Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
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.”
14 The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
16 the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.
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.
Over the years, as we celebrate Holy Week, I have pondered what it must have been like for the disciples to have experienced Jesus’ death: the darkest three days of their lives. Everything they had hoped for, trusted in, and built their lives around had been lost. They gave up everything—their livelihood, homes, families—to follow this Jesus and the new kingdom He would establish, and now it had all been taken away. What were they to do now?
And then, I’ve tried to imagine the experience of the resurrection. The amazement, wonder, shock, elation, and pure joy. Could it be? It really is true! All that Jesus told them about had come to pass. He is risen, along with everything that means!
This must have been one of the scripture passages that came to mind when the disciples first experienced the resurrection. I can hear their “glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous” (vs. 15), raising up psalms, such as “give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!” (vs. 1)
It was like seeing the scripture as for the first time, not only in light of the psalmist’s original meaning from centuries before, but also now realizing the prophetic nature of the passage in light of Jesus, their risen king:
“I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief 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.” (vs. 21-24)
Lord, thank You for Your plan of salvation for us. It is through passages like these we see that you were making a way for us long before we ever realized it. We thank You for sending Your son Jesus as an atoning sacrifice, so that we might enter through the gates of righteousness. We give thanks to You today; we rejoice and are glad!
Go with God!