Psalm 118: For the week of April 12—18
Marvelous in our eyes
The resurrection is the supreme event in history. So we sing every Easter from this Psalm “On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” In the passion and death of Jesus, God took sin and took away its power. God, in the Son, took death to the grave to defeat its ultimacy. Death is no longer a complete end. It’s the gateway to eternal life for those in Christ. No wonder we shout out “This is the LORD's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!’
The ancient Israelites sang all of this to commemorate the liberation from slavery by God. The Exodus was the epochal, world-altering event for them. And, rightly, God’s redemption of Israel from unjust slavery has served as a model and a prod for us to work against injustice. That liberation, good in itself, foreshadowed the great event of the resurrection. Christians and Jews can both sing this Psalm with a full-throated confidence that God desires both social justice and that all might know the freedom Christ brings to free us from the bondage of sin and fear of death. Even more, we sing “On this day the Lord has acted” because God has placed us in the age of fulfillment.
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; *
his mercy endures for ever.
2 Let Israel now proclaim, *
"His mercy endures for ever."
14 The Lord is my strength and my song, *
and he has become my salvation.
15 There is a sound of exultation and victory *
in the tents of the righteous:
16 "The right hand of the Lord has triumphed! *
the right hand of the Lord is exalted!
the right hand of the Lord has triumphed!"
17 I shall not die, but live, *
and declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me sorely, *
but he did not hand me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; *
I will enter them;
I will offer thanks to the Lord.
20 "This is the gate of the Lord; *
he who is righteous may enter."
21 I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *
and have become my salvation.
22 The same stone which the builders rejected *
has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing, *
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 On this day the Lord has acted; *
we will rejoice and be glad in it.