The source of more quotations in the New Testament than any other is Psalm 110. There are fourteen direct quotations of this short Psalm plus dozens of indirect allusions to its marvelous contents. Every one of the New Testament citations apply this Psalm to Jesus Christ. Psalm 110 is the pinnacle of the Messianic Psalms. In it, the entire redemptive career of the Messiah is outlined. He is portrayed as a King in verses 1-3, a Priest in verse 4, and a Warrior in verses 5-7.
THE MESSIAH AS KING
The psalmist David, in verse one, records a conversation between two members of the Godhead: “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” A literal translation of the first phrase is: “Jehovah said to my Adonai...” Jehovah and Adonai are two names for God in the Old Testament. The only adequate explanation for this apparent contradiction is that there is a plurality of personalities within the Godhead – a concept entirely consistent with many other passages (Gen. 1:1, 26; 3:22; 11:7; Dt. 6:4; Isa. 48:16-17).
This verse is also further confirmation that the Messiah would be more than just a great man – He would be God! The rabbis of the ancient synagogue clearly interpreted this verse as referring to the Messiah (see Sanhedrin, 108,2 and Midrash Tehillim). Therefore, Jesus used this passage as one of the clearest evidences of Messiah’s deity – a concept totally rejected by modern Judaism. After answering a number of questions, Jesus asked the Pharisees... What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He said to them, How, then, does David, in the Spirit, call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David, then, call him Lord, how is he his son? (Mt. 22:42-45).
No more devastating application could have been made. The Pharisees, who all agreed that Messiah would be a descendant of David, were faced with the fact that David referred to Messiah as his Lord! Thus, this Psalm confirms the fact that the Messiah would be both human (“Son of David”) and divine (David’s “Lord”). To this, the Pharisees had no answer – they simply decided not to ask Jesus any more questions (Mt. 22:46).