The King Smells like a Corpse

Well, we’re back in Psalm 45.  In previous 2 posts, we discovered that the Sons of Korah, these dead men walking, are writing this Psalm as a love song to the King.  Today, I want to look a little closer and try to figure out who this King is.  Verse 2-5 says this:

2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
 grace is poured upon your lips;
 therefore God has blessed you forever.
 3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
 in your splendor and majesty!

4 In your majesty ride out victoriously
 for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
 let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
 5 Your arrows are sharp
 in the heart of the king’s enemies;
 the peoples fall under you.

Before digging into the details we need to ask, “who is this?”  If you’re not familiar with the Bible, you’re gonna miss this, I think.  Elsewhere in scripture, who would ever be talked about this way?  “Oh mighty one, in your splendor and majesty!  Ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness.”  It’s never a human talked about like this.  It’s always God.   And in case that wasn’t clear here, let’s look at the next couple of verses.

6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
 The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
 7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.




According to verse 6, the King is God.  “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever!” But in verse 7, we also see that the King is someone anointed by God.  “Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
 with the oil of gladness beyond your companions”

HOW DOES THAT WORK?  

Well, Hebrews 1.8-9 makes this clear.  The writer there tells us that this is God the Father speaking to God the Son.  This is the Father speaking to Jesus.

But of the Son he (the Father) says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
 the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
 therefore God, your God, has anointed you
 with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

So, who is the King in Psalm 45?  Jesus!  Now, BACK TO PSALM 45.  Let’s learn just a little more about this king.  What’s he like. In fact, what does he smell like? Look at verses 7 and 8:

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; 8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.

That’s his fragrance.  Now, you should know…This is NOT Old Spice.  This is NOT typical kingly after shave. OK.  What are these spices and oils used for?

Well, MYRRH AND CASSIA are both used to create a special incense…an incense that can only be used in the Temple of God.  It is only made and used by the priests of God. It’s used to anoint everything in the temple, including the alter for sacrifices, and to sanctify everything…that is, to make it holy.  So this King, he smells like…the TEMPLE, he smells like a priest, he smells like an altar.  That’s Myrrh and Cassia.

To bring in aloes, let’s look at John 19.  We’re going to see there another use for Myrrh as well as Aloes.

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.

Oh, great KING – YOU SMELL LIKE A CORPSE and LIKE INCENSE TO GOD, sort of like an offering on an altar, like something that has died in the place of someone else.  Like a DEAD AND BURIED HIGH PRIEST KING?

Which is exactly how JESUS is described in the book of Hebrews!!!

So, we know who this is.  This is Jesus!  Now, we must ask, “why?”  Why are the Sons of Korah so excited to praise Jesus?  For the answer, in our next post on Psalm 45, we will rewind for a moment to Verse 2.

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2 thoughts on “The King Smells like a Corpse

  1. Pingback: Marvelous Grace & Beautiful Wrath | Gospel.Church.Mission

  2. Pingback: Church, get ready to blush… | Gospel.Church.Mission

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