Many churches sing or open services by quoting, “This is the day that the Lord has made.” When we sing this, most of us mean that God has made every day and what comes with it, and that we should therefore rejoice in what happens on that day. This is a true principle, but we would do better to quote a different text to prove it (maybe Eph. 5:20). The text we are quoting or singing (and there is nothing wrong with quoting or singing it) actually offers us a different, dramatic cause for celebration.
In context, Psalm 118:24 refers not to every day, but to a particular, momentous day: the day when the Lord made the rejected stone the cornerstone (118:22-23), probably of the Temple (118:19-20, 27). It speaks of a special day of triumph for the Davidic king, applicable in principle to many of God’s great triumphs but usually applied in the New Testament in a special way. If Psalm 118:22-23 was fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry as He claimed (Mark 12:10-11), so also was Psalm 118:24: the great and momentous day the Lord had made, the day the Psalmist calls his hearers to celebrate, is the prophetic day when God exalted Jesus, rejected by the chief priests, as the cornerstone of His new temple (cf. Eph. 2:20). The verse points to a truth far more significant than merely the common biblical truth that God is with us daily; it points to the greatest act of God on our behalf, when Jesus our Lord died and rose again for us.