Bishop Ward uses Psalm 118 scripture to guide us through Holy Week events from Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to his resurrection on Easter morning.
“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. ”
Psalm 118 is appointed for Palm Sunday. As we began this Holy Week, we sang together, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
We imagine these words on the lips of little children as they waved palm branches, reaching out to touch Jesus as he rode into the city on the back of a donkey. We imagine these words on the lips of adults, of the crowd around Jesus, as they waved palm branches in the air and laid their cloaks and coats on the road, forming a carpet path for the donkey bearing Jesus into the city. This is the day that the Lord has made, the day of triumphal entry into the holy city.
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118 is again appointed for Easter morn. The women find the tomb empty. Jesus is alive. The grave clothes are neatly folded on the spot where His body had been laying. We rejoice on this day, we are glad in it. This is the day God has made, no other than God could have raised Jesus from the dead.
In the days between Palm Sunday and Easter, we see Jesus giving himself for us. We see the full extent of love – redeeming love, patient love, long-suffering love. We see this love as Jesus is denied and betrayed. We see this love as He is scourged and nailed to a cross. We see this love as the cross is lifted high above the earth, with a criminal crucified on each side of Jesus. We see this love as Jesus breathes His last, giving His life for us.
This indeed is the time that God has made for us. This is Holy Week, the most holy of all weeks, as we see the redemptive, magnificent, never-ending love of God in Jesus Christ.
This is the day the Lord has made. We do rejoice and we are glad in it, for we know Christ alive, Christ risen, Christ reigning forever more.