Verse 24. This is the day which the LORD hath made. A new era has commenced. The day of David's enthronement was the beginning of better times for Israel; and in a far higher sense the day of our Lord's resurrection is a new day of God's own making, for it is the dawn of a blessed dispensation. No doubt the Israelitish nation celebrated the victory of its champion with a day of feasting, music and song; and surely it is but meet that we should reverently keep the feast of the triumph of the Son of David. We observe the Lord's day as henceforth our true Sabbath, a day made and ordained of God, for the perpetual remembrance of the achievements of our Redeemer. Whenever the soft Sabbath light of the first day of the week breaks upon the earth, let us sing,
"This is the day the Lord hath made,
He calls the hours his own;
Let heaven rejoice, let earth be glad,
And praise surround the throne."
We by no means wish to confine the reference of the passage to the Sabbath, for the whole gospel day is the day of God's making, and its blessings come to us through our Lord's being placed as the head of the corner.
We will rejoice and be glad in it. What else can we do? Having obtained so great a deliverance through our illustrious leader, and having seen the eternal mercy of God so brilliantly displayed, it would ill become us to mourn and murmur. Rather will we exhibit a double joy, rejoice in heart and be glad in face, rejoice in secret and be glad in public, for we have more than a double reason for being glad in the Lord. We ought to be specially joyous on the Sabbath: it is the queen of days, and its hours should be clad in royal apparel of delight. George Herbert says of it:
"Thou art a day of mirth,
And where the weekdays trail on ground,
Thy flight is higher as thy birth."
Entering into the midst of the church of God, and beholding the Lord Jesus as all in all in the assemblies of his people, we are bound to overflow with joy. Is it not written, "then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord"? When the King makes the house of prayer to be a banqueting house, and we have grace to enjoy fellowship with him, both in his sufferings and in his triumphs, we feel an intense delight, and we are glad to express it with the rest of his people.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 24. This is the day which the LORD hath made.
Verse 24. This is the day, etc. The "queen of days," as the Jews call the Sabbath. Arnobius interprets this text of the Christian Sabbath; others, of the day of salvation by Christ exalted to be the head cornerstone; in opposition to that dismal day of man's fall. John Trapp.
Verse 24. Because believers have ever cause for comfort, therefore they are commanded always to rejoice, Philippians 3:1 4:4. Whether their sins or sufferings come into their hearts, they must not sorrow as they that have no hope. In their saddest conditions, they have the Spirit of consolation. There is seed of joy sown within them when it is turned under the clods, and appears not above ground. But there are special times when God calls for this grain to spring up. They have some red letters, some holy days in the calendar of their lives, wherein this joy, as wine at a wedding, is most seasonable; but among all those days it never relishes so well, it never tasteth so pleasantly, as on a Lord's day. Joy suits no person so much as a saint, and it becomes no season so well as a Sabbath.
Joy in God on other days is like the birds chirping in winter, which is pleasing; but joy on the Lord's day is like their warbling times and pretty notes in spring, when all other things look with a suitable delightful aspect. This is the day which the LORD hath made, (he that made all days, so especially this day, but what follows?) we will rejoice and be glad in it. In which words we have the church's solace, or joy, and the season, or day of it. Her solace was great: "We will rejoice and be glad." Those expressions are not needless repetitions, but shew the exuberance or high degree of their joy. The season of it: "This is the day which the LORD hath made." Compare this place with Matthew 11:22-23 , and Acts 4:11 , and you will find that the precedent verses are a prophetical prediction of Christ's resurrection, and so this verse foretells the church's joy upon that memorable and glorious day. And, indeed, if "a feast be made for laughter," Ecclesiastes 10:19 , then that day wherein Christ feasts his saints with the choicest mercies may well command their greatest spiritual mirth. A thanksgiving day hath a double precedence of a fast day. On a fast day we eye God's anger; on a thanksgiving day we look to God's favour. In the former we specially mind our corruptions; in the latter, God's compassions; - - therefore a fast day calls for sorrow, a thanksgiving day for joy. But the Lord's day is the highest thanksgiving day, and deserveth much more than the Jewish Purim, to be a day of feasting and gladness, and a good day. George Spinnock.
Verse 24. Day which the LORD hath made. As the sun in heaven makes the natural day by his light, so does Christ the Sun of Righteousness make ours a spiritual day. Starke.
Verse 24. Day which the LORD hath made. Adam introduced a day of sadness, but another day is made by Christ: Abraham saw his day from afar, and was glad; we will walk even now in his light. Johann David Friesch, 1731.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 24. --
(b) The sabbath day.
(b) To be joyfully received by man. --G.R.