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THE PSALMS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

The Old Testament Psalms had a profound influence on the writers of the New Testament, where they quote from several Old Testament books, but especially from the Psalms, from which they drew on the wealth of truth pertaining to Yeshua haMashiach/Jesus Christ.

Ordered (unsuccessfully) by the Sanhedrin not to preach in the name of Yeshua/Jesus Christ, the New Testament church prayed to God for the continuing boldness of the apostles. In their prayer, they quoted Psalm 2:1-2 and applied it as a prophecy of what had happened to Jesus Christ.

Psalm 2 warns of the nations conspiring against the Lord. Kings and rulers would gather together against the Lord and his anointed. The church cried to God, "Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed" (Acts 4:27).

Those convinced from the life and teachings of Messiah had been convicted of his teachings so that they observed that Psalm 2 applied to Yeshua/Jesus as the anointed, the Messiah. The word Christ is a title meaning "anointed"; Jesus was the Christ, the Anointed One.

Viewing the second psalm in the light of Jesusí life, the New Testament writers understood verse 7 as a reference to Jesus as the Son of God. In both Acts and Hebrews, the saying, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father," is applied to Jesus as the Son of God (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 5:5).

The followers of Jesus Christ noticed that several psalms prophesied events in Jesus' life. Such psalms became known as "messianic psalms."

Psalm 22 is a typical messianic psalm. Matthew and Mark record Christís agonizing plea from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). Yet these words were the beginning of one of Davidís psalms (Psalm 22:1). The New Testament writers understood that Davidís words concerning his own situation applied even more fully to Christís suffering. In addition to the direct quotations, there are numerous allusions to this psalm in the New Testament.

An example of a Messianic statement in Psalms applying to Yeshua was said through the mouth of David: "All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: "He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him" (verses 7-8). Matthew, Mark and Luke record the actions of Christís enemies: mocking him, shaking their heads at him and telling him to save himself, since he claimed to be the Son of God (Matthew 27:39-44; Mark 15:29-32; Luke 23:35-39).

One notable example of how Davidís words in the Psalms apply to Yeshua haMashiach/Jesus Christ is found in Psalm 22:18, which states, "They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." The apostle John showed how this prophecy was fulfilled by the soldiers who divided Christís clothes into four parts and cast lots for his tunic (John 19:23-24).

Psalm 69 is another messianic psalm. Yeshua/Jesus himself stated he would be hated without a cause, "but this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ĎThey hated me without reason.í" (John 15:25). Christ was referring to Psalm 69:4.

Reviewing events in Christís life, it is obvious that several other verses apply to haMashiach, even if not quoted in the New Testament. For example: "I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own motherís sons" (verses 7-8).

When the money changers were driven by Yeshua/Christ from the temple, saying, "How dare you turn my Fatherís house into a market!" (John 2:16), his disciples remembered the scripture (Psalm 69:9) where it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me" (John 2:17).

Other messianic psalms include Psalms 110 and 118. These psalms, like many other parts of the Old Testament in which there are prophecies concerning Christís first coming, were used by the apostles and evangelists as they preached the gospel.

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