68E3183E-838F-41F8-93CB-CF87DD9D7C29I once believed that the 24th Psalm was the last in a series of three Messianic songs and that each one revealed Christ in a different way.  In the 22nd we viewed Christ in His sufferings, in the 23rd He is present in His shepherding whereas in the 24th He is sovereign.  While these distinctions are true there is a much wider picture that I have only now realised.  The 24th is not the last in a triad of inspired songs; it is the climax of a quintet.  Each Psalm in this series meditates upon the royalty of King Jesus.  In the 20th the people rejoice with the King before he goes forth into battle whereas in the 21st there is thanksgiving after the victory has been won.  The 22nd leads us into the darkness of His greatest battle as He purchased the redemption of His people.  Here we view Him as a Priest, a royal priest, in offering up His life as a sacrifice for our sin and as a man, a priestly king, experiencing real and physical agonies.  Contrary, however, to the lyrics written by Mrs Cousins His blood was not shed as “a victim led”.  He died as the King of Glory, laying down His life in triumph because Psalm 22 nearing its conclusion declares, “For the Kingdom is the Lord’s and he is the governor among the nations”.  Therefore the one who is our shepherd in Psalm 23 is also our king, our shepherd king.  This is no distant and aloof monarch but one who takes a personal and intimate interest in His people.  His royalty is seen in the path which leads His Sheep ever upward to “the house of the LORD forever”.  As we approach Psalm 24, however, we are taken within the House of the LORD, anticipated at the end of the 23rd.  As we pass beyond the gates of this holy temple we see the Sovereign in all of his beauty, enthroned and crowned encircled by His adoring people receiving this resplendent title, “The King of Glory”.

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