In Psalm 110:1-4, David painted a picture of Christ reigning as King and Priest together with His believing people. Every detail of the scene is significant and merits our careful attention. The inspired language and imagery David uses must be interpreted by reference to other related passages of the Scripture.
In the first verse, we have the revelation of Christ as King, enthroned at the Father's right hand: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool" (KJV). No other verse of the Old Testament is quoted more often in the New Testament than this. In three of the gospels, Jesus quoted the words of David and applied them to Himself.
In verse 4 of Psalm 110, David's picture is completed by the revelation of Christ as priest: "The Lord sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.. The whole teaching of the epistle to the Hebrews con-cerning Christ's high priesthood is based on this verse of Psalm 110. The writer of Hebrews stressed that in Melchizedek there was the union of the two functions of kingship and priesthood. Melchizedek was "priest of the Most High God." In addition, he was, by the very meaning of his name, "King of Righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of Peace" (Hebrews 7:1-2).
Such is the double ministry that Christ now exercises at the Father's right hand. As king, He rules. As Priest, He intercedes: "He liveth to make intercession."
Here we play our part in the double ministry of Christ. as kings, we rule with Him. As priests, we share His ministry of prayer and intercession. We must never seek to separate these two functions from each other. If we could rule as kings, we must serve as priests. The practice of our priestly ministry is the key to the service of our kingly authority. It is through prayer and intercession that we administer the authority that is ours in the name of Jesus.
How wonderfully David's picture illustrates the church's ministry of prayer. In the world, the forces of evil are rampant on every hand, rejecting the authority of Christ and opposing the work of His kingdom. But "in the midst" (Psalm 110:2), the Christians assemble in the divine order as kings and priests. Out of their assembly, the rod of Christ’s authority, exercised in His name, is sent forth through their prayers. In every direction that the rod is extended, the forces of evil are compelled to yield, and Christ in turn is exalted and His kingdom advanced.
All Christians look forward to the day when Christ's enemies are finally and completely subdued, and He will be openly manifested and universally acknowledged as King. The Bible promises that that day will come. But we must not let the promised glory of the future blind us to the reality of Christ's present position at God's right hand. Christ rules even now "in the midst of His enemies" ( v.2), and we rule with Him.
It is our responsibility to exercise the authority that is ours through His name, and in face of all the forces of evil to demonstrate that Christ is already "Lord of lords, and King of kings" (Revelations 17:14).