The first title of Jesus in the Creed is a confirmation of His divinity and of His sonship with the Father. The title “Lord” can be seen throughout the Gospels. Sometimes it is simply a polite form of address, especially from “foreigners” such as Romans and Samaritans. However, this particular title is also used as a confirmation of who Jesus is. In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus reflects on Psalm 110 as He was teaching in order to reveal His true nature. From the Gospel of Mark we have the following:
As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said, "How do the scribes claim that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said: 'The Lord said to my lord, "Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet."' David himself calls him 'lord'; so how is he his son?" (Mark 12:35-37)
And in the Acts of the Apostles, Peter, formerly hiding in the Upper Room with the rest of the Apostles and the Mother of God, all of a sudden under the prompting of the Holy Spirit began to preach to those gathered in Jerusalem for the Pentecost. In this passage, he reflects what Jesus revealed to us:
My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day. But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption. God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured it forth, as you (both) see and hear. For David did not go up into heaven, but he himself said: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool."' Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified." (Acts 2:29-36)
Psalm 110 is a royal psalm, written by David and thus referring to a personage more exalted than himself. The Psalm reads:
The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand, while I make your enemies your footstool.”
The scepter of your might: the LORD extends your strong scepter from Zion. Have dominion over your enemies! Yours is princely power from the day of your birth. In holy splendor before the daystar, like dew I begot you. The LORD has sworn and will not waver: “You are a priest forever in the manner of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:1-4)
In this psalm, someone greater than David is made king and priest. Jesus refers to Himself by citing this particular psalm in order to reveal Himself as Messiah, as the heavenly King and as the eternal High Priest. St. Peter speaks of the exaltation of Jesus, to His true nature, in his preaching on that first Pentecost: “God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Peter confirms Jesus as Lord, or King. He confirms Jesus as the Messiah, the Anointed One of God who came to release us all from slavery to sin and sinfulness. And he confirms Jesus as eternal High Priest in that He was crucified, willingly offering up His sacrifice as the Lamb of God for the salvation of us sinners.
Jesus calls to us. He loves us and wants us to come to Him in courage, in love and in truth. We affirm, in this title presented to us in the Creed, that Jesus is, indeed, Lord. Lord of the universe, Lord of humanity and Lord of our hearts. He is the great King. He is the Savior. The Catechism tells us:
449 By attributing to Jesus the divine title "Lord", the first confessions of the Church's faith affirm from the beginning that the power, honor and glory due to God the Father are due also to Jesus, because "he was in the form of God", and the Father manifested the sovereignty of Jesus by raising him from the dead and exalting him into his glory.
450 From the beginning of Christian history, the assertion of Christ's lordship over the world and over history has implicitly recognized that man should not submit his personal freedom in an absolute manner to any earthly power, but only to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Caesar is not "the Lord". "The Church. . . believes that the key, the center and the purpose of the whole of man's history is to be found in its Lord and Master."
Let us, then, echo the great cry of faith, uttered by St. Thomas the Doubter, when presented with the truth of the divinity of the resurrected Lord as our own prayer: “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)