Psalm 118: a fitting psalm before the darkest hours

Thursday, April 13, 2017


I have been following Köstenberger's Final Days of Jesus since Monday and I was at the Maundy Thursday section today:

1. The preparation for the Passover
2. The Final Passover
3. The Last Supper and Jesus’s Cleansing of His Community 
4. The Farewell Discourse Begins 
5. The Farewell Discourse Continues 
6. Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denials 
7. Jesus Issues Final Practical Commands 
8. The Garden of Gethsemane

I learnt that at the closing of the Last Supper, "the last meal that Jesus would eat with his disciples, the last meal that Jesus would eat in his pre-glorified body, and the final Passover meal of the old covenant", "Jesus and the disciples sing a hymn together and then depart toward the Mount of Olives. Jews traditionally sang Psalms 113–118 during the Passover celebration, culminating in Psalm 118, so it is very likely that this was the final hymn sung by Jesus and his disciples before leaving the upper room and walking to the garden of Gethsemane."

If we take a look at Psalm 118, you can imagine how and what Jesus would have drawn from it as he prepares for the dark hours ahead: his steadfast love endures forever...out of my distress I called on the LORD...I will not fear...it's better to take refuge in the Lord...all nations surround me...I was pushed hard...glad songs of salvation...I shall not die, but I shall live...the stone that the builders rejected 
has become the cornerstone. 

What a fitting psalm to be sung at this time of such heaviness.  

Psalm 118:1-29 ESV
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 
for his steadfast love endures forever! 
Let Israel say, 
"His steadfast love endures forever."
Let the house of Aaron say, 
"His steadfast love endures forever." 
Let those who fear the LORD say, 
"His steadfast love endures forever." 

Out of my distress I called on the LORD; 
the LORD answered me and set me free. 
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. 
What can man do to me? 
The LORD is on my side as my helper; 
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. 

It is better to take refuge in the LORD 
than to trust in man. 
It is better to take refuge in the LORD 
than to trust in princes. 

All nations surrounded me; 
in the name of the LORD I cut them off! 
They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; 
in the name of the LORD I cut them off! 
They surrounded me like bees; 
they went out like a fire among thorns; 
in the name of the LORD I cut them off! 

I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, 
but the LORD helped me. 
The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation. 

Glad songs of salvation 
are in the tents of the righteous: 
"The right hand of the LORD does valiantly, 
the right hand of the LORD exalts, 
the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!" 
I shall not die, but I shall live, 
and recount the deeds of the LORD. 
The LORD has disciplined me severely, 
but he has not given me over to death. 

Open to me the gates of righteousness, 
that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. 
This is the gate of the LORD; 
the righteous shall enter through it. 
I thank you that you have answered me 
and have become my salvation. 

The stone that the builders rejected 
has become the cornerstone. 
This is the LORD's doing; 
it is marvelous in our eyes. 
This is the day that the LORD has made; 
let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

Save us, we pray, O LORD! 
O LORD, we pray, give us success! 
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! 
We bless you from the house of the LORD. 
The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. 
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, 
up to the horns of the altar! 
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; 
you are my God; I will extol you. 
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 
for his steadfast love endures forever!

pearlie 

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