Psalm 110:1-7 Owning Christ This Christmas
’’Twas the day after Christmas
‘Twas the day after Christmas
When all through the place
There were arguments and depression—
Even Mom had a long face.
The stockings hung empty,
And the house was a mess;
The new clothes didn’t fit …
And Dad was under stress.
The family was irritable,
And the children—no one could please;
Because the instructions for the swing set
Were written in Chinese!
The bells no longer jingled,
And no carolers came around;
The sink was stacked with dishes,
And the tree was turning brown.
The stores were full of people
Returning things that fizzled and failed,
And the shoppers were discouraged
Because everything they’d bought was now on half-price sale!
’Twas the day AFTER Christmas—
The spirit of joy had disappeared;
The only hope on the horizon
Was twelve bowl games the first day of the New Year!
—Charles R. Swindoll, sermon, “Since Christ Has Come … What’s Happening?” December 27, 1992
I realize that this poem expresses how we feel about Christmas. Christmas is a stressful holiday which we rush through to get finished. However, I would suggest to you this morning that if we would look at Christmas as how it really should be – a time to honor Jesus and His birth, it will help us after the Christmas holiday ends.
I want to talk to you this morning from Psalm 110 about the idea of “owning Christ” this Christmas. What does this mean? Christ is described in many ways in this particular psalm. It is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament. The reason is that Jesus takes on so many roles in this psalm and each of these roles ultimately show God’s glory and display reasons why I should enjoy Jesus.
For the Christian, Jesus should be not just part of Christmas, but also the basis for Christmas. However, society has watered Christmas down into a “gift-giving” frenzy. So I want to challenge you this morning to consider putting Christ back into Christmas. That can only happen if you “own Christ” by letting Him share these roles and characteristics in your life this Christmas.
Christ is my Warrior, so I should seek safety in Him this Christmas.
Many people are seeking safety this Christmas. With the Connecticut shootings this month, and the idea that as a country, we could go over the fiscal cliff, we are especially aware of our need for safety this Christmas season. How does Jesus show me that I can seek safety this Christmas?
This psalm describes Jesus as a warrior. Look with me in these verses:
“The Lord is at Your right hand; He will crush kings on the day of His anger.” (Psalm 110:5, HCSB)
“He will judge the nations, heaping up corpses; He will crush leaders over the entire world.” (Psalm 110:6, HCSB)
“He will drink from the brook by the road; therefore, He will lift up His head.” (Psalm 110:7, HCSB)
In the last verses of this psalm, Jesus is described in war language. He will crush kings. He will judge nations. He will crush leaders. He will pile up the dead. He will lift up His head because of his power and might. Even though at Christmas, “the warrior may be a child,” He is nevertheless a warrior.
What is the main role of a warrior? He fights. He fights for you and me. He fights for His Father. He fights and protects.
“casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7, HCSB)
“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, HCSB)
““Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, HCSB)
Christ is my Priest, so I should seek forgiveness from Him this Christmas.
“The Lord has sworn an oath and will not take it back: “Forever, You are a priest like Melchizedek.”” (Psalm 110:4, HCSB)
If Christ forgives, then it is complete forgiveness. God won’t take it back. Let me share with you a couple of verses about how Jesus as our High Priest makes this forgiveness work.
“We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.” (Colossians 1:14, HCSB)
“According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22, HCSB)
“All the prophets testify about Him that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins.”” (Acts 10:43, HCSB)
“Now it is evident that our Lord came from Judah, and Moses said nothing about that tribe concerning priests. And this becomes clearer if another priest like Melchizedek appears, who did not become a priest based on a legal command concerning physical descent but based on the power of an indestructible life. For it has been testified: You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 7:14–17, HCSB)
What does this mean? Jesus was not born through the tribe of Levi. He was born through the tribe of Judah. In the tribe of Levi, forgiveness had to be given every year for the sins of the people. The Levite tribe was not powerful enough to forgive sins forever. However, Jesus comes from the tribe of Judah. He has a more powerful tribe. His set of priests, called the order of Melchizedek, come from a more powerful tribe, Judah. The Tribe of Judah has an eternal priesthood, called the order of Melchizedek.
As a result, He has the power to forgive sins forever.
“Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to think: “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”” (Luke 5:21, HCSB)
“But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He told the paralyzed man, “I tell you: Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”” (Luke 5:24, HCSB)
So Jesus claimed this authority. How could He claim this authority? Because He was from a different tribe and therefore a different and more powerful priesthood. Therefore, we can come to Him and ask for forgiveness. He has that power.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, HCSB)
Some of us in this room need forgiveness. Yet, Jesus went further as a priest, He gave us the power to forgive each other’s sins.
“And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone in debt to us. And do not bring us into temptation.”” (Luke 11:4, HCSB)
“Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”” (Luke 17:3–4, HCSB)
“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”” (John 20:23, HCSB)
Christ is my King, so I should give honor to Him this Christmas.
“The Lord will extend Your mighty scepter from Zion. Rule over Your surrounding enemies.” (Psalm 110:2, HCSB)
“Your people will volunteer on Your day of battle. In holy splendor, from the womb of the dawn, the dew of Your youth belongs to You.” (Psalm 110:3, HCSB)
Jesus is King. He has power over a kingdom and He will reign from Jerusalem. Pilate asked Jesus about Jesus’ claim of being a king.
““You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”” (John 18:37, HCSB)John Piper describes the kingship of Jesus Christ in the following way:
The uniqueness of his birth is that he did not originate at his birth. He existed before he was born in a manger. The personhood, the character, the personality of Jesus of Nazareth existed before the man Jesus of Nazareth was born.
The theological word to describe this mystery is not creation, but incarnation. The person—not the body, but the essential personhood of Jesus—existed before he was born as man. His birth was not a coming into being of a new person, but a coming into the world of an infinitely old person.
This leads us to the last picture of Jesus. Jesus is my Master.
Christ is my Lord, my Master, so I should submit to Him this Christmas.
Santa’s Prayer on Christmas Eve
The sleigh was all packed, the reindeer were fed,
But Santa still knelt by the side of his bed.
Dear Father, he prayed, Be with me tonight,
There’s much work to do and my schedule is tight.
I must jump in my sleigh and streak through the sky,
Knowing full well that a reindeer can’t fly.
I will visit each household before the first light,
I’ll cover the world and all in one night.
With sleighbells a-ringing, I’ll land on each roof,
Amid the soft clatter of each little hoof.
To get in the house is the difficult part,
So I’ll slide down the chimney of each child’s heart.
My sack will hold toys to grant all their wishes,
The supply will be endless, like the loaves and the fishes.
I will fill all the stockings and not leave a track,
I’ll eat every cookie that is left for my snack.
I can do all these things Lord, only through You,
I just need Your blessing, then it’s easy to do.
All this to honor the birth of the One,
That was sent to redeem us, Your most Holy Son.
So to all of my friends, lest Your glory I rob,
Please Lord, remind them Who gave me this job. Amen. —Warren D. Jennings
Just as this poem describes that even Santa Claus submits to Jesus, everyone will eventually submit to Jesus. The Bible is clear about the influence Jesus will have over our lives. Let me share with you these verses that illustrate this idea:
“This is the declaration of the Lord to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”” (Psalm 110:1, HCSB)
“so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth —” (Philippians 2:10, HCSB)
“For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” (Romans 14:11, HCSB)
“By Myself I have sworn; Truth has gone from My mouth, a word that will not be revoked: Every knee will bow to Me, every tongue will swear allegiance.” (Isaiah 45:23, HCSB)
Jesus is the Master of four different spheres of influence:
In the book of Hebrews, Jesus is shown to be superior to the angels. In describing the relationship between Jesus and the angels, the writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 110:1.
“Now to which of the angels has He ever said: Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool?” (Hebrews 1:13, HCSB)
Jesus is not only master of Heaven, but also Earth. He has power over the elements. In one of the experiences with the disciples and Jesus, they were on a boat. A storm stirred up which scared them. They called out to Jesus as Master. Jesus clearly showed He was Master of the Earth.
“They came and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to die!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves. So they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, asking one another, “Who can this be? He commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey Him!”” (Luke 8:24–25, HCSB)
Jesus is also Master of Time. Jesus is the ultimate Time Traveler. In a question and answer session with the religious leaders, which was designed to trick Jesus, they asked Him various questions and He answered them in such a way that He even amazed the crowd. Then Jesus asked these religious leaders a question and He quoted Psalm 110.
“Then He said to them, “How can they say that the Messiah is the Son of David? For David himself says in the Book of Psalms: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.’” (Luke 20:41–43, HCSB)
They could not answer the question. They did not understand that Jesus was who David was speaking about. How could David speak about Jesus as Master if He is David’s Son? Theologians talk about this problem and one solution is the idea of a “pre-incarnate Christ.” This means that Jesus existed long before He was born at Christmas. There are Scripture verses to support this view. Let me share just a few from the Old Testament:
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:26, HCSB)
Jesus must have been there at creation because it says “us” and “our” in this verse. Do you remember the story of Abraham and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Some believe that one of these men was Jesus.
“He looked up, and he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed to the ground.” (Genesis 18:2, HCSB)
In the next chapter, two men go to Sodom. They are described as angels.
“The two angels entered Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting at Sodom’s gate. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them. He bowed with his face to the ground” (Genesis 19:1, HCSB)
Jesus was also in the fiery furnace when the three Jews Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
“He exclaimed, “Look! I see four men, not tied, walking around in the fire unharmed; and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”” (Daniel 3:25, HCSB)
So there is this view that Jesus was physically present at these events. In today’s world, we would call Him a time traveler. So He has power over time. He has power over my time. He has power over your time. He has power over all of the time in which humans will exist.
Jesus also has power over life. One time, He told His disciples a curious statement:
“Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28, HCSB)
““And I say to you, My friends, don’t fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more.” (Luke 12:4, HCSB)
So Jesus is Master over these spheres of influence in our life. When you look at the Christmas story in Matthew, the wise men knew that Jesus was their Master.
“Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11, HCSB)
The wise men were wise in bowing down to this baby. They submitted to Him as their Master and gave Him gifts. How many of us would today submit to Jesus, bow down to Him and think about giving Him gifts? If Jesus is your warrior, your priest, your king, and your master, might you think about Him this Christmas?