Reading the Word
Psalm 118:19–29 (ESV)
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar! 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. 29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Understanding and Applying the Word
Returning from victory on the battlefield, the psalmist commands that the “gates of righteousness” be opened. There is need to go to the temple to give thanks for what God has done in bringing victory. The victory is the Lord’s doing and it is time to rejoice in it.
There are multiple references to this psalm in the Gospels connecting it to Jesus. The people cried out, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” in Matthew 21:9 as Jesus enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Jesus quotes from verses 22-23 in Matthew 21:42 as he addresses the religious leaders’ attitude towards him. And in Acts 4:11, Peter also quotes from verse 22 as he tells the people that Jesus, whom they have rejected and crucified, has become the cornerstone.
Jesus Christ, the rejected one who was sent by the Father, has proven to be the Cornerstone. What the world rejected as of no significance, the Father has shown to be the One of greatest significance. The world put Jesus to death, but he rose victorious from the dead to bring salvation to his enemies. All who will call on him will be saved. We say with the psalmist, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes!”
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