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March 16, 2014
“An Everlasting King”
Psalm 110:1-4; Acts 2;22-24, 29-32
(Click here for PDF: An Everlasting King Sunday School Lesson, or simply click the print button below. Enjoy!)
(Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2010 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited)
“Where Does Our Victory Lie?”
When the world as we know it comes to a close,
And in time we travel to the end;
Where does our victory lie,
If not in the King who did ascend?
When all that we see now peels away,
Torn by sin’s ravaging discord;
Where does our victory lie,
If not in He who is Lord of lords?”
(Word For Life Says © 2014)
Everybody I know wants to be a winner. Nobody likes to be on the short end of the stick or dealt the wrong hand. These methods leave one’s future to chance. Thankfully, if we are in Christ our future is not left to chance. There is assurance of victory in the end for us for our King is “An Everlasting King” who will reign for all eternity, leading us to our victorious home. Unlike earthly kings, our King will forever be seated on His throne, never to be removed.
Psalm 110:1-4 “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”
When I read of the stories during Jesus’ ministry of Him going away into prayer alone with God, I always wonder what that conversation must be like. Oh, to be a fly on that wall.
Here, God allowed David, through prophecy, a peek at that holy, private conversation, so to speak. David then reveals to us in beautiful language this Messianic psalm where God promised a future descendant that would reign forever.
“The LORD said unto my Lord.” Originally the first LORD stands for Yahweh; whereas the second for Adōn or Adonai. What it shows is deity talking to/with deity. This is also verified in several places in the New Testament, written in red, with Jesus speaking of Himself. One example is found in Mark 12:36 that reads, “For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool,” (see also Mt. 22:44; Lk. 20:42).
“Sit thou at my right hand.” Over and over again in the Bible we see the phrase “at the right hand.” For example, in the Old Testament, God said, “Fear not . . . I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness,” (Is. 41:10). And, in the New Testament Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The “right hand” is a special place. It gives the idea that those on the right are in a more honored and favored position than others (see Jesus’ example of sheep on His right as opposed to the goats on His left in Matthew 25:33-46).
The “right hand” is a place of an exalted position. He who resides on the “right” resides in the place of power and authority. It is a place of supremacy, showing His kingship to rule. The “right hand” of God is the highest place one could ever be; a place reserved for “An Everlasting King.”
“Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” When I was young I used to love, I mean absolutely love, to watch wrestling matches on TV. At that age, you couldn’t tell me anything about it. I was into it big time. I knew each participant and it was the thing to watch on a Saturday afternoon.
The struggles to me between competitors seemed very real at that age. Despite how the match was going, the winner was never declared until one of the opponents was pinned to the mat for the three count. Even during battles and contest of old, the picture of pinning defeated enemies down was very real. The idea of the victor placing his foot on an enemy’s neck was typical. Here, it gives the impression that with the everlasting King, His enemies will suffer total defeat as they become “thy footstool.”
Jesus, to whom God is speaking of, will have total victory over all His “enemies.” Ephesians 1:20-22 expounds on this a little more by saying,
“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.”
He is the one who is exalted. He is the one who has all power. He is the one who is victorious. He is the everlasting King who is head over all!
“The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion.” “The rod” spoken of here is a sign of authority, as we would view it in terms of a scepter. In the story of Queen Esther, we become most familiar with the power of a king’s scepter. Coming into the court uninvited could have meant death to her except the king favor her and hold out the scepter, the symbol of his authority, as he did in Esther 5:2.
Here, the scepter, or “the rod” of the everlasting King is not held out for favor, rather it’s going out against His enemies to gain Him complete victory over every adversary. “The rod of thy strength;” all the power and authority He has is commissioned to go against evil to crush it and defeat it once and for all.
“Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” David, who authored this messianic psalm, is familiar with this kind of language. For in another psalm he authored he declared, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies . . .,” (Ps. 23:5). What He did for David was just a small glimpse of what He would do for his descendant who is the everlasting King. David was supplied and cared for “in the presence of mine enemies;” the everlasting King will “rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.”
No matter the adversity, His reign will not be usurped. He will prevail and “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; And every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Phil. 2:10-11). He will be acknowledged as King forever. The everlasting King will rule forever and all will “bow the knee” to Him!
‘Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” The everlasting King’s people will be united to Him. They will join themselves to Him, readying their persons for service and for battle “in the day of thy power.” This would be done in a “willing” fashion. They readily give in and of themselves for the King. They are bound to Him for His cause. Christ the King willingly offered Himself to save and redeem them, to fight for their cause against sin. Jesus once spoke of His own life and said, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself,” (John 10:18). Willingly! Now, they too have placed themselves; willingly under His command to fulfill His purpose (see also Romans 12:1-2).
“In the beauties of holiness from the womb in the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” Holiness is beautiful! Living right is beautiful! 1 Peter 2:9 declares that we “Are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light,” (emphasis mine). As His people we are to be “an holy nation” that shows everyone else what He has done for us; showing the beauty of who He is. We are united to Him and we are to shine brightly for Him.
In that coming day, Revelation 19:14 tells us, “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” Verse 8 of this very same chapter describes this “fine linen” as “the righteousness of saints.” They are adorned beautifully on the outside because of the “beauty of holiness” on the inside. It is declared that this is how He is to be worshipped also (Ps. 29:1-2; 1 Chr. 16:29).
“Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” The everlasting King also operates as a “priest.” Traveling back in time a bit to Genesis 14, Abram’s family faced a crisis when Lot was taken captive (vss. 12-14). Abram gathered his men and recovered all his possessions and people (vss. 15-16). After the which, he was met by Melchizedek who was king of Salem, but also served as “the priest of the most high God,” (Gen. 14:18).
The everlasting King in David’s prophecy would be “after the order of Melchizedek.” That word “order” gives the impression of one being in the same style. He would serve not only as King, but He would fulfill priestly duties as well. Speaking of Jesus, the writer of Hebrews said, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession,” (Heb. 4:14).
Our King, Jesus Christ, is also our high priest. Unlike the priests of the Old Testament, our high priest did not enter into the holy place with the blood of goats and calves, rather “by his own blood . . . having obtained eternal redemption for us,” (Heb. 9:12).
Acts 2:22-24 “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”
With the promise and the prophecy of the Old Testament well established, let’s venture to see how Christ filled the position of “An Everlasting King.”
Acts 1 records events of Jesus after His resurrection until He was “taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight,” (Acts 1:9). After that we see another prophecy David spoke of fulfilled by Judas (Acts 1:16; Psalm 41:9). Following that, a new apostle was named (Acts 1:26).
Moving into chapter 2 of Acts, many are familiar with the events surrounding the day of Pentecost where “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,” (Acts 2:4). Once we get past the excitement of this, Peter preaches a powerful sermon that connects Jesus as the Messiah that was prophesied of in the Old Testament, thereby establishing Him as the everlasting King.
After pointedly and deliberately addressing his audience, “Ye men of Israel;” Peter really began to drive his message home about “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Speaking of Jesus, He was “a man approved by God among you.” By the time we reach this point Jesus has already been crucified, rose and ascended. Yet, the wording brings one’s mind back to the beginning of His ministry. After being baptized, rising out of the waters of the Jordan, He hears these words of affirmation, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” (Mt. 3:17; see also Mk. 1:11 and Lk. 3:22). This was spoken evidence of “a man approved by God.”
Jesus continued to live a life that was pleasing to God not only at the beginning of His ministry, but all throughout. The same words coming from the Father were echoed at His Transfiguration, showing that He was still “approved by God;” once again revealed by spoken evidence.
Being “approved by God” also came with physical evidence. There was proof in who He was through the things that were manifested through Him; through “miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you.” These things weren’t done in secret, by openly Jesus displayed the power and the approval of God through Him, by the “miracles” He performed.
That God was with Him, working through Him was evident to those who watched Him, whether they wanted to admit it or not. Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus by night and he testified and said, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him,” (John 3:1-2, emphasis mine).
The “miracles and wonders and signs” were all visible proofs that others could see and recognize the presence and the power of God at work. Jesus once encouraged the people to let the “miracles;” let “the works” speak for Him (John 14:11). In John 5:36 Jesus said, “The same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.”
“Ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Though God’s plan of salvation was established “from the foundation of the world,” (Rev. 13:8); which was “by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,” Peter let them know that they were not held guiltless in their responsibility in the events that played out in regard to Jesus’ death. By saying “ye have taken” he showed their participation, therefore their responsibility also.
“Whom God hath raised up.” Death didn’t win that day and in the end death will be vanquished for “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,” (1 Cor. 15:26). “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:54c-55). God raised Him up because “it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” Death could not keep Him down! Awesome!
Acts 2:29-32 “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.”
As much as they revered David, Peter had to set the record straight; the everlasting King out ranks David in all rights of power and authority on the throne forever.
The number one qualification to be considered “everlasting” is to, well . . . be “everlasting!” David didn’t qualify for that. “He is both death and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.”
David’s physical kingship only lasted as long as he was alive. But, before he died God gave him a promise “that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.” This is seen in Psalm 132:11 where identical wording is used, saying, “The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.” A promise, Peter declared, was fulfilled by Jesus.
David’s body would have been long decomposed by this time, whereas Christ, who rose from the dead, did not see “corruption;” or decomposition and decay. Psalm 16:10 says, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption.” Jesus once spoke and said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” (John 2:19). And, raise it up He did! He did not see “corruption!”
Peter spoke boldly with confidence in his message because he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what he was talking about because “we all are witnesses” he said. Acts 1:3 says, “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God,” (emphasis mine). He showed Himself “alive!” This is what was “seen of them!” They were “witnesses;” they saw Him with their own two eyes for forty days! Wow!
In the last two verses of the last chapter of his book, John wrote, “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen,” (John 21:24-25). Their testimonies; their “witnesses” were true. They saw it all!
As punctuated throughout this lesson and previous lessons, all evidence points to Jesus Christ as “An Everlasting King.” Be blessed.
Below you will find activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Draw the Scene: An Everlasting King Draw the Scene
Jesus is King Coloring/Activities/Resources:
“V is for Victory Coloring Page” (Goes great with Psalm 110:1-2. Enjoy!)
“Christ the King Craft” (With just a few supplies your students will enjoy putting together this simple craft that really emphasizes Christ the King. Enjoy!)
“Jesus is the King of Kings” (Scroll down the page to find and easy printable that gets the point of today’s lesson across nicely. Enjoy!)
“Fun and Easy Cross Craft for Kids” (This is “salt painting” will inspire any student to make a cross of their own to show Christ is their King. Enjoy!)
“Make a Magnificent Crown Craft” (This crown craft is a bit more decorative than most printables but is great for older students. Enjoy!)
“King of Kings Printable/Bible Song” (Teaching students this song will really bring home the gist of this week’s lesson. Students often retain more information when a song is used. Enjoy!)
“Christ the King” (Though this one leans more toward an Easter theme the Object Lesson and Group Activities can be easily applied to this week’s lesson. These ideas can really enrich the lesson allowing your students to have more fun with the lesson as well as retaining the theme of the lesson. Enjoy!)
“Crown of Jesus” (This is an easy, printable crown for students to decorate and color with the name of Jesus standing out in the front of it. Awesome! Affordable! Quick! Easy! Enjoy!)
“Christ the King Sunday” (I appreciate this one for its object lesson. Enjoy!)
“Jesus Is . . .” (This one is great. It has a great opening game by using the theme of Red Rover. It also has printable coloring/activity sheets. Enjoy!)
“Bible Verse Art Project” (I absolutely love this art project. It goes well with ANY Bible verse for ANY lesson. Would go great with Psalm 110:1 from today’s lesson or save this idea for future use with another lesson. I guarantee you will use this. Enjoy!)