Saturday, 11 April 2009

Easter Psalms: 23

Much has been written on Psalm 23 and how it's a wonderful comfort to the Christian -Jesus, the good shepherd faithfully and carefully looking after his sheep. All of that is wonderfully true. However, I want to suggest that this interpretation is secondary and that Psalm 23 is primarily Messianic. Here are three reasons why:

1. Jesus is the Lamb of God, lead by his Father.

2. Any blessings Christians get from God are never direct from God they are always derived from first being in Christ the true man - the God man. He is the true man who goes ahead of the Church.  The Church follows in his wake.

3. Psalm 23 has no plurals in it.  If it was written primarily for the church - it would have had phrases like The Lord is our Shepherd... even though we walk... etc. etc. It would have had more of a Miriam's song feel about it with at least some plurals.

So in a Messianic interpretation, v1-3 depict the earthly life of Jesus and his mission, v4 his crucifixion - bleeding to death like the Passover lamb and v5-6 his resurrection, ascension, glorification and resting as the rightful ruler of everything that exists, (except God himself of course).

The derived benefit we get if we are united to Christ, who assumed the frailty of a lamb, is that if we die with him, we will also reign with him in the age to come!

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