Jubilate Easter 3
17 Apr 2016
Psalm 66:title–20 (AV)
In the Name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our Introit for today is Psalm 66. It gives the day its name: Jubilate, rejoice, or make a joyful noise.
1Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:
2Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.
3Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.
4All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.
5Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.
6He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.
7He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
8O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
9Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
10For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
11Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
12Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
13I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,
14Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
15I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.
16Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
17I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
18If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
19But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
20Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
The Psalmist calls all people, all lands, to make a joyful noise to God because His enemies have submitted to Him. This is what Jesus is speaking of when He tells the disciples in the Upper Room that they have sorrow but they will see Him again, after He rises, and they will rejoice. No one will take that joy from them.
The Psalmist foresaw this joy and by inspiration of the Holy Spirit he knew that it was not only for the Jews but for all people. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the redemption of the world for the enemies of God, that is Satan and his demons, death and Hell, have been overcome.
Thus we, Gentiles, all the earth, have been won for God by God in His terrible, atoning death and through His resurrection. We sing unto His Name in joy for He is the One who is, the One who lives. We glorify and bless Him for He has taken captivity captive and put death to death and bound our ancient enemy. Satan and his armies, Hell’s fury, and the Law’s justice can no longer accuse us.
Thus says the Psalmist, “Come, ye Gentiles, and see the works of God. He turned the sea into dry land. He drowned hard-hearted Pharaoh. He rescued the people marked with the Blood of the Lamb and caused them to walk through Hell unscathed. He rules forever and His eyes behold the Gentiles – the people who were no people. He has shed His Blood for us and pours it out in the Holy Communion where He beholds us in mercy as His own people. He has gathered us to Himself for this purpose. He has redeemed us out of slavery and sin. He has made us one flock and He is our one Shepherd. There is neither Jew nor Greek. There is neither slave nor free. There is no male and female. For we are all one in Christ Jesus. And if we are Christ’s, then we are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. We belong to God.
He was never the enemy of Gentiles, though we tried to make Him so by our sins. He is the Lover of humanity who made us in His image and gave us dominion over the earth. He has proved us. He has tried us. He has brought us into the net, laid His affliction upon us, and caused men to ride over our heads. And it might have seemed as though He were our enemy. Yet all this He did that we would know the true character of the devil and where our sin leads. This He did not in cruelty, but as Fatherly chastisement to bring us back to Himself, to keep us safe and make us dissatisfied with the devil’s lies. He has named our sins. He has allowed us to glimpse the horror of His wrath for our own good, yet He spent His wrath on His Son and brought us to a wealthy place.
This we see in the Red Sea, in the crashing walls of Jericho, and in the slaying of Goliath – all of which foreshowed God’s defeat of the devil through weakness and His gracious sparing of a stiff-necked, unworthy people that He would declare worthy. We also see this in the sacrifices and Temple which foreshowed how God would cleanse us with Blood and hear our prayers, and which always included a court of the Gentiles and of women as well as of men and priests.
Come, and hear, all ye Gentiles and Jews that fear God, ye men and women, ye rich and poor, and I will declare what He has done for you and for your soul. He has died your death. He has made Himself your holy substitute. He has atoned for you, ransomed you, purchased and won you. He has declared you righteous, holy, and innocent so that you might bring your prayers and praise to Him, that He would hear and answer you, that you would be His people and He would be your God and you would never be left alone or forsaken.
Verily God has heard you. He has attended to the voice of your prayer even as He heard the voice of His Son who prayed for you from the cross, “forgive them, behold your mother.” So also He hears the voice of His Spirit who intercedes for you with groans that words cannot express. He hears you. He knows your pain and your sorrow and your regrets and your shame. He knows your struggles and your secrets and the worst of your thoughts and fantasies. And yet, He attends your prayers. You do not disgust Him. You do not weary His patience. He does not stop loving you because of your sins, but He has purified your soul at the greatest cost. He wants you. He has been merciful to you. He was bought you. And He remains steadfast in that mercy and commitment. Lo, He is with you always, to the end of the age.
Make a joyful noise unto God, ye Gentiles. For He has welcomed you into the fold, declared you to be His true sons and daughters, and He is glad that you are here.
Alleluia. He is risen. He is risen indeed, Alleluia.
In +Jesus’ Name. Amen.