We all have special days. Some we celebrate, others bring back unwanted memories. Some, such as birthdays, are individual. Wedding anniversaries involve two. Society has its special days also. For Aussies it is Australia Day and Anzac day (for some there is the Melbourne cup – a horse racing event). God also has His special days.
Psalm 118:24. ‘This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ What was this day alluding to? We could in all honesty say “Christmas” but in this case we would be wrong. However, without the Bethlehem birth event God’s special day could not have happened – at least the way it did. Before we have a quick look at ‘this day’ we will take the time to consider the fact of other special God days.
The precise day and date are not recorded for our benefit, I believe. The fact is! The Son of God came into this world on the day the Lord had made. Paul refers to it as ‘in the fullness of time.’ Galatians 4:4. It was the culmination of various prophecies such as Isaiah concerning the virgin (Isaiah 7:14 and Micah revealing the town of Bethlehem (Micah5:2).
Another specially marked day is called ‘The Day of the Lord.’ In fact, this term can apply to a number of different days but all are associated with wrath and judgement. The prophet Joel in his short book stresses these days. ‘The great and terrible day of the Lord [has] come.’ Joel 2:31. What would be needed in a place of safety! We are unable to build it, therefore, God must become the master builder Himself. God told Noah to build an ark as a safe place to ride out the promised world-wide flood. That’s grace preceding judgement. So too, the Lord provides a safe place from the great and final day of holy justice.
That is the day the Lord made according to Psalm 118. In fact that day had a lot of preliminary preparation so it could be recognised. Its shadow is in the Jewish Passover and also expressed in their daily sacrifices. Isaiah 53 gives it a more frightening dimension as it involves ‘the Servant’ taking upon Himself the role of the Passover lamb. When did that day take place? When Jesus was crucified at Calvary. I find it interesting and quite emotional at times to know Jesus read this psalm in the upper room.
In Acts 2 Peter’s sermon about the cross and the risen Lord explains ‘this day.’ To anyone looking at the arrest and crucifixion it would appear earthly authorities were in control. Peter, in effect says what they did was used by God the Father to achieve His plans through the life and death of His Son. It was ‘the Day the Lord had made!’ Just as was the very day of Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost (Feast of Weeks). Because Jesus had conquered death, one of the purposes behind Christmas, it was possible for the Holy Spirit to come to us.
That brings us to the final mention (though not the final list of ‘days’) for this blog on the day the Lord has made. ‘Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.’ (2Corinthians 6:2) It is the day of grace. It has been extended beyond 24hours so you and I could take advantage of it. As with any day it has a cut of time to it. Therefore, as we dwell upon the wonder of Christmas become aware that was the day the Lord made. Why? So we could find a place of safety from the judgement of God on that day known only to Him. How do we enter into that safe refuge? By acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God, the promised Messiah and the One who paid our death penalty. When we believe in our heart that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to His Father we will cry out to Him to forgive and keep us. He will hear and receive.
When you do that – or whenever you did it – You actually allow God to make another day. This time it is all about your day with God. You are able to say, on the assurance of God’s promise ‘This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!”
©Ray Hawkins Dec 28 2015.