Jesus on the Day of His Crucifixion: “Rejoice and Be Glad”

Posted on August 6, 2019

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By David Ettinger

As I was listening to the radio driving into work, I thought to myself, Though I already prayed this morning, I should turn off the radio and just thank God for this beautiful day.

Like many of you, I’m sure, when such a thought comes to mind, Psalm 118:24 is usually what follows: “This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I indeed quoted this wonderful verse, thanked the Lord for it, and then thanked Him for another day of living which He has granted me.

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I then thought how good of a blog this would make and decided to write something on Psalm 118:24. Normally, I would go into the Hebrew meanings of the words “rejoice” and “be glad,” but I’m pretty sure the English words transmit the sentiment of this passage just fine.

Two Thoughts
 First, note the words “Let us.” Some versions have “We will.” What this shows us is that more times than not God expects us to be deliberate in our joy in Him. There is resolve in this phrase “Let us.” It is like saying, “Today is off to a terrible start and things are just not going well overall, but I WILL resolve to rejoice and be glad in this day which the Lord has made. I WILL praise Him no matter what!”

Second, these could well have been the words Jesus spoke on the day He was crucified. I say this based on Matthew 26:30 where we read, “After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

The scene was the Last Supper, which was a Passover Seder (meal and accompanying ritual). Then, as now, the Jews would recite, or sing, Psalms 113-118 during the three “pilgrim” feasts of Passover, Weeks (Pentecost), and Tabernacles. These Psalms are referred to by the Jewish people as “The Hallel,” or “praise,” Psalms. If Jesus and the apostles followed this practice that night, then Jesus would have (in Aramaic) uttered the words, “This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Considering the Jewish day begins in the evening, Jesus’ crucifixion would have been later that day, which means, knowing that this was the day He was to be crucified, He deliberately said, “This [this day of crucifixion] is [THE] day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

And because Jesus rejoiced in that day, we can rejoice in every day the Lord gives us from here on out!