Tuesday, September 1, 2015

24—The King is Coming

The earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein…Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come.  Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Psalm 24:1, 7-10

If you have been following this series, the relevance of numbers and their biblical symbolism has been considered.  Specifically, we have been looking at 22, 23, and 24. The number 22 pointed to the suffering of Christ for our sins and shadowed His ministry as God’s Great Prophet.  The shadow of death is related to 23, and this number actually points to the service of Jesus as our Great High Priest.  It is certain that the ministry of Jesus has three distinct phases—prophet, priest, and king.  If 22 pointed to the prophet and 23 pointed to the priest, then it follows that 24 will point to Christ the KING of Kings.  This is exactly what is found in scripture. 

The value 24 follows the similar pattern of 22.  Remember that 22 was the product of 2 and 11.  The number 11 points to confusion caused by the sin of humanity and 2 relates the suffering and/or fellowship of Christ with our sin.  In Genesis 22 Isaac was offered as a type of Christ while Psalm 22 was a graphic picture of the crucifixion around 1000 years before that fateful day when Jesus hung between Heaven and earth for our sin.  Correspondingly, 24 is the product of 2 and 12.  Twelve is a well known number signifying the perfection of God’s government.  In short, 24 is the number portending the reign of the 2nd Adam, Jesus Christ.  It is a prophetic picture of the soon coming King who will reign for 1000 years from His throne in Jerusalem fulfilling His role as the Son of David while at the same time having an eternal reign as the Son of God. 

At first glance, Genesis 24 may seem to deviate from the pattern.  It is the wonderful retelling of Abraham sending out an unnamed servant (probably Eliezer of Damascus) to a distant land to find a bride for Isaac.  Isn’t this the same Abraham who was given the promise of a special heir through whom all the world would be blessed?  Genesis 24 is a beautiful shadow of the bride of Christ being drawn by the Holy Spirit to their Savior.  Every King needs a kingdom, does He not?  He also needs a queen at His side (hence a rapture shadow for the next post). More on this passage another day, but let’s suffice it to say that there is much more in this beautiful love story than meets the eye.  “And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them (Genesis 24:60).”

This brings us to one of the most obvious passages of Christ the King in scripture, Psalm 24.  Dovetailing perfectly in the trilogy of Psalms sharing the ministry of Christ, this Psalm foretells the second coming in stunning detail including the triumphal entry of Christ through the currently closed Eastern Gate.  Jesus isn’t returning as the Lamb that was slain nor is He returning for a group hug. No!  He is returning as the Lion of Judah, the Supreme Ruler of all humanity.  He will reign with a rod of iron and all will be done in holiness and righteousness.  Jerusalem will be His capital and to Him all will bow.  Only those with clean hands and a pure heart will enter that glorious reign.  Jesus is coming to straighten out this sinful world once and for all. The other Psalm of the King, Psalm 2, gives even more detail as does Psalm 12 (2x12=24). He arrives at a time when the godly men cease upon the earth even as Psalm 12 mentions.  It is at a time when the ungodliest of all men, the antichrist is usurping the throne of Christ. Jesus' promise of justice comes with Him!  “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him (Psalm 12:5).”

What a beautiful trilogy of Psalms.  Psalm 22 is the Psalm of Christ the Prophet.  Psalm 23 is the Psalm of Christ our Heavenly High Priest.  Psalm 24 is the promise of our Soon2Come

In 22 He is despised and rejected of the people and forsaken due to our sin. In 23 He is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for the saints leading them through the valley of the shadow of death.  In Psalm 24 He is the glorious King returning with the armies of Heaven in tow. 

In Psalm 22 He died for you!
In Psalm 23 He lives to pray for you!
In Psalm 24 He is coming for you!

We see the cross with its shame in Psalm 22.
We see the crook and staff with their watchful care in Psalm 23.
We see the crown and its resplendent glory in Psalm 24.

His cry is in 22!
His comfort is in 23!
His claim is in 24!

By His death He was left strength less for us in Psalm 22.
By His intercession He is found strengthening us daily in Psalm 23.
By His return He is found to be the strongest of the strong in Psalm 24.

Bless the LORD Jesus Christ--Prophet, Priest, and King!  He is certainly Soon2Come and fulfill His ministry as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  Bless the Lamb of GOD!  Bless the Lion of Judah, mighty to save!

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