Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone

Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone
It is really something to watch true professional stone masons in action. These guys are very fast in their work. As they build a wall, or a stone facing on a building, they take a stone from the pile, look it over to see where it would fit in any of the open spaces, and stick it in place. They then move on to the next stone. Every so often they take their hammer and give a chip here or there to shape up the stone and make it fit in certain places, but rarely do they cast a stone aside. They are so efficient in their work; they can spot weakness in a stone with one glance. They know a defective stone almost instinctively.

In the first century, during Jesus’ time, stone was the primary building material. The cornerstone was the first stone to be laid in construction. It became the foundation upon/by which all the other stones were set. The cornerstone had to be the perfect stone and set perfectly because if it was off, even a little bit, the whole building was off. Once the cornerstone was set, they could then build out from that point. There have been many cornerstones found in archeological digs in the Middle East; one was measured at 69 feet by 12 feet by 13 feet. These stones were very important in ancient architecture.

The New Testament pictures a spiritual temple with Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone. The Bible also sees the apostles as the foundation upon which the church is built. Christians, too, participate in the spiritual temple and priesthood. We may look at these three parts individually over the next few weeks, but let's begin by considering Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone.

Acts 4:11; Romans 9:33; and Ephesians 2:20 all pick up on Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 28:16 from the Old Testament and designate Jesus as the Precious Stone which the builders rejected and yet God has made the Chief Cornerstone. 1 Peter 2:4 also figures Jesus this way as the foundation for the church and the Gospel. The apostle says, by inspiration, that Christians come to the Lord as a Living Stone, rejected by people, but chosen by and precious to God the Father.

A stone which was tossed away because it was considered useless is later brought back as the most precious stone. In the same way, Jesus was rejected by the Jewish leaders (and the world, for that matter) and crucified in order to do away with Him. Yet, God the Father had chosen Him as the Chief Cornerstone, and, so, He was raised from the dead on the third day. Three things are said about Christ, our Living Stone: (1) He was/is rejected by men, however, (2) He is chosen by God, and (3) He is precious. The apostles use this figurative language to demonstrate the value of Christ as the crux of all that God is doing in the salvation of souls and the gathering of them into His Church. Christ is the end-all and be-all.