SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
Fulfilling = Bringing to Fullness
by Pr. Dave Mann
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
We regularly claim that Jesus’s death and resurrection were prophesied, i.e. predicted, before they happened. But we need to be careful how we understand the word "prophecy." The word most commonly used to connect Jesus with Old Testament prophecy is “fulfill.” Jesus fills out or brings fullness to passages that do not make sense in any other way.
A first-time reading of Psalm 16 would not necessarily lead us to think of it as a predictive Messianic prophecy. One could initially think that King David is giving a personal testimony of the goodness of God in his life. And that is true. But when we get to verse 10, we raise our eyebrows, thinking, “Is this really only about King David?” "You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.” David, a mortal man, does not fill out (fulfill) the meaning of this verse. It doesn’t fit him fully. And so, the Israelite community, after the death of David, began to understand this particular verse (and many others) as words that were yet to be fulfilled. They were looking for that “Son of David” who was to bring to fullness all the words that didn’t fit anyone else but the Messiah. (See also Psalm 2, Psalm 22, Psalm 110.)
The Apostle Peter had the joy of quoting Psalm 16 to the crowd in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, adding a commentary: "I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day…. He foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ." (See Acts 2:25-31.)
The Apostle Paul likewise quoted Psalm 16, announcing in Antioch of Pisidia: "For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up [Jesus] did not see corruption." (See Acts 13:35-39.)
What parts of your life do not yet make sense, and you await that day when the Lord will bring fullness to them? Rest assured that God who raised Jesus from the dead will fulfill all the hopes and dreams that he has placed in your heart.
Come, Lord Jesus. Raise new life in me! Amen