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Day 5

Baptism: Your God Has Anointed You
Imagine standing with Jesus, right next to him, in prayer to his Father. Read this passage of praise aloud. As you do so, consider that you are praying along with Jesus, your two voices becoming one as you bless God.  
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
   and all that is within me,
   bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity
   who heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the pit,
   who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5)
Psalm 45:1-9
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
   I address my verses to the king;
   my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
   grace is poured upon your lips;
   therefore God has blessed you forever.
Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
   in your splendor and majesty!
In your majesty ride out victoriously
   for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
   let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
Your arrows are sharp
   in the heart of the king’s enemies;
   the peoples fall under you.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
   The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
   you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
   with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
   your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
   daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
   at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
What Is This Psalm About?   
This is a song for a royal wedding. Authors of several psalms, the sons of Korah extol the majesty of the king as he prepares to wed. The whole nation rejoiced when a good and righteous king, representing the LORD’s reign of blessing over his people, married a worthy bride. A king who ruled in righteousness created justice throughout the land, and as he rode forth to subdue enemies, the people dwelled in peace. The monarch of Israel had been anointed king by a priest. Therefore, on his wedding day, the very favor of the LORD I AM falls like the finest oil over this king. He is blessed by God himself in whose name he reigns. The beautiful bride portends royal offspring and the hope that the royal line endures. 
Though we do not know to which king specifically this psalm was addressed, we do know it is in line with the unconditional promise of the LORD that there would always be an heir of David on the throne of Israel (2 Samuel 7:16). In this way, Psalm 45, even on the first day it was sung, looked forward to the day of the final Messiah when God himself would take his throne to rule on the earth setting all things right. 
What Might This Psalm Have Meant to Jesus?
Once more the book of Hebrews confirms the deepest meaning of a psalm to be about Jesus. In fact, Hebrews places the praise of the king on the lips of God the Father! 
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
     the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
     with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” (Hebrews 1:8)
When would Jesus have experienced such anointing from his heavenly Father? We return to the event of his baptism. Matthew describes: 
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:6-17)
As John pours water on Jesus, the Father anoints our King with the Spirit. This “oil of gladness” will sustain him in joy through all his trials. Then the Father introduces Jesus publicly as his beloved Son. He summons the world to acknowledge the rule of the Lord. Imagine Jesus reciting this psalm as he contemplates what had happened to him in the Jordan. All these words to the king of Israel were for him! 
In the psalm, the singers praise the king for being “the most handsome of the sons of men.” Jesus may have laughed at this since this carpenter’s son from Nazareth was not known for his attractive appearance. In fact, he would also have known Isaiah 53:3 which declared that the suffering servant had “no beauty that that we should desire him.” Jesus may not have been comely according to external norms, but what beauty of love and holiness flowed from within him. What integrity, energy, passion, tenderness and faithfulness he displayed as he sought and saved the lost. How beautiful he looked to those who answered his call! 
At his baptism, Jesus accepts his mission. He leaves the waters ready to go forth and reclaim those whose lives had been usurped by the evil one. Steeped in the Word of God, he wields that sword like a holy warrior to liberate his people. 
By Jesus’ command, demons will flee, sickness will yield to health, chains of shame will fall away. Sinners will be absolved, the wayward brought home, and multitudes called out of darkness into light.
Jesus is all love. Love refuses to let the loved ones languish under slavery. Jesus rides out from his baptism to engage in a war of salvation, a fight against the principalities and powers of evil in order to redeem the world. His right hand will stretch forth in power to heal. His words, explaining and applying the Scriptures, will convict, piercing right into the heart of the most stubborn refusal.
Singing Psalm 45 after he rises from baptism, Jesus knows himself to be the king, the king of love, who hates the wickedness that ruins his people. He marches forward into ministry to marry his bride, his church, in 
redeeming power.
Praying with Jesus
Blessed are those who are invited 
To the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).
Mighty King Jesus, how can it be
That you have betrothed yourself to me?
I look upon my hand and see the most dazzling ring:
Your Holy Spirit, the promise of all that is to come.
You have bought for me my wedding dress,
Dazzling pure garments of your own holiness.
My rags washed now in your precious blood.
My impure heart made new.
Every day I prepare for an eternity of reconciled faithfulness.
Grace is poured upon your lips
As you say the sweetest things to me:
“Your sins are forgiven.”
“Fear not, I have called you by name, you are mine.”
“I will come again and take you to myself,
That where I am, you may be also.”
Most glorious King and Husband,
Jesus lover of my soul,
Fan your Spirit in me into flame
That I might make choices today
To adorn our marriage on that Great Day.


Posted in: Lent