Midweek Wake-Up, April 12, 2017

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Written by: on: March 30, 2017

On Sunday, Pastor Andy suggested that the crowd accompanying Jesus as he came into Jerusalem were right in that they were heralding him to be the Jewish Messiah.

However, although they were right, they were not right.  They get it but they don’t get it. Their hearts are moved with emotion, but their hearts are not gripped with reality. In less than the course of one week, the jubilant crowd is replaced by one that is calling for the crucifixion of Jesus.  As they enter Jerusalem, in their celebration they shout out the words of Psalm 118:26:  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.”  If we look back at the context and content of the whole Psalm and what it teaches us about the coming Messiah, we may be guarded from the fickle faith of the crowd that was on display on that first Palm Sunday.  After all, we too can be easily swayed by crowd psychology and sometimes, we too, seek and are moved by the emotional highs of special events.  If our experiences aren’t rooted in reality and truth then our hearts can also shift from joyful exuberant belief to disillusioned unbelief in a blink of an eye.

Psalm 118 celebrated the deliverance of one of the Davidic kings (from the line of King David).  Whatever, the event that inspired the original writing, the Psalm came to be used in Israel’s liturgy as a song to be sung as the joyful crowd moved through Jerusalem to the temple for one of the key Jewish festivals.   Below I’ve given some of the verses that would have originally applied to the ancient Israelite king but, I believe, find their greatest fulfilment in the King who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey 2000 years ago.  If you have opportunity to this Easter week, ponder some of New Testament texts below that show how Christ is the greatest fulfilment of Psalm 118.  As you ponder these texts think about how they can strengthen our faith in the Christ so that when He appears again we are truly prepared to praise God and sing “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD”.   This list is adapted from Alec Motyer’s book: Psalms by the day: a new devotional translation, Christian Focus, 2016.

  1. Ps. 118:5: The king prayed under extreme pressure and was answered.  Think about when this happened to the Christ in the New Testament.  Consider Heb. 5:7

  2. Ps. 118:10-13: This king talks about all nations surrounding and opposing him.  And yet the king stands strong against his enemies in the name of the LORD.  Consider Jn. 18:3-6; Jn. 10:25, 17:12

  3. Ps. 118:13: This king faced one particular, singular enemy about whom he says “how hard you pushed me so that I would fall”.  Consider Jn. 14:30

  4. Ps. 118:14-16:  This king found the LORD’s help, strength and salvation.  Consider Jn. 8:29.

  5. Ps. 118:17:  This king came through deadly danger alive.  Consider Mt. 28:5.

  6. Ps. 118:18:  This king endured the LORD’s chastening. Consider Isa 53:10; Jn. 18:11; Heb. 5:8.

  7. Ps. 118: 19-21: He was qualified to enter the gates of righteousness.  Consider Jn. 16:8-10; Heb. 5:5, 6:19, 9:24, 10:20.

  8. Ps. 118:22a: He was rejected by human judgement.  Consider Mt. 21:42; 1 Pet 2:7.

  9. Ps. 118:22b: He has become the chief cornerstone.  Consider Mt. 21:42; Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:20

Pastor Andy