Is it This? or Is it That?
Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
On more than one occasion I have opened a Sunday morning praise service by singing the popular chorus "This is the Day That the Lord Has Made." Often in an effort to get people's attention focused on the worship, I would say something like this. "We have some very fine hospitals in Las Vegas and we could be in any one of them ( in fact I've been in 3) . Also some fine cemeteries. We could be in any one of them. However we're in the house of God on this beautiful day that He has made; let us rejoice and praise Him." These are good sentiments, but I believe that the day referred to in the Psalm is the day of our Lord's resurrection, rather than any other given day.
According to The Pulpit Commentary Psalm 118 is an antiphonal hymn (alternate or responsive singing in two divisions). It is generally believed that Psalm 118 was recited in a procession going to the dedication of the second temple.
The approaching group would sing.
19 ¶ Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
Those keeping the door would respond.
20 This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.
The two groups were no doubt enraptured of the day and events at hand. They were dedicating the temple of God. I doubt that they were fully aware of the prophetic utterances they were making in their singing.
516 years later a baby would be born in Bethlehem who was and is the true temple of God. These people were praising God for becoming their salvation five and a half centuries before the fact.
The main theme of scripture is the incarnation of God in Christ. God became our Savior. When no one else could save us, God saved us. God prescribed the penalty of death for sin and then paid the penalty Himself.
21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
Ps. 118:22-23 is quoted by Jesus and Peter (Compare Mt 21;42; Acts 4;11; I Peter 2:7 below).
22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
23 This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?
Acts 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
1 Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
The groups joyfully began to praise God for the beautiful temple before their eyes. They didn't realize the significance of a greater temple Who was to come. They did not know that their praises were directed toward the One who predicted the destruction of Herod's temple and Who set Himself above it.
23 This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
The following was echoed by the multitude as Jesus entered Jerusalem just prior to His crucifixtion.
26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
They sang on as the sacrifice was bound to the altar and slain there. They sang of the light, but probably did not know that they were singing of the Light of the world, the Lamb of God, who was ultimately slain to take away the sins of us all.
27 God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
Let us join them in praise to our grear God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.
29 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
The next time you sing the chorus, "This is the Day That the Lord has Made," let your mind wander a bit back to Calvary and then to the empty tomb. Don't sing too loudly, but try singing it this way; "That Was the Day, That Was the Day......
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Last modified: 02-01-2017
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