7 Ways to See Jesus in the Royal and Wisdom Psalms

We are thrilled to announce that today we launch two new curriculum packages on Rooted Reservoir: Foundations of Grace, covering Romans and Ephesians, and Survey of Psalms. We will also add a new course on Missions to our training video series, just in time to prepare for your summer mission trips!

The book of Psalms addresses just about every human emotion and spiritual frame imaginable. This makes it an ideal book to study for all Christians, but especially for young people as they learn to navigate their inner life within a biblical framework. Rooted Reservoir’s Survey of Psalms curriculum walks you through three sections of ten Psalms, entitled Psalms: Lament and Confidence, Psalms: Hymns and Thanksgiving, and Psalms: Royal and Wisdom. With the guidance of God’s Word, Kendal Conner, Ben Birdsong, and Seth Stewart will help you as you help your students learn how to praise, lament, and rejoice biblically.

Every book of the Bible invites us to use different stories, language, themes, and metaphors to describe the good news of what God has done in Jesus. If you’re a youth pastor, or if you’re leading a group through the Wisdom and Royal Psalms, here are 7 ways to see Jesus. 

Psalm 1: Jesus is the Stream of Living Water

Jesus is the stream of living water from Psalm 1 (John 7:37). Blessing comes to those who, like trees, plant themselves in Jesus and his Word. The unwise sit, stand, and walk in what they think is right, yet they dry up and die. But Jesus is God’s Living, flowing Word. When we drink from him we live.

Psalm 2: Jesus is the Laughing King 

When Jesus was baptized, God in heaven spoke the words of Psalm 2 (Matt. 3:17). Jesus is God’s Son and chosen King of the world. The powers of this world (human and “spiritual forces of evil) resented Jesus’ authority. They plotted and made plans to overthrow God’s King (Matt. 27:1). They arrested him on pretense, accused him falsely, and conveniently executed him on a cross. But Jesus rose from the dead, is seated on his rightful throne, and laughs at the plots and plans of the powerful (Ps. 2:4; Col. 2:15). 

Psalm 22: Jesus is the Forsaken Son

Psalm 22 is used 24 times to interpret and explain Jesus’ death and crucifixion. On the cross, Jesus inhabited the forsakenness David, and all of us, so often experience. He did this not simply to sympathize with us, but to demonstrate that anyone who trusts in him will never be abandoned. While it looked like God left Jesus to die, God did not allow his son to be abandoned to the grave (Acts 2:27). And the same goes for you.

Psalm 45: Jesus is A Prince In Search of a Princess

Like the songwriter of Psalm 45, Jesus describes himself as a groom in search of a bride (John 3:29). We are called to leave our former life behind and join Jesus in his royal home. If we accept the affection that drove him to die on the cross, he will make us spotless and beautiful (Eph. 5:25-27). Like no bride has shone before, we will shine with the glory of God (Rev. 21:9-11). The apostle John understands this is actually the end of the world. The world is moving toward a great and cosmic wedding day for those who accept the love of Jesus (Rev. 21:2). 

Psalm 49: Jesus vs. The Shepherd of Death

Psalm 49 gives us a riddle that it never answers. It asks: What can buy us out of the grave? And Jesus rephrases the unanswered riddle this way: “What can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26). And the answer is nothing. Everyone dies. Death is a grim, unbribable shepherd (Ps. 49:14). But Jesus offers a payment that Death cannot ignore (Heb. 9:14). And so Jesus has become a Good Shepherd who leads his flock into eternal life. 

Psalm 68: Jesus is a Conquering King

Psalm 68 records the journey of God’s presence through the wilderness, into victory, and into Jerusalem. It’s a picture of Jesus’ life, victories, and ascension from the dead. Just as the ark represented God’s presence and moved with the nation of Israel to provide their needs, Jesus is God’s presence embodied, living, and moving (Heb. 1:3). Where Jesus went, the enemies of God’s people were scattered. Legions of demons ran in fear (Mark 5:12-13). Leprosy fled (Matt. 8:3). Sickness bowed. And even the dead submitted to his commands (John 11:33-34). Jesus is the conquering King Psalm 68 hopes for.

Psalm 110: Jesus is Lord and Priest

Psalm 110 is the most quoted chapter of Scripture in the New Testament because Jesus is the unnamed lord and priest of Psalm 110 (Matt. 22:44, Heb. 7:16). Like the unnamed lord of this psalm, Jesus crushed the head of all his people’s enemies (Col. 2:15, 1 Cor. 15:55). And like the unnamed priest of Psalm 110, he now lives forever willing, able, and eagerly offering forgiveness and peace to all who come to him. 

There are as many ways to worship Jesus in the Psalms as there are facets of a diamond. I hope this begins a long journey of seeing and enjoying all the ways the Bible reveals the goodness of good news of Jesus. 

Seth Stewart is a husband and a dad, and after a decade in student ministry is now working as the Editor-in-Chief at Spoken Gospel. Spoken Gospel creates online resources that point to Jesus from every passage of Scripture. Seth spends his day writing, speaking, and being his family's chef.

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