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January 25 – Bind the sacrifice

Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!” – Psalm 118:27b 

Scripture reading: Psalm 118:1-29

Imagine singing these words with Jesus at the Last Supper! As a Jew, He would have sung Psalms 113-118 at each Passover celebration (Mark 14:26). The mountain-top experience for the Jewish pilgrim reached its peak at the altar. That’s why Jesus sings Psalm 118 with His disciples. Instead of going up to the altar at the temple, Jesus leads His disciples to the Mt. of Olives. There He prays until they arrest Him to crucify Him. As the disciples sing, “Bind the festal sacrifice,” little do they realize Jesus is that sacrifice, but we do.

First, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, you feel the safety of your family as the angel of death kills all the firstborn of Egypt, but passes over your home in Goshen. Say to yourselves, “I shall not die, but live, and recount the deeds of the Lord” (17).

Second, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, cry out to God. That’s what the psalmist did (5-9) when God used the nations to discipline Israel (10-13,18).

Third, because of Jesus’ sacrifice expect the warm welcome of His gates (19-20). Through Him we join the “congregation-of-the-righteous” who stand forever in the presence of God (Ps. 1:5-6). The Jewish leaders rejected Jesus like a useless building block, but through His crucifixion Jesus has become the cornerstone of the church (22).

Finally, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, spur each other to worship. (Repeat after me) “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (verses 1-4,29).

Suggestions for prayer

Tell God about your sin and the mess it makes. Be specific. Thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus in our place. Ask for joy to spread delight in God’s salvation to others. Pray Psalm 118 by reading it aloud with expression.

Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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