Sunday rest and reflection–“This is the Day”
Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ! Wow, another day of rest in a long week of activities! We so need the reminder to rest and be refreshed! I pray that you enjoy the best day of the week today!
As I reflect on the readings of this past week, one of the psalms comes immediately to mind. I wanted to write on it, but found nuggets in two other psalms for that day’s reading. The psalm is 118. The very center of the Bible, as far as number of verses, is Psalm 118:8: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man”. This really mirrors the theme of the entire Bible. This chapter occurs between the shortest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 117, and the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119.
This chapter is also the last of a series of psalms called the “Hallel”, which is the Hebrew word for “praise the Lord”! This series from Psalm 111-118 was read during Passover week and Psalm 118 concluded the Passover meal as the final cup was taken and the coming Messiah was anticipated. Jesus most likely would have read this psalm at the last supper with His disciples before He led them out to the Garden of Gethsemane. Let’s think about the words of this prophetic psalm in light of where Jesus would have read it.
The psalm begins with thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love. The psalmist records his anguish of crying out to the Lord and the Lord setting him free. (Psalm 118:5-6) He was convinced that the Lord was with him and that was all the help he would need in this painful situation. The psalmist is surrounded by the nations on every side, but in the name of the Lord he cuts them off. They swarmed around him like bees, but he cut them off again. (Psalm 118:10-12) He was about to fall, but the Lord helped him. He became his strength and song, and ultimately his salvation. The Lord’s right hand is lifted high and does mighty things! (Psalm 118:15-16)
The psalmist next proclaims that he will live and not die, but proclaim what the Lord has done! God had chastened him severely, but not given him over to death. He would proclaim what the Lord had done for him! He cries out to open the gates of righteousness which the righteous may enter and thank the Lord for His goodness and salvation. God, Himself, had become his salvation! The Lord, Himself had done this–what a marvelous sight! (Psalm 118:17-23) The cornerstone that the builders had rejected had become the chief cornerstone!
Psalm 118:24 declares that: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” The day was that day, beginning with sundown passover until the next evening. That day was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ for our sins! He was not given over to death, only chastened severely by the Lord! The gate of righteousness was opened for all who would believe! The Lord did it all! It is marvelous in our eyes! Hallelujah!