Psalms and Zechariah based verse sets that demonstrate the deity of Christ
Welcome to Lesson 5 of A Zero Fluff Bible Study on the deity of Christ! In case you missed them, links to the Introduction and earlier lessons are above.
This lesson is a continuation of the second category of verses in this study. The second category contains verses sets that demonstrate the deity of Christ. As explained previously, verse sets are made up of two or more verses that, when read in light of each other, give evidence that Jesus is God. This lesson contains four illuminating verse sets. They pair verses from the books of Psalms and Zechariah with verses in the New Testament. To get more out of the Bible texts and to practice good discernment, please look up the verses and read them in context. This is good practice whenever you come across verses in a blog post, book, or article especially when only a reference is given. Please take a moment to pray, get your Bible, and then let’s begin!
Verse Sets Involving Psalms
For this first set we are going to start with our New Testament verses. To more fully appreciate what we are about to cover, you may want to read Hebrews 1 now. It is not long.
Hebrews 1 is a beautiful, theologically rich chapter. There is much in it that speaks of the deity of Christ. One verse, Hebrews 1:8, we already looked at earlier in our study. In it, Jesus is called God straight out. Do you remember that I mentioned that there was another reason why Hebrews 1:8 was important for our study about the deity of Christ? Did you find out what that is? It has to do with the context that it gives us for the verses that we will be focusing on next, Hebrews 1:10-12, and how that context helps us to interpret these verses. Let’s look at Hebrews 1:8-12 now. (SMALL CAPS in the verses below is how the NASB indicates Old Testament references in the New Testament. Underline emphasis mine throughout.)
But of the Son He says, “YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM. YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS.” (Hebrews 1:8-9)
And, “YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS; THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN; AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT, AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP; LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED. BUT YOU ARE THE SAME, AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END.” (Hebrews 1:10-12)
Hebrews 1:10 begins with an address to Jesus, who is being referred to as “Lord”. We know this is so because “the Son” is being addressed in verse 8 and that does not change before we get to verse 10. So, the context makes it clear that what is said in Hebrews 1:10-12 is being said to and about Jesus.
Now let’s turn to the Old Testament. Hebrews 1:10-12 corresponds to Psalms 102:25-27. Notice how similar the wording is:
“Of old You founded the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.” (Psalms 102:25-27)
But who is being spoken about here? Though we do not see God’s name in these verses, what is said and the wider context of these verses show that the “You” being spoken about is God. Not that we really need help identifying Him, but here is proof from the previous verse:
I say, “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days, Your years are throughout all generations.” (Psalms 102:24)
And earlier in Psalm 102, we see God’s name Yahweh (YHWH) seven times. (Psalms 102:1, 12, 15, 16, 19, 21, 22) It is clear. Psalms 102:25-27 is speaking about the God of the Jews, Yahweh. In the New Testament these verses are directly applied to Jesus in Hebrews 1:10-12! The inspired author of Hebrews clearly identified Jesus as Yahweh!
Said of God in the Old Testament:
“Of old You founded the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.” (Psalm 102:25)
Said of Jesus in the New Testament:
And, “YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;” (Hebrews 1:10)
Our next set of verses keeps us at Psalm 102 and Hebrews 1. We just looked at verses in them that correspond to each other and in doing so show that Jesus is God. But we do not want to miss that this is done not only by connecting the identity of Jesus with Yahweh; it can also be seen by the fact that the work of creation (a work of God) is attributed to Jesus. This happens in Hebrews 1:10. There are other verses in the New Testament that also attribute creation to Jesus, but it is done differently. In those places, we simply read that He created, and we will see those verses when we get to the works of God in Christ later in our study. (We will also cover the attribute of immutability later via Psalms 102:26-27 and Hebrews 1:11-12) But this set of verses is special as it attributes creation to Jesus by harkening back to verses about Yahweh in Psalm 102. I think that’s awesome!
Verse sets involving Zechariah
For our next set of verses, we will be heading to the book Zechariah. Tucked away in this probably less often read book is a gem we must examine together. I wonder if you have ever seen what I am about to show you. I remember the first time I saw it. It surprised me and filled me with deep respect for the prophetic truth in God’s word that reaches through time.
The verses we want to look at in Zechariah are in chapter twelve. Please take a moment and read the chapter. There, God is speaking about some of His plans for Israel. In verse 10 God says:
“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10)
Astonishingly, the LORD (Yahweh) (rf. Zechariah 12:1, 4) says that He will be looked upon and pierced! This is a terrible and serious picture. It is a God given prediction of a pierced God. Chilling! What do you do with the reality of a pierced God?
Has any of this happened yet? Has the LORD (Yahweh) been looked upon and pierced? How could such things happen anyway? Heavy questions. Thankfully, we are not left to wonder. The inspired word of God provides the answers. There is a verse in the New Testament that speaks about the fulfilment of Zechariah 12:10! It speaks about someone being pierced and cites that action as a fulfilment of Zechariah 12:10! Isn’t it awesome that such records exist? I thought so the first time I saw it.
If you have read or heard the details about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, I am sure you have guessed where we are headed; and you would be right.
Many people are familiar with the account of a soldier piercing Jesus’ side when He hung on the cross. But what some may not know is that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle John wrote that this action was a fulfilment of Zechariah 12:10. John’s account of the crucifixion is in John 16:31-37, but here are the verses we need to look at closely.
“But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. (35) And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. (36) For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, ‘NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN.’ (37) And again another Scripture says, ‘THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED.'” (John 19:34-37)
In this passage John actually writes about two Scriptures being fulfilled. The first one is about Jesus’ bones and the second is about Him being pierced. In the second one, since John is narrating and not himself God, he understandably uses the third person pronoun “Him” instead of the first person personal pronoun “Me”; but still, the reference to Zechariah 12:10 is clear. John is stating the eternally relevant truth that the God given prediction of a pierced God in Zechariah 12:10 was about Jesus! How can this be? Simple. Jesus is God!
There is one more passage written by the apostle John in which he mentions the piercing of Jesus. It is not in the gospel of John. It is in the book of Revelation. Though he does not cite Zechariah 12:10 there, he seems to allude to it. The ideas he brings in are similar. Take a look at Revelation 1:7.
“BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” (Revelation 1:7)
Here, in this picture about Jesus’ return, we read about Him being seen, having been pierced, and being mourned. John already connected Jesus with God’s words in Zechariah 12:10 in his gospel. It certainly seems that John is making that connection again here in Revelation 1:7. We have seen in previous lessons that John knows that Jesus is Yahweh. (John 12:41) He knows that Jesus is God. (John 1:1)
The verse above about Jesus coming with the clouds (Revelation 1:7), an event still in the future, is a great segue to our next set of verses about the deity of Christ. This set is about that very thing.
Christians and many non-believers are familiar with the promise in Scripture that Jesus is coming again. Believers anxiously await His return and pray for it. There are many verses that speak of His inevitable return. Here are a few.
“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30)
“They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.'” (Acts 1:11)
See also: 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16, Revelation 22:12-13
Looking back into the book of Zechariah, there is a verse that says that God is coming. The verse does not contain identifiers like “Father” or “Son”, but what it does say for sure is that God is coming. The verse is in Zechariah 14 and indicates that God’s coming is still future, just as Jesus’ is. When you are able, please read this chapter to see a revealing glimpse into the future.
“You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!” (Zechariah 14:5)
God is coming! For those who believe that the Father alone is God, we can ask: do the Scriptures ever tell us that the Father is coming? Or what of the Holy Spirit? Is He to come in the manner this chapter describes? The answers are no.
Who do the Scriptures clearly tell us to expect? Jesus. Does Scripture elsewhere declare that Jesus is God? (Hint: Refer to this study if you are unsure.) Yes! So then, we need not be surprised or confused by this God who is coming. He is Jesus!
And in case you remain unconvinced that Jesus is God who is coming…
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,” (Titus 2:11-13)
Plain. as. day.
I pray these following words are as dear to you as they are to me: Come, Lord Jesus! My Lord and my God! (Revelation 22:20, John 20:28)
Next up are verses sets that I call “The ONLYs”. If you’d like to find out what they are, please be on the lookout next Tuesday for our next lesson. Please subscribe to be notified of new posts by email or follow Chapter 3 Ministries on Facebook or Twitter.
Update: Lesson 6 is up! A Zero Fluff Bible Study on the Deity of Christ: Lesson 6