This Is the Day…

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“This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).

The verse above is famous.  I can’t count (even on my fingers and toes) how many times I’ve heard it quoted.  Most of us have heard the popular song as well (complete with echo: “This is the day, This is the day, That the Lord has made, That the Lord has made,” etc).

Often, Psalm 118:24 is used to celebrate good things happening.  Just as often, it’s used (fatalistically) to say whatever’s happening, God made it.  It may be the worst day of your life but rejoice and be glad in it.

There’s nothing particularly false about these sentiments.  Of course we should celebrate everything good God is doing.  Other scriptures agree we should thank God in *every* circumstance (1 Thess. 5:16-18).  But, like so many verses, Psalm 118:24 speaks to something beyond our circumstances, if we will let it.

The preceding verses read, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came from the Lord; it is wonderful in our eyes” (Ps. 118:22-23).  So the day the Lord has made is not just any day; it is the day the stone rejected by the builders became the cornerstone.

In chapter two of his first letter, Peter quotes Psalm 118:22-23 and tells us Christ is this stone, rejected by men but chosen and valuable to God (1 Peter 2:4, 7).  Jesus has become the cornerstone of a spiritual house built of living stones—those that have come to Him (1 Peter 2:5; Eph. 2:20-22).

Cornerstones, as many know, are the first stone of a foundation.  The rest of the foundation is squared against the cornerstone.  If the cornerstone is off plum, the foundation—and the whole building—will be crooked.  We can thank the Lord that Christ, our cornerstone, is beyond perfect.  By Him we are God’s temple, not the leaning tower of Pisa 😉

Cornerstones and foundations are laid in the ground.  Jesus was rejected and laid in the ground as cornerstone when He died on the cross.  The day of the cross is the day the Lord has made.  This is the day in which we are to rejoice and be glad.

Think about the best day of your life so far.  As awesome as it was, I think you’ll agree the cross is an even deeper source of happiness.  Now think about your worst day ever.  It is still possible to rejoice in the day the Lord has made—the cross.  Whatever we’ve suffered, it is possible to find strength and courage as we connect Christ’s sufferings to our own.  We are not suffering alone, and suffering has purpose in the day the Lord has made (Rom. 5:3-5).

At the end of the day, Psalm 118:24 is about His day, not our day.  Maybe it’s time to hang up our perma-grins and rewrite that song, (complete with echo): “Christ is the day, Christ is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice, let us rejoice, and be glad in Him! and be glad in Him!” 

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