Broader Christendom acknowledges the present reign of Christ at the Father’s right hand to be the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. It is a rather recent development that some hold stating that Christ is not currently reigning on David’s throne. According to this view, Christ will reign upon his second coming to establish his earthly kingdom. Accordingly, David’s throne is to be a literal earthly throne and since no such throne currently exists it cannot be said that Christ is reigning on it. Clearly, this discussion could digress into a discussion about eschatology, the kingdom of God, typology, prophecy, etc. (All of which are profitable discussions) However, the case I would like to make presently is that the New Testament authors understand Christ’s current glorification and reign as the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. To that end:

Psalm 110 is the most quoted/referenced Psalm in the New Testament.[1] Twenty two times the words of David are referenced and most in support of Christ’s reign at the right hand of the Father. For sake of reference:

            Psalm 110:1-7

            The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your   footstool.” The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst     of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power,          in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be     yours. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” The Lord is at your right hand; he will           shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations,        filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink            from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.

Matthew 22:41-46 is an astounding text where Jesus uses Psalm 110 to make plain his identity as Divine; and it also shows us that David was consciously aware of the fact that he was writing of a future Messiah Priest-King who would be the ultimate fulfillment of the covenant God made with him in II Samuel 7.

            Matthew 22:41-46

            Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question:            “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son   of David.” He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’    saying,

            ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,
            “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
            UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET”’?

            “If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” No one was able to answer          Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.

In Acts 2:30-36 we find Peter preaching on the day of Pentecost. He is addressing the men of Israel concerning the Christ whom they crucified; yet, who according to Peter, God raised up and made him both Lord and Christ.

In verse 30 Peter tells us that David was a prophet and knowing that God had sworn to uphold his throne forever he spoke about the resurrection of Christ. Verse 33 explicitly says that Jesus is exalted at the right hand of God.

Perhaps it is easiest to see from Luke’s own writing:

            Acts 2:30-36

            Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him       that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about          the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh      see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the             promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord            said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.’          Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both            Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

The claim I am making is that Christ’s resurrection was in essence his coronation as King and he must reign until all his enemies are under his feet. I get this from two places specifically:

            Romans 1:1-4

            Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of        God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,         concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was      declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his   resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

and

            I Corinthians 15:22-27a

            For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own     order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his        enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.  For “God has put     all things in subjection under his feet.”

The claim I am making is not new, but it has tremendous implications. Unfortunately, the majority of western, Evangelical Christians are products of faulty teaching concerning our Lord’s exaltation. So what implications does it have? How does knowing that Jesus is currently reigning at the right hand of the Father help me serve coffee at Starbucks, or teach children at school, or design processes for efficiency in manufacturing, or sell insurance policies, or diagnose diseases and perform surgery, or raise children, or shepherd the body of Christ?

Let me offer just a few:

1: The present reign of Christ motivates us to persevere in the faith.

            Hebrews 12:1b-3

            …let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run        with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and   perfecter of our faith…who is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.     Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that     you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

2: The present reign of Christ ensures us that his kingdom is advancing though we may not see it.

            I Corinthians 15: 25-28/Hebrew 2:8

            For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy     to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his     feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is       excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are       subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all            things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all…though at present, we do      not yet see everything in subjection to him.

3. The present reign of Christ assures us that charges of sin cannot be levied against God’s elect.

            Romans 8:33-34

            Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is         at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us!


[1] References to Psalm 110:1 can also be seen in Matt 26:24; Mark 12:36; 14:62; 16:19; Luke 20:42, 43; 22:69; Acts 5:31; 7:55-56; Rom 8:34; 1 Cor 15:25; Eph 1:20; 2:6; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3; 8:1; 10:12–13; 12:2; Rev 3:21.

 

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