Friday, May 30, 2014

For He Must Reign

For He must reign till He has put all His enemies under His feet.
(1 Corinthians 15:25)
In the first half of Psalm 21, we looked at the coronation of King Jesus and the victory of the cross and resurrection, which established His kingdom. Now we shall consider what His reign accomplishes, prefigured in the second half of Psalm 21:
Your hand will find all Your enemies;
    Your right hand will find those who hate You.
You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger;
    The LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath,
    And the fire shall devour them.
Their offspring You shall destroy from the earth,
    And their descendants from among the sons of men.
For they intended evil against You;
    They devised a plot which they are not able to perform.
Therefore You will make them turn their back;
    You will make ready Your arrows on Your string
    toward their faces.
Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength!
    We will sing and praise Your power.
(Psalm 21:8-13)
The first half of the psalm was about the past victories that established the king. The second half is the anticipation of the future victories the Lord would give to the king. Historically, King David had many victories, and the kingdom reached its zenith during the reign of King Solomon, David’s son. But after that, the kingdom rapidly deteriorated and split in two. After a succession of kings, some good but the others mostly bad, the divided kingdom was carried off into captivity and exile.

It became clear that God would have to raise up a very special king through whom God would fulfill all the wonderful promises and expectations given to Israel about the royal line of David. This Messiah King would not only deliver and restore Israel but would rule over the nations and set everything right in the world. The New Testament finds the fulfillment of this expectation in Jesus of Nazareth. Though He was crucified, God raised Him from the dead and established Him as Messiah and Lord over all (Acts 2:36).

For forty days after the resurrection, Jesus instructed the disciples about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). He announced to them that all authority had now been given to Him in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Then He ascended to His throne in heaven, the place of ruling and reigning, at the right hand of the Father.

When King Jesus comes again, all those who belong to Him will be likewise raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). “Then comes the end,” Paul tells us, “when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and power and authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:24).

In the meantime, then, King Jesus reigns. “For He must reign till He has put all His enemies under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25). The Lord Jesus has already been seated at the right hand of the Father, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21). And now He is in the process of destroying their oppressive rule and bringing them into submission.