Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
“1 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the LORD’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save us, we beseech you, O LORD!
O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD.
We bless you from the house of the LORD.
27 The LORD is God,
and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
up to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.
29 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.”
In this Psalm you find the origins of the some of the elements of the Palm Sunday readings.
Verses 26-27 read like the script for the Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as he passes through its gates, cooled by the breeze of the waving palms. Mark wanted to leave no doubt who Jesus was, the Righteous One “who comes in the name of God.”
Verse 22, quoted in Mark 12:10, is used to show how the failure of the leaders of Israel to recognize Jesus as Messiah was what God expected all along. The Gospel writers went to great pains to tie Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to the prophecies of old. The created the biblical context from which Jesus’ ministry arose. Without that context, Jesus would have been just another first century peddler of snake-oil and feats of magic that the world would have never known.
This is why studying the Bible is so important to our faith. Context is everything!
PS. The peddlers of religious snake-oil are still with us, in large number, today.
Be a blessing to someone today!