This Is The Day The Lord Has Made: Psalm 118:24. What does it mean?
“ This is the day the Lord has made ” is a beautiful expression that we can find in Psalm 118:1. Many of us have heard the pastor recite this phrase between verses of preaching, but we have not internalized its meaning. In this psalm, in addition to issuing the prophecies of the coming of Christ, he leaves us with many teachings for our lives as Christians. Throughout the study, we will see what they are.
What does Psalm 118:24 mean by “This is the day the Lord has made”?
The psalmist in Psalm 118 is writing at a time in his life when everyone was facing challenging situations. Such moments required them to cry out to the Lord in anguish because he was surrounded by the enemy of his soul.
In the midst of all his struggles, the psalmist begins and ends Psalm 118 with the same verse giving thanks and praise to the Lord. Herein lies an extremely powerful reminder for us: true joy never depends on our circumstances.
Learning to choose joy in difficult times requires effort and action on our part; it requires our hearts to be set on God.
God is faithful to help us so that we can choose well. And we can be sure that in His grace, He has made every day, and by that gift itself we can “rejoice with him.”
No matter what we face, we can still believe in God’s goodness and love, because that is what gets us through the most difficult seasons.
And by looking more closely at the verses surrounding this truth, we can find an even greater understanding of what God may be saying. This verse and those around it are actually prophecies of the coming of Christ.
Jesus and the Gospel in Psalm 118
Psalm 118 is full of rich gospel truths. Jesus used them when he spoke of being rejected by people ( Matthew 21:43; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 21:17 ).
Jesus is the “cornerstone” who is the pillar and buttress of the Church ( Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6-7 ).
The capstone is a sizable rock in the center of the top of an arch. It is critical as it holds all the other pieces of the arch together. Without the cornerstone, the entire arch would fail. Jesus is the cornerstone of the Church and the Christian life.
Without the Lord Jesus, every Christian would cease to be secure and remain in the grace of God.
The psalmist of Psalm 118 refers to this being the day the Lord has made.
On such a day he speaks of Christ’s arrival on earth as a babe, where he would later, as an adult, die in the place of sinners for his sin.
Psalm 118:25-27 is familiar to many Christians because it is repeated throughout Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem ( Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12: 12-19 ).
At that time, the people shouted, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” and held up branches as Jesus passed by on a donkey.
All of this was in fulfillment of prophecy by receiving Jesus into the city of Jerusalem for worship.
A few days after this event, these same people who worshiped Jesus would choose Barabbas and send the Lord to be crucified for their sins.
The life of the Christian and Psalm 118
Psalm 118 records the prophecies related to the coming of Christ, but it also leaves us with another lesson for our lives. We may be facing the most difficult times right now, but the truth is that you have still given us encouragement for today.
Jesus came to give us hope and freedom. He is the reason we can have joy even in battle and enjoy inexplicable peace.
God is with us and he will never leave us or fail us. His love covers us, he gives us the strength to face every trial and obstacle with courage and grace. We can rest in the security that Truth brings.
No matter what you face, have confidence in God’s unchanging love for you, always. And it is written:
“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24.
God’s faithfulness is an encouragement in the midst of trials because it helps Christians to experience peace and joy in trials ( Philippians 4:6-8; James 1:2-4 ).
Christians in the midst of life’s trials can know the love of God that assures them ( Romans 8:31-39 ).
Such knowledge provides strength and security to those who believe in Him so that they can face all the trials of life with the assurance that they are known and loved as adopted sons and daughters of God.
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Psalm 118 and Mercy and Grace for the Christian
To understand how mercy and grace are to the Christian, we need to know how the Lord fights on the side of his people ( Psalm 118:6-7 ). The Lord allows trials and tribulations in the Christian’s life to conform them to the image of Jesus ( Romans 8:28-30; James 1:2-4 ). The psalmist in Psalm 118 understood this principle well and praised the Lord for these truths.
The Creator disciplines those he loves ( Hebrews 12:6 ) to turn them from sin. The psalmist experienced severe discipline from the Lord and yet resolved to praise Him with great devotion ( Psalm 118:18 ). Such truths remind Christians that even in the midst of critical challenges or discipline, they should praise the Lord in all things.
Jesus and the fulfillment of Psalm 118
In Matthew 21:33-44, Jesus teaches that He is the fulfillment of Psalm 118. This psalm would have been sung by the Israelites and the community of Israel in the synagogue.
By explaining this particular point, Jesus highlights how He is the truest fulfillment for the people of Israel. Jesus is faithful Israel, the Son of God who fulfills God’s will ( Hosea 1:1; Matthew 2:13-16; Matthew 3:13-17 ).
Jesus was rejected and crucified ( Psalm 118:22 ). Such rejection ( Psalm 118:22 ) was the way for the Lord to be the cornerstone of God’s people. Such a capstone provides a base of stability that binds two walls together. Ephesians 2:20 is where Paul applies the previous two cornerstone ideas to Jesus.
This precious cornerstone unites God and man in wonderful friendship, for our Lord is both in one. He unites earth and heaven because he participates in each.
He unites time and eternity because he was a man of a few years, and yet he is the Ancient of days.
The Lord Jesus was rejected by Israel but exalted and is the cornerstone of God’s people whom He delights to call His people. Christians are servants of the Lord who were rejected.
As such, they must expect to face rejection from a world that loves darkness. Christ’s followers are those who are in Him, and as such will be raised up to rule and reign with the Lord Jesus ( 2 Timothy 2:12 ).
When Christians are rejected for their profession of faith, they must remember how Jesus was mocked, beaten, suffered, and killed for them. In light of such truths, be encouraged to remain faithful in light of all that Jesus has done and encouraged.
So, be glad and rejoice because “This is the day that the Lord has made.” If you are breathing it is because God has already performed a miracle in you today, the miracle of life. There are people who did not get up today and left without Christ, others who woke up in bed feeding through tubes. You are privileged! Are you here! You have all your limbs or you have one that works much better than others!
There is no reason to be sad. If you are going through a very strong test, remember that you are not alone; God is there to accompany you and sustain you, you just have to seek his presence.
He will not put you through more than you can bear and He will not abandon you in the process. Trust your Creator and rest in Him. If you do this, you will see that you will achieve true peace.