Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24: Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; * his mercy endures for ever. Let Israel now proclaim, * “His mercy endures for ever. “The LORD is my strength and my song, * and he has become my salvation. There is a sound of exultation and victory * in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the LORD has triumphed! * the right hand of the LORD is exalted! the right hand of the LORD has triumphed!” I shall not die, but live, * and declare the works of the LORD. The LORD has punished me sorely, * but he did not hand me over to death. Open for me the gates of righteousness; * I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the LORD. “This is the gate of the LORD; * he who is righteous may enter.” I will give thanks to you, for you answered me * and have become my salvation. The same stone which the builders rejected * has become the chief cornerstone. This is the LORD’S doing, * and it is marvelous in our eyes. On this day the LORD has acted; * we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Summary – This Psalm was sung by travelers coming to Jerusalem to worship (after the exile). It focuses upon the goodness of the Lord for those entering into His presence in His House. It is used by worshipers on the original Palm Sunday and since then in the Church to mark this time. Psalms 118:25–26 – “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.” This Psalm includes some marvelous prophetic words that Jesus cited in the temple area during Holy Week. Jesus was the chief cornerstone, but the builders rejected Him. Yet through this rejection, God has acted.
Insight – The latter verses in the Psalm make it clear that God was doing something marvelous by the rejection of Jesus. The rejection of the chief cornerstone, means the building will be rebuilt. The religious leaders of Jerusalem in the first century rejected Jesus as the cornerstone of the holy temple of God. They were trying to build a different building. Their foundation was their works done in self-righteousness, their dead rites, and their political collusion. They white-washed tombs filled with dead men’s bones. Their unrighteousness becomes clearer and clearer as they successfully plot the murder of Jesus. When Jesus went to the temple in fulfillment of Psalm 118, He announced in the words of Jeremiah 7, this temple would be no place of refuge for them. Not one stone would be left standing on the other. Jesus was intent on building another house, another temple, the Church from all nations. 1Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Child’s Catechism – Who is Jesus? Jesus is the cornerstone of God’s holy temple, his Church.
Discussion – From your knowledge of history, why do you think God let Jerusalem’s temple be destroyed in 70 A.D.?
Prayer – Almighty God our heavenly Father, we give you praise because you sent Jesus as the chief cornerstone of your new holy temple, your Church. Grant that we may be aligned with Him purposes and His will so that we may ever please you in service in your house. In Christ’s name. Amen.