“The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; and it is wonderful to see.” (Psalm 118:22-23 NLT)
Across time, man has always laid a foundational cornerstone to begin building bridges, castles, massive structures, or houses. When the cornerstone is set properly, every stone placed on and around it is also perfectly placed; and the building stands firm in floods and harsh weather. To ensure this, the Greeks believed in offering an animal sacrifice. Its blood would be poured over the stone, and the animal would be buried underneath the stone. In the Japanese culture, voluntary or involuntary human sacrifices were buried (often alive) underneath the stone as an offering to the gods for their favor when the flood rains came.
If man believed that the blood sacrifice of an animal or person would protect the structure from ruin when buried under the cornerstone, how much more would the sacrificial blood of the Son of God, the Chief Cornerstone of the Church, protect us from the destructive path of sin?
We are always “building” a life for ourselves, hoping for happiness, success, legacy, and love. Many of us set up functional cornerstones like money, status, education, the internet, self- help books, service projects, etc. Sadly, our own wisdom frequently leads to disappointment, fear, anxiety, and destruction.
God knows this to be true and chooses His Son to deliver us from this tragedy. He knows that the cornerstones we choose for ourselves will crumble and cause our “custom-designed houses” to collapse.
By God’s grace, we choose Jesus to be our Cornerstone. However, the Pharisees rejected Him (Mark 12, Luke 20, Matthew 21), and through a parable of the evil farmers, Jesus addressed their greed, pride, and lack of fear of the Lord, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on. (Luke 20:17-18 NLT)”
Everything Jesus teaches is in opposition to what the world teaches us. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love your neighbors as yourselves. Love your enemies and pray for them.” If we perfectly align the structure of our lives with Jesus as our Cornerstone, our faith and right standing with God will not wash away when torrential trials and tribulations hit.
“Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one – for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.….nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:33-37, 39 NLT)
Building a “house” is hard work. Wouldn’t you rather build it correctly the first time, using the Chief Cornerstone, than have it collapse when the first storm hits? If your house collapses, don’t be afraid or fearful. You can rebuild it with Jesus as your Cornerstone and enjoy the love, hope, and joy that is found in the rebuilding process. Seek God, read His precious Word, and pray unceasingly. For “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7 NIV)
As a church body, Jesus is the Cornerstone that sits on top of two walls, holding them firmly together (the Jews and the Gentiles). The church is firmly built (Ephesians 2:20-22) on Christ. He is the foundation upon which all people live in a right relationship with God and with each other and become the perfect, holy residence of His Spirit. With His Spirit in us, let us reach out to our “neighbors” all over the world and love them by sharing the Good News. The world needs to hear that Jesus loves them and has made a way for their sins to be forgiven and to be reconciled with God. Let us teach others how to build solid lives by trusting in and obeying Jesus Christ, God’s chosen Cornerstone, for those who trust in Christ will be able to rejoice with confident hope!
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:6 NIV)