What day is ‘This is the day the Lord has made?’
If you met the Lord anytime after about 1973 you know the song, “This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. We will rejoice, we will rejoice, and be glad in it, and be glad in it…”
OK…now that you won’t be able to get that song out of your mind for the next 24 hours, let me ask if you have thought that song was talking about rejoicing on the day you were singing it. You know what I mean, you had a rough day at school/work/life and you go to the prayer meeting or church service, and one of the first songs is this one, telling you to rejoice in this day (anyway) no matter what.
Actually, that song is a quote from Psalm 118, sung at Passover and speaks of the crucifixion of the Lord: Psalm 118:23-24:
“The stone which the builders refused has become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it…“
So when we sing this song, we see it is talking about the day the Lord was crucified, that is the day in which we rejoice and are glad. What is even more interesting is that Psalms 111-118 make up the Hallel, which was sung during Passover, with emphasis on Psalm 118 during that week, as they understood the symbolism and prophecy regarding their sins and Messiah.
That means in Matthew 26:30, immediately after the Last Supper when it says “And when they had sung a hymn they went out into the Mount of Olives“, Jesus would most likely have sung this Psalm; these words about HIS sacrifice on the cross – Let us be glad and rejoice in it! He went right into prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane with those words echoing in his heart…
But Wait, There’s More
The Father’s relationship to His Son was about to change forever, yet when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, we rarely if ever talk about it. In fact, in my 37+ years of walking with the Lord I can’t remember hearing a sermon about it outside of my own.
In Acts 13:33 Paul quotes Psalm 2:7 as the day the Father’s relationship with His Son changed forever:
“God has fulfilled the same to us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus again (from the dead); as it is also written in the second Psalm: “You are my Son. This day I have become your Father.”
The context is resurrection day – This day I have become your Father! So what changed? I thought John 3:16 said the Father so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that all who believe in Him will have eternal life….right?
So what was it about resurrection day that changed their relationship to such an extent that the Father said “Today I have become your Father”?
Jesus was raised with a literal, physical body, now made of heavenly material (glorified), thus able to operate in both the physical and spiritual realms. He could appear in this realm then go right back to the Spirit realm; he could eat natural food, walk along with people, but then disappear at will back into the spirit/Spirit realm.
He is the first of a new species of man, if I may use that term. That is what changed between Father and Son. No longer is Jesus the only Son; after His resurrection He is “The first born from the dead“:
“…to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Rom 8:30
“But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the first born…” Hebrews 12:23
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first born from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.” Revelation 1:6
“And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence.” Colossians 1:18
This is what changed between Father and Son: He is no longer the only born son, rather the FIRST born from the dead. I don’t know what number I am, or what number you are, but Jesus is the first born from the dead, and we follow most certainly. Jesus is no longer an only child! That’s what changed.
The fact He is the first born from the dead and that we follow, elevates us to His level, to the level of His resurrection and in that power. Jesus was keenly aware of the change in the relationship between Himself and His Father at the resurrection, for in Matthew 28:10 He says: “Don’t be afraid; go tell my brethren that they go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” (Brethren being a term including men and women)
Up until this point He had only called them friends on one occasion, but immediately upon His resurrection, He calls them brothers. Wow.
“…go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father, and your Father. To my God, and your God.” John 20: 17
“For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation complete through sufferings. For both He that sanctifies and they that are sanctified are all of one: for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Hebrews 2:10-11
In Romans 8:19-22 Paul tells us of nature groaning and travailing as in birth, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. That’s what the earthquakes, volcano’s, and weather systems are all about – nature is groaning under the burden of sin it was made subject to, awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God.
Paul concludes: “And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we groan waiting for our adoption, that is to say, the redemption of our body.”
Amen…I want the glorified body! Not that I want to be out of this one, but I groan as Paul said, ‘To be clothed upon from on high’. (II Cor 5:4)
As we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, let us remember His crucifixion day was (also) a day of rejoicing, for it set in motion what we have today in Christ; we are in one with the first-born from the dead, our Big Brother, our Lord and Savior, and He is not ashamed to call us brethren. Amazing Grace