Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
What is the “day” being spoken of here? In many church services, this verse is used to invite the believers to rejoice in the Lord. If read alone, the above verse does appear to say this. However, when reading this passage in its setting, we find it saying something completely different. The Bible does say to “rejoice in all things,” but in this verse, the Psalmist is speaking of a specific day when certain prophecies would be fulfilled. Look now at the context in which this verse is found.
Psalms 118:22-24 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. (23) This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. (24) This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Notice the context places “the day that the Lord has made” happening at the time that the “builders” reject the prophesied “cornerstone.” This makes “This is the day which the Lord hath made” referring not to just any day, but specifically to the day when the prophesied Messiah would be rejected. This day is said to culminate with “the end of the age.” (see Matthew 24:3) This same day also includes the installation of the One who was to sit upon the throne of David. Through related passages, we know that it spoke of Jesus Christ. This day ushered in better times for those making up the “true Israel of God.” In the following parable, Jesus refers to this same day and gives the timetable in which that “day” is to occur:
Matthew 21:38-46 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. (39) And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. (40) When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? (41) They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. (42) Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? (43) Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (44) And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (45) And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. (46) But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.
Jesus places this rejection happening at the time when the rejected “stone” becomes the “head of the corner,” or the “cornerstone.” This event occurs on a day when the “kingdom of God” is removed from the “wicked men” and given new tenants that would act in obedience to the parable’s landowner. This explains why on that same day, the rejected “stone” breaks some “to pieces” and falls on others crushing them. The Jews hearing Jesus that day understood that He applied these prophesied events to a “day” for their generation (vs 45).
Jesus’ parable of the vineyard aligns with what is prophesied to occur on the “Day of the Lord.” On that day, God would pour out His judgment on those rebellious to His covenant. This is the same “day” in which the apostle John said he was “in the spirit” (Revelation 1:10). John referred to this day as the “Lord’s day,” which is described as being a day of the Lord’s wrath. John being “in the spirit” on that day is a reference to him being united with the mind of God concerning the events of that (then) coming day of judgment. The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is John’s detailed account of Jesus’ Mount Olivet Discourse. (see Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) In his letter, John describes that “day” being aligned with the same “day” in which David said God’s people would “rejoice” and “be glad.” The reason for the rejoicing and being glad is due to this “day” of judgment also including the resurrection of all who died in the faith before that time. This occurrence was the validation of the promise that all the redeemed alive from that time forward would never see death or the grave, but would leave this life to go instantly into eternity. (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 3:15-16, John 5:24, John 6:50, John 11:25-26) Since this day’s prophecies are now fulfilled, the promise of never seeing death is an existing reality. As a result, those today who have obeyed Jesus’ New Covenant gospel have much reason to rejoice and be glad!
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