Shout! Sing!

from Lynda Lindsey

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Matthew 26:30

In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies. Psalm 118:5-7

I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. Psalm 118:13-14

The Lord is God, and He has made His light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will give You thanks; You are my God, and I will exalt You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalms 118:27-29

The disciples eating the Passover meal with Jesus couldn’t comprehend that in a few hours Jesus would be killed, offering His life as the final sacrifice for sin. Just a week earlier crowds had surged around them, crying out hosannas of praise to King Jesus! Yet that chief cornerstone would soon be rejected. Jesus, however, knew what was coming; His anguish in the garden, the pain of betrayal, the torture of the cross, and agony at being separated from the Father. Yet He ended the meal by leading His friends in a traditional hymn of praise and thanksgiving, exulting God’s goodness and might, perhaps from Psalms 115-118.

The author of Psalm 118 trusts in an eternally good God even as enemies surround him on every side, swarming like angry, buzzing bees. Although the Psalmist is pushed back and about to fall, his strength is in God, his helper, savior, and refuge. Acknowledging God’s chastisement, and grateful to God for deliverance from his enemies, the Psalmist proclaims victory…life awaits and he enters the temple gate to offer praise and thanksgiving!

As men of old sought refuge by clinging to the horns of the altar, so we have eternal refuge in Jesus, our one time sacrifice. Once sinners, now made righteous by the shed blood of Jesus, we have entrance into the Holy of Holies. The Light of the world opened up the gate to life, setting us free from sin and death; we enter into God’s presence jubilantly singing and shouting hymns of praise and thanksgiving! Jesus’ victory is ours! Exult in what the Lord has done! Let the redeemed give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever! He whom God has freed is free indeed! Shout! Sing!