This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Do you ever feel like you don’t know what day it is? You think it’s Tuesday but it’s really Wednesday. That’s because we do the same things over and over again every day. So much so, that the days start to blend into each other. We may think that today won’t be any different, it will be the same old hum-drum day we always have. But God has a plan for today and He can take a seemingly ordinary day and turn it into a reason to rejoice. He can change the entire course of our lives or someone else’s with a chance meeting at the right time. God is a master at creating these “chance” encounters and they are never just a coincidence. Or God can use our ordinary day to show us His amazing grace and mercy by touching our hearts in a special and unexpected way. No matter what happens today, God is in control of our day and He has given us a reason to rejoice and be glad in it.
We’ve been talking a lot about context at church lately and looking at how it pertains to some of the most often quoted verses of the Bible. Our verse for today, Psalm 118:24 is one of these often quoted verses. It talks about the day the Lord has made and rejoicing in it. But to get the whole picture of what God is telling us, we should also read the verses just before and just after our verse. There are a couple of things to examine within the context of this passage of scripture.
The verses just before ours says…
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
You probably already know this verse by heart because it is also quoted often and is used as a popular memory verse. We know that Jesus is the chief cornerstone talked about here and He quoted this verse Himself in Matthew 21:42. Within the context of our verse, we can see exactly what the Lord has given us to rejoice about.
During the time of David, the people were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the promised Messiah and the sacrifice that He would provide for their sins. This day that they were looking forward to, would be a perfect day, a day of celebration and rejoicing. But when Jesus arrived the Jewish leaders rejected Him. But even though the chief cornerstone was rejected by these leaders it was God’s doing. We can look back now on this part of history and see how God’s truth and prophesy was fulfilled by the coming of the Messiah and His death on a cross. It was a day to rejoice in, then and now!
In the verses just after ours, we can see the promise of another day of great rejoicing.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
These are the words that the crowd shouted as Jesus entered Jerusalem in Matthew 21:9. They praised God and rejoiced in the fulfillment of His promise. When Jesus was rejected and crucified, the Old Testament prophesy was fulfilled. But Jesus said these same words again in Matthew 23:39 referring to ascension into heaven and giving us something else to look forward to, His second coming. This is the day that we are eagerly awaiting right now! Then it will be our turn to shout “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” What a glorious day it will be when Jesus takes His rightful place and rules over this earth! It will be a perfect day, a day to rejoice and praise our Savior.
Yes, we should rejoice today, because God has given us another day to sing His praises. But we can look back on that day when Jesus died on a cross and rejoice that our sins are forgiven. And we can look forward to the day when Jesus will come again, knowing that it will be a reason to rejoice!