A necessary component in the study of human history is an examination of Pharoahs, Kings, Caesars, Presidents, Czars, and Potentates. Far different than every one of these historic rulers is the reign of the Messiah. It is one of a kind. As prophesied in Psalm 110, Jesus Christ’s reign is most unique.
- Its location is unique, because it is at the right hand of God. “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand…’” (v. 1). All other rulers had capitols with an earthly location. Jesus’ throne, inherited from his forefather David, is in heaven at God’s right hand.
- Its duration is unique, because it will last until all His enemies are conquered. “…till I make Your enemies Your footstool” (v. 1). Most rulers in history do not and cannot begin their reign until all this rivals and hostile forces have been defeated. Jesus’ reign began long before that point. In fact, once all His enemies are destroyed, His reign will conclude.
- Its subjects are unique, because they include all His enemies and His allies. The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power; in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth” (vv. 2-3). To secure their power, earthly rulers will usually execute every possible rival who they view as a potential threat. Jesus rules over both His enemies and His voluntary allies while seeking to turn His enemies into His allies.
- Its reason is unique, because it was decreed by God. “The Lord has sworn and will not relent…” (v. 4). Earthly rulers usually come to power through military might, not an election by voters. The Scriptures record Jehovah’s prediction of the Persian king Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1) and the great Greek conqueror Alexander the Great (Daniel 8); they also describe the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar as being God’s battle ax (Jeremiah 51:20). These men seized power through military conquest; Jesus reigns because of spiritual conquest and divine decree.
- Its purpose is unique, because its focus is reconciliation to God. “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (v. 4). Earthly rulers seek power because of their thirst for personal wealth, power, fame, and prestige; they are driven by ambitious pride. Jesus’ purpose is to act as humanity’s perfect High Priest, reconciling God’s enemies via His atoning blood.
- Its power is unique, because it is universal. “The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries. He shall drink of the brook by the wayside” (vv. 5-8). Though many have sought universal authority, no mortal in history has ever had power over every person of every nation. Jesus does. He has all authority over heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). He is “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power” (1 Timothy 6:15-16).
The uniqueness of Christ’s reign is good news for every one of His voluntary allies. It ought to cause each of them to lift up their heads (v. 7) in hope, joy, peace, and thanksgiving.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).