I’m excited – today we get to quote Ps. 118.24 with its full and real meaning! It’s worth much more than a mere “don’t complain – God made today” rebuke.
Let me ask this: who knows what the rest of Ps. 118 says? The context for this verse reveals that it is saying something intensely wonderful – we’re actually cheating ourselves out of a great Scriptural encouragement when we reduce Ps. 118.24 to a quick response to complaint!
The stone that the builders rejected has become the 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. Ps. 118.22-24
The first word of verse 24 should tip us off to the fact that we need context – “this.” That’s a demonstrative pronoun (sorry for the grammar lesson!) which means that it points to something specific. What is “this” day that the psalmist is pointing his poetic finger at?
Ps. 118.22-23 tells us about the specific day that caused the writer to rejoice: an actual historical occurrence that is described as the exaltation of a rejected cornerstone. Peter helps us understand what “this” day is all about:
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4.8-12
Christ was rejected – the crucifixion; he became the cornerstone – the resurrection! It is God’s miracle and it is wonderful in our viewpoint!
Therefore, Easter is the celebration of the real “day that the Lord has made” – the resurrection of Jesus Christ! That resurrection is our only hope and it guarantees our salvation in the only true source of salvation. It’s a much bigger deal than “don’t complain at what God’s given you” – it’s a statement of the proof that God has given you the most amazing gift of all – eternal life in his risen Son!