Monday, March 13, 2006

Psalm 118

Saturday morning I read Psalm 118, and verses 22-29 jumped out at me in a powerful way. In reading them, I saw clearly that they are all about Christ. The most famous is verse 22 which reads, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.” Jesus uses this verse and verse 23 to refer to himself in Mark 12. This is not the part that stood out to me though; it is the following verses.

It makes sense that with the beginning of this section focusing on Christ that the rest would too, but for some reason that never registered until this morning. So, when the psalmist writes, “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” he is referring to Christ. The context of the verses points specifically to the death of Christ—the day of His crucifixion at the hands of the people He came to save. Christ acknowledges that the day of his death is the right time. In John 17:1 he says, “The hour has come.” We should rejoice in this day—the day of Christ’s crucifixion—because it is the day that our salvation was won. The psalmist continues to say, “O Lord, do save, we beseech you” in verse 25. And that is just what he is doing; He is saving us through the blood of Christ—He is saving us today.

Verse 26 is shouted by the people on the day Christ enters into Jerusalem and Christ says that if the people had not shouted it the stones would have.

Verse 27 is where the message really hit home. “The Lord is God, and He has given us light; bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.” He has given us light as John 1 so beautifully says. The Light walked amongst us and yet we didn’t recognize it—we didn’t want it. So what did we do with the Light? We nailed it to a cross. Christ was the festival sacrifice, the necessary sacrifice to atone for sin and cleanse the people from their wickedness. The sacrifice was made, not by us, by God, by the Light Himself. The sacrifice was not one that needed to be repeated, it was sufficient for all eternity. And through that sacrifice we have life.

Verses 28 and 29 are shouts of praise to the God who would sacrifice His own Son that we might have life and have it abundantly. It records for us the only fitting response to this great act: worship. Heart-felt, uninhibited worship. “You are my God and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” And that everlasting lovingkindness purchased our salvation, proving His goodness to a people who deserve only wrath.

You are my God, and I worship you. You are my king and I praise your glorious name. Great are your works and great is your power to save. You have redeemed me from the pit, and you have done it for your name’s sake. Thank you Lord that I am a recipient of your grace. Thank you that you have called me to yourself, so that I, unlike so many, have not rejected the chief cornerstone. Thank you that even when I did not call to you for salvation, you gave it. I did not beseech, but still you saved me, and there is nothing I did to deserve it. Thank you Lord God. Thank you.

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