Bible Order: Ezekiel 29–32
Chronological Order: Ezekiel 35-37
New Testament Only: 1 Corinthians 10:23–11:1
His Love Endures Forever!
As I read these Psalms I identified a particular passage on which to comment, but as is my custom I went to my Logos Bible Software Library and took a look at what others had to say about these Psalms. As always I found J. Vernon McGee’s comments enlightening and have decided to chuck my comments so as to be able to provide you with his.
“Let me remind you that the Hallel psalms (113–118) were sung at the three great feasts of the nation Israel: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.
At the Feast of Passover the cup was passed seven times, and between each passing those gathered would sing one of these hymns. Some expositors say that Psalms 113 and 114 were sung before the meal, and then Psalms 117 and 118 were sung after the meal. It doesn’t matter how you arrange them, the important thing is that they were sung. Psalm 118 was the last psalm they sang. Matthew 26:30 tells us, “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”
Theme: The hymn Christ sang with His disciples before His death
This wonderful psalm is the last of the Hallel psalms; for this reason we know it was the psalm which our Lord sang with His disciples the night before His death.
In the Upper Room that night there was an air of informality but also of awe, an air of sadness and of joy and of anticipation. Our Lord ate the Passover feast with His disciples; then on the dying embers of a fading feast, He reared something new. Out of the ashes of the past, He took frail elements—bread and grape juice which will spoil in a few days, the weakest things in the world—and He raised a monument. It is not of marble, not of bronze, silver, or gold; it is bread and juice. That’s all. But it speaks of Him. We know from the Old Testament that a lamb was to be eaten at the Passover feast. But in the Gospel record we hear nothing about the lamb, only the bread and fruit of the vine. Do you know why? It is because the Lamb was there serving them. He was on the way to the cross as the Lamb of God to die, and the bread and juice were to speak of Him until He comes again.
Psalm 118 is the psalm they sang together on that fatal night. The Gospels tell us, “When they had sung an hymn, they went out …” (Matt. 26:30). It is Psalm 118, which makes this psalm very important to us.
It is said that at the Passover feast, the cup went around the circle seven times. The seventh time it came to Him, our Lord said, “I’ll not drink this cup with you,” and He passed it on. “I’ll drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” He had already said that He would take the cup of salvation—and He took it yonder on the cross. Christ is the Lamb of God who shed His blood, and the cup is the new covenant of His blood. He drank the bitter cup that our cup might be sweet. Oh, how good God is to us!
Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord:
This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter [Ps. 118:19–20].
What is the gate of the Lord? Christ made it very clear when He said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9). That door was the door to the sheep-fold. The Lord also said, “… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner [Ps. 118:22].
The stone in this verse refers to Christ Himself. Our Lord in Matthew 21:42 made that clear: “… 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 marvelous in our eyes?” First Peter 2:6–8 says, “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” The stone is the Lord Jesus Christ.”
McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Can you imagine that? Our Lord and Savior sang these Psalms hours before He went to the cross to die for you and me! He is the gate through which we find eternal life. He is the corner stone on which our salvation rests! “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!”
Have a praised filled day brothers for He has done it!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 7/6/10)