Jesus is in the Psalms by Type and Directly
There are two types of Psalms in relation to Christ. First there is the type that are typically Messianic. What that means is that they reference Jesus thru a type (a picture) and not directly.
In this type the primary reference will be to a person, like for example David, but it also is pointing to Christ. An example of this is the 61st Psalm.
Psa 61:6 Thou wilt prolong the king’s life: [and] his years as many generations.
Psa 61:7 He shall abide before God for ever: This has application to King David and at the same time it points to the ultimate King. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Psa 118:22 The stone [which] the builders refused is become the head [stone] of the corner.
Psa 118:23 This is the LORD’S doing; it [is] marvellous in our eyes.
Some people believe that the 118th Psalm is a song of the second temple. And it could very well be that there was an actual stone that the builders refused at first that became the head corner stone. But this passage was also talking about Christ. This is affirmed for us in the New Testament. 1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
In this group of Typical Messianic Psalms are 72, 8, 16, 18, 40, 55, 69, 89, 109, and others.
The second type are those that are directly Messianic
These point directly to Jesus. An example of this is the 110th Psalm. Psa 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Nowhere in the Bible do we see an invitation to an earthly king to sit at the right hand of God. This can only be understood in reference to Christ. The first Lord is God the father and the second Lord is God the Son.
This Psalm is referenced in Hebrews. Heb 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
Other Psalms of this type are 2, 22, 45, 110 and others.
The Psalms are full of detail about Christ. We see Christ’s offices in the Psalms
His office as a prophet is seen in the 22nd and the 40th Psalm.
Psa 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren:
Psa 40:9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
Psa 40:10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
His office as priest is seen in the 110th Psalm.
Psa 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
His office as King is seen in the 2nd Psalm.
Psa 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Psa 45:6 Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom [is] a right sceptre. That verse should sound very familiar.
Heb 1:8 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom.
His Sonship is seen in the 2nd Psalm.
Psa 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
His incarnation is foretold in the 40th Psalm as it is applied in Hebrews.
Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
Heb 10:6 In burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Heb 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Psa 22:10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou [art] my God from my mother’s belly. You will see many references to a human mother but not to a human father. This is very suggestive of the incarnation and the virgin birth.
We see Him as the Good Shepherd in Psalm 23.
Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
His Trust and Obedience are seen in the 18th Psalm.
Psa 18:21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
His moral character is seen in the 45th Psalm.
Psa 45:2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: Psa 45:4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness [and] righteousness;
His anointing of the Holy Spirit is seen. Psa 45:7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
His life of self-sacrifice is shown in the 69th Psalm
Psa 69:29 But I [am] poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. He sacrificed the riches and glories of heaven and became poor.
He sacrificed the worship of heaven. He left that to bear reproach and shame.
Psa 69:7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
We see His passionate devotion to God’s service.
Psa 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up;
We see His rejection in the 69th Psalm.
Psa 69:8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children
We see the conspiracy of His foes against Him in the 31st Psalm.
Psa 31:13 For I have heard the slander of many: fear [was] on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
His betrayal of one of the 12 is seen in the 41st and 55th Psalm.
Psa 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up [his] heel against me.
Psa 55:12 For [it was] not an enemy [that] reproached me; then I could have borne [it]: neither [was it] he that hated me [that] did magnify [himself] against me; then I would have hid myself from him:
Psa 55:13 But [it was] thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.
Psa 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, [and] walked unto the house of God in company.
We see Christ on the cross in the 22nd Psalm.
Psa 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [why art thou so] far from helping me, [and from] the words of my roaring? Psa 22:2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
That should sound familiar. Christ quoted this while He was on the Cross.
Psa 22:7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, [saying], They were all mocking Jesus while He was on the cross.
Psa 22:8 He trusted on the LORD [that] he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. And this happened in Mat 27:43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
Psa 22:11 Be not far from me; for trouble [is] near; for [there is] none to help. All forsook Him on the cross.
Psa 22:12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong [bulls] of Bashan have beset me round. Psa 22:13 They gaped upon me [with] their mouths, [as] a ravening and a roaring lion. Many believe that the strong bulls of Bashan is a reference to demons that were present during the spiritual battle on the cross.
Psa 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. What came out of the wound when Jesus was pierced with the spear? Blood and water.
Psa 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
This is a reference to the great thirst that Jesus experienced on the cross.
Psa 22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
This is a description of the crucifixion. He had an assembly of the wicked all around Him. And they pierced my hands and my feet is clearly talking about the crucifixion centuries before crucifixion was even thought of.
Psa 22:17 I may tell all my bones: they look [and] stare upon me. Psa 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
And that is exactly what happened. They parted His garments and then gambled for His coat.
We see Christ before the cross in the Psalms and we see Him on the cross and we see Christ after the cross.
His resurrection is seen in the 16th Psalm.
Psa 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Psa 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive:
This is referenced in Eph. 4:7-10
His kingdom and triumph are seen in the 72nd Psalm.
Psa 72:2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
Psa 72:3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
Psa 72:4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
Psa 72:5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
Psa 72:6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers [that] water the earth.
Psa 72:7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.
Psalm 72 is a description of His 1,000 year reign.
His coming judgment is seen the the 50th and 98th Psalm.
Psa 98:9 Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.
Psa 50:3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. Psa 50:4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
The amount of prophecies in the Psalms about Christ is amazing. It cannot be explained away by anything except the foreknowledge of God.
It was not done in secret. It was not done in a closet. God foretold the life and ministry of Christ in great detail.
So how should this affect me?
It should increase our appreciation of the greatness of God’s word.
It should show us that as we read our Bibles that we need to be looking for Christ. For He is all across the pages from the first page until the last. Christ is the central figure in all the Bible. And if we are not seeing Christ when we read the O.T. then we should pray to God for the eyes to see. And it should give us something to witness about. The fact of fulfilled prophecy about Christ proves that this is the Word of God and that Jesus is the messiah. He is the promised savior.