All this month, we’re looking at Psalm 118. Today, I want to focus in on verses 19-21:
Psalm 118:19-21: “Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.”
Have you ever locked yourself out of your house or car?
A few months ago, my mother and I were flying home from a conference in Florida. Because of severe weather conditions, we ran into numerous flight delays. Finally, it seemed we would make it home. There was only one issue left to work out: our luggage.
We had both packed light and only taken carry-ons, but our new plane barely had room for us (and definitely didn’t have room for our bags). At the gate, as we rushed to get on the plane that was preparing to take off, they asked us to check our bags at the gate.
Not thinking about what was in our carry-ons (after all, we expected to carry them on with us), we handed our bags over.
About half way through the flight, I asked my mom about her car keys.
Her face dropped as she remembered. They were in her bag we had checked at the gate…that, as you might have guessed, didn’t make it to our final destination.
We were locked out of our car at an airport that was two hours from home.
Needless to say, being locked out is never fun.
As I read this text in Psalm 118, the Lord brought this airport story to mind. Just as we were locked out of my mom’s vehicle, the Old Testament believers weren’t allowed to enter the Temple of the Lord.
In essence, they were locked away, kept back from a holy God because of their sins.
Only the High Priest could enter to commune with God (and even he could only do so after a thorough cleansing).
What I love about Psalm 118, though, is that it is prophesying Jesus. It’s looking forward to a time when we can all approach God’s throne. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.”
That, my friends, is one really good reason to give thanks.
Before Jesus, there was no one to open the gates.
Before Jesus, there was no way to approach the Father.
And before Jesus, there was no way we could ever cleanse ourselves enough to stand before God.
BUT NOW…everything has changed.
Psalm 118:21 says, “You have become my salvation.”
Jesus has become our salvation. He’s the reason we can enter the gates to commune with God. He’s the reason we can now be called righteous. And He is the reason we can give thanks, no matter what this world is throwing at us.
*photo courtesy: unsplash