“Praise the Lord!” Is this a command, an invitation, an opportunity, or is it all of the above and more?
For myself, I would say it is an attitude. That is, the command, the invitation, the opportunity, and so much more are based on the accomplished fact of Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the grave on Easter morning. Recalling what Jesus did for all sinners is mind-boggling!
We aren’t holy, try as we might. We are born sinners. We sin in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Jesus offered Himself as the only sacrifice that would atone for the sins of all people of all time. Jesus, on that Roman cross, paid the redemption price that God’s Law demands. On that first Easter morning God showed that He accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for all sinners by raising Jesus to life. In Leviticus 19: 2 we read the command: "Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” The prophet Isaiah said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
For this, and for everything else that our loving God does for us we join with the Psalmist in this hymn of praise! “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!” (Ps. 148: 1)
We pray: Lord God Almighty, Father, Son and Spirit, we give you our thanks and praise to you for Jesus coming to suffer and die for us, and then for rising again on the third day so that we could receive forgiveness of our sins, life, and salvation. In His name we pray. Amen.