So, what does this psalm have to do with the coming of Jesus the Messiah? Well, read with me the following event as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel under the title, “The triumphal Entry” (or known later as Palm Sunday):
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet [written 500 years BC – found in Zechariah 9:9]:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!” [‘hosanna’ is a Hebrew expression meaning ‘Save, we pray’]
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” [as found in Psalm 118:25-26 **]
“Hosannain the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Matthew 21:1-11)
The verses quoted above** being:
25 Lord, save us!
Lord, grant us success!
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
From the house of the Lord we bless you.
These words were chanted as the crowds of worshippers, with boughs [or palms] in hand, join[ed] in the festal procession upto the horns of the altar. (v. 27b)
On his commentary on Psalm 118, Wilcock writes concerning vv. 25-26:
“Parts of these verses were the very words of [the crowd] on the first Palm Sunday [as recorded above in Matthew’s Gospel] … ‘Hosanna’… ‘Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord!’ In this case there was no doubt at all who ’he’ was… the whole of the psalm was coming true before their eyes. The next day he would take his enemies back to verses 22-23… The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone [or cornerstone], and make it crystal clear that what had happened to Israel – so often in Old Testament times rejected, yet vindicated by God – was about to happen o him. He was himself the Stone, the true Israel. He was the Righteous One, entering the gate (v. 20). Once he had suffered for their sins, he and all his people would not die but live (v. 17). Once he had risen, he would claim authority over all the nations (vv. 10-12) His love endures forever (vv. 1, 29)” (# 5)
Yet another example of prophetic literature in the Old Testament speaking of the coming of Jesus as the Lord our Righteous Saviour (Jeremiah 23:6b). Therefore, considering all that Jesus has accomplished for us, along with the psalmist, let us proclaim:
23 the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.
And say with confidence:
28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
you are my God, and I will exalt you…
6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
I look in triumph on my enemies.
And all together:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever. Amen.