the messiah were divine from God who had given Him the mandate to live in the physical world.
The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
He will drink from a brook beside the way;
therefore, he will lift up his head. (Psalms 110: 5-7).
verse indicates that God, His father, determined the role of the messiah and His
fate. The main importance of this theme is the fact that it relates to the
ultimate destiny of the kingdom established by the messiah. The Psalmist
highlights that the messiah will return for His people as well as punish those
who did not follow his teachings.
Cragg, Kenneth. 2003. The Christian Jesus: faith in the finding. Brighton: Alpha Press.
Mckinley, John E. “Psalms 16, 22, and 110. Historically Interpreted as Referring to Jesus.” Perichoresis 10, no. 2 (2012): 79-128.
Smith, Ralph Allan. 2004. Trinity and reality: an introduction to the Christian faith. Moscow, Idaho: Canon Press.
Tyndale. 2013. The one year bible companion. Carol Stream, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Richard. “The Psalms of Lament in Mark’s Passion: Jesus’ Davidic Suffering
– By Stephen P. Ahearne-Kroll.” Religious Studies Review 35, no. 1
 Tyndale. The one year bible companion. (Carol Stream, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013), 78.
 Cragg, Kenneth. The Christian Jesus: faith in the finding. (Brighton: Alpha Press, 2003), 29.
 Mckinley, John E. “Psalms 16, 22, and 110. Historically Interpreted as Referring to Jesus.” Perichoresis 10, no. 2 (2012), 89
 Smith, Ralph Allan. Trinity and reality: an introduction to the Christian faith. (Moscow, Idaho: Canon Press, 2004), 56.
 Walsh, Richard. “The Psalms of Lament in Mark’s Passion: Jesus’ Davidic Suffering – By Stephen P. Ahearne-Kroll.” Religious Studies Review 35, no. 1 (2009), 56