This may be a real eye-opener for some of you, but just remember, this teaching comes from two Apostles who were with Christ personally. The first being Peter who was head of the first church to the Jews, the second being Paul, an Apostle whose revelation of Christ is beyond reproach, to such a degree that his personal letters make up 13, yes…a whopping 13 books of the n.t.. He even rebuked Peter himself in public for not being a straight shooter. This teaching concerns the resurrection of Christ and reveals a deep insight the Apostles had of the book of Psalms. Their revelation is emphatic, second to none and beyond the reproach of any modern scholar.
Please read the whole psalm, I only quote a small portion to emphasize my point but the entire context remains intact.
“Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoices; My flesh also shall rest in hope; For You will not leave My soul in hell; You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will make Me know the way of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:9-11
Now, without us requiring the assistance of any modern theological commentary, we are going to see for ourselves that these two apostles both understood these words to have been uttered prophetically from the mouth of David. Furthermore, that the specific context of these words are made in reference to the resurrection of Christ.
This is an excerpt from Peter’s very first sermon, fresh out of the upper room having just had flaming tongues of fire manifest upon his person.
“For David speaks concerning Him, ‘I foresaw the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand, that I should not be moved. Therefore my heart rejoiced and my tongue was glad; and also My flesh shall rest in hope, because You will not leave My soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your holy One to see corruption. You revealed to Me the ways of life. You will fill Me with joy with Your countenance.’ Men, brothers, it is permitted to say to you with plainness as to the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit upon his throne, seeing this beforehand, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor would His flesh see corruption, God raised up this Jesus, of which we all are witnesses.” – Acts 2:25-32
He clearly teaches, that David speaks ‘concerning Him’ i.e. the Christ. Peter goes on point out the obvious in case someone is blind to the elephant in the room, namely the fact that ‘it is plain to all’ that seeing as though David is dead and buried among themselves, made it impossible for David to have been talking about himself. He goes on to further clarify that David was also in fact a prophet, acutely aware of certain promises GOD made. Specifically, that David in fact ‘saw’ the fulfilment of this promise some 1000 years into the future culminating in the resurrection of Christ – Peter explicitly states this with these words ’…seeing this beforehand, he(David) spoke of the resurrection of Christ…’ On a side note; this reveals something truly great about how GOD works because He speaks it and He also shows us the fulfilment of it in truth something exactly like when He made a similar promise to Abraham, who happened to be looking at the great expanse in the night sky while GOD spoke to him.
In a very public and dangerous place, Paul gives utterance revealing his understanding of Psalm 16, in the following manner.
“…God has fulfilled to us their children, raising up Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son, this day I have begotten You.’ And that He raised Him up from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He spoke in this way: ‘I will give you the holy promises of David.’ Therefore he also says in another psalm, ‘You shall not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ For after he had served his own generation by the will of God, David fell asleep and was added to his fathers and saw corruption. But He whom God raised again saw no corruption.” – Acts 13:33-37
Virtually his entire discourse, containing references to numerous other psalms, is fixed firmly on the resurrection as the main topic. Note that he also points out to all present that while David indeed made mention of the ‘holy one’ not undergoing corruption, it is plainly clear that David had since moved on and in fact did experience this corruption after his death, ‘…BUT He whom GOD raised…’ is clearly exempt from the corruption. Again, the psalm in question is making emphatic reference to the resurrection of the Christ.
Revelation for Us
Both Peter & Paul clearly understood Psalm 16 to be referring to Christ. Look at the Psalm again, see for yourself and notice that David, while ‘seeing the resurrection’, is in fact giving utterance in the first person “as Christ Himself” using these epithets ‘…my heart…my flesh…my soul…make me know…’ But it is also clear, David is not talking about himself and he also knew this plainly from the vision he was experiencing simultaneously. These are words being given prophetically almost ‘enacting’ an intimate moment between Christ and GOD that was ‘going’ to take place about 1000 years into the future from when they were uttered, somewhere before the death of Christ, just prior to his resurrection. Intimate thoughts indeed, but what about the rest of the psalm?
The Whole Picture
Do the other verse also refer to Christ? How can a priest from Judah, in verse 5, claim Jehovah as ‘his portion of his inheritance’ when the law expressly assigns this privilege to the tribe of Levi? It should be clear to you that you cannot read verse 10 as Christ and then suddenly do an about face by having verse 11 apply to David & not Christ. Surely it must be read as Christ himself declaring…
“You will make Me know the way of life” – Psalm 16:11a
While it may strike you as strange, rest assured, these words are not foreign to the context of the Messiah. In fact, these very same words are, whether implicit and explicitly, ascribed to having been uttered to him/by him or about his person, in numerous other places in the scriptures. If you see Christ as GOD, then surely, the words don’t fit the mouth but you are then obligated to also remove verse 10 from the same breath that uttered it if you can, in fact I put it to you that your mind already does overlook this glaring & obvious truth. On the other hand, if you see him ‘in the light of the word’ as is being revealed here, then you see him in truth as is plainly written in the words of Psalm 16.
In Christ, the Son of the One True & Living GOD!