June 4, 2020
Today we return to Psalm 118. This song was sung by believers as they entered Jerusalem for worship. Some think it may have been written originally to celebrate the completion of the rebuilding of the temple and the wall under Ezra and Nehemiah. It was recited on Palm Sunday as Jesus entered the city on a colt. The words give us a precise look at the Messiah and His victory!
NIV Psalm 118:19-21
Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. 21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.
The gates of the city are open! We are welcome to enter and to give thanks to the Lord. It is a gate for the “righteous.” Some see the literal gates as a symbol of the completed work of salvation. We draw near to the Lord with confidence in the One who made us righteous by his once for all sacrifice in our place. The salvation celebrated came as an answer to prayer. The salvation depends on a Person, “you have become my salvation!”
NIV Psalm 118:22-24
The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
On one level the stone represents Israel. A small nation despised and overlooked by the great powers on earth. Yet at the time this is written Babylon has been destroyed and Israel has been restored. A greater fulfillment is in Jesus! He was despised by the religious leaders (builders). Jesus should have been honored but he was rejected. The builders arrested him, condemned in their court then incited the mob to call for his crucifixion before Pilate! As this prophecy was being fulfilled, God’s plan was unfolding! After his death, Jesus arose in a glorified resurrected body. He appeared to many then ascended into heaven and took his seat at the righthand of the Father. Jesus is the “YOU” revealed as the cornerstone!
His work is primarily to the building of the church. He won the victory to provide for the church and is the cornerstone. The first stone laid that sets the standard for all subsequent stones. They all must line up with Him. Peter quotes Isaiah 28:16 and applies it to Jesus and His Body, the church.
NIV 1 Peter 2:4-7
As you come to him, the living Stone-- rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him-- 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,"
It is no wonder that spontaneous praise follows!
NIV Psalm 118:23-24
the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.
The miracle of salvation is due solely to the mission of Jesus and its perfect fulfillment! The Lord has done it all and we rejoice and are glad!
The final words were also echoed on that day of Jesus’ Triumphal entry!
NIV Psalm 118:25
LORD, save us! LORD, grant us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. 27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.
Lord save us is HOSANA! He is truly blessed who came into the city that day! He deserves all the praise and palm branches and so much more!
It is good to see this Psalm and its fulfillment! Give thanks right now as you sing: Hosanna! Be excited that the victory won at Calvary still bears fruit on earth today!