SYNOPSIS – The application of Psalm 110:1 to Christ’s present reign by the New Testament – He already possesses all authority in heaven and on the earth – Matthew 28:18.
The New Testament declares that Jesus has reigned sovereign over the Cosmos since his Death and Resurrection, as counterintuitive as this may be. Indeed, according to the New Testament, Jesus reigns already on the throne of David in fulfillment of the second Psalm.
He himself declared this to be the case after he rose from the dead. As a result of his obedience unto death God raised him from the dead and installed him to reign at His right side (Compare – Philippians 2:6-11, Hebrews 1:1-4):
(Matthew 28:18-20) – “And Jesus, coming near, spake unto them, saying—All authority in heaven and on earth hath been given unto me; Go ye, therefore, and disciple all the nations, Immersing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,— Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I myself have commanded you, And lo! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the age.” – (The Emphasized Bible).
When he arrived in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” Peter gave the correct answer: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus then revealed that he must “go to Jerusalem and suffer many things of the elders, chief priests and scribes, and be killed,” though God would resurrect him on the third day – (Matthew 16:13-28).
Jesus called his followers to deny themselves, take up the cross and, in this way, to follow him. Discipleship means unjust suffering for his sake. In the Gospel of Mark, the Son of God can only be recognized in his sacrificial death. The “Son of Man” would rise from the dead and one day return in glory to judge humanity, but not before he endured unjust suffering and death at the hands of the unrighteous.
Jesus promised that some of his disciples would not die until they saw the “Son of man coming in his kingdom,” a clause that alludes to a vision of Daniel:
(Daniel 7:13-14) – “I continued looking in the visions of the night, when lo! with the clouds of the heavens, one like a son of man was coming,—and unto the Ancient of days he approached, and before him they brought him near; and unto him were given dominion and dignity and kingship, that all peoples, races and tongues unto him should do service,—his dominion was an age-abiding dominion, which should not pass away, and his kingdom that which should not be destroyed.” – (The Emphasized Bible).
After his resurrection, Jesus declared, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” As the resurrected Messiah and the Son of Man, he laid claim to ALL authority, whether in heaven or on earth, just as promised by the Prophet Daniel to the one “like a Son of Man.” The words of Jesus to his disciples also echoed the Messianic prophecy from the second Psalm:
- (Psalm 2:7-8) – “Let me tell of a decree,—Yahweh, hath said unto me, My son, thou art, I, to-day, have begotten thee: Ask of me, and let me give nations as thine inheritance, and, as thy possession, the ends of the earth” – (The Emphasized Bible).
This absolute authority is precisely why Jesus commanded his disciples to proclaim the gospel to all nations; he was now the sovereign over all the nations, he is the “ruler of the kings of the earth.” His disciples were to proclaim his rule over the earth, as paradoxical as it might be:
- (Revelation 1:5-6) – “And from—Jesus Christ,—The Faithful Witness, The Firstborn of the Dead, and The Ruler of the Kings of the Earth. Unto him that loveth us and loosed us out of our sins with his blood,— and he hath made us [to be] a kingdom—priests unto his God and Father, Unto him be the glory and the dominion, unto the ages. Amen.” – (The Emphasized Bible).
Because of his faithfulness, God raised Jesus from the dead and made him the absolute sovereign over the heavens and the earth. “God has made this same Jesus whom you have crucified both Lord and Christ.” He set him at His right hand, “far above all principality, power, might and dominion, and every name that is named”:
- (Acts 2:34-36) – “For, David hath not ascended into the heavens; but he saith himself,—Said the Lord unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Assuredly, then, let all the house of Israel know: that both Lord and Christ hath God made him, even the same Jesus whom ye crucified!” – (The Emphasized Bible).
- (Ephesians 1:20-22) – “Which he energised in the Christ when he raised him from among the dead, and seated him at his right hand in the heavenlies, Over-above all principality, authority, and power, and lordship, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the coming one, And did put all things in subjection beneath his feet. And gave him to be head over all things unto the assembly.” – (The Emphasized Bible).
Because of his faithful obedience, even when it meant death on a Roman cross, God has highly exalted him and “given him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” – (Philippians 2:6-11).
Already, as a result of his death and resurrection, Jesus is the “faithful witness,” the “firstborn of the dead,” and the “ruler of the kings of the earth.” This means that he already has all the authority necessary to reign over the Cosmos. He is not waiting to receive sovereignty or authority at some future point; he already has both – (Revelation 1:5).
As Jesus promised, his disciples saw his kingdom arrive in power following his death and resurrection. It is because he possesses all power and authority that he can send his disciples to proclaim the good news of his reign to all nations. Anyone who rejects his “good news” does more than refuse a new religious creed; he or she defies the rule of the Son of Man and, thus, aligns with the “the nations that rage and the kings of the earth” against Yahweh’s anointed – (Psalm 2:1-2).