Sunday, July 21, 2013


Today we will investigate scripture that identifies Jesus as the Cornerstone.  This concept was the foundational truth boldly declared by Peter after healing the lame man and being arrested for preaching the resurrection power of Jesus.

Acts 4:10–12 “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

The corner stone is a reference to the first stone, the foundation stone upon which a building is constructed.  The “head of the corner” references the final stone necessary to complete the building.  Peter is making the point that the resurrection of Jesus completed the work necessary to provide salvation to man.  Though the spiritual leaders and people as a whole rejected Jesus as their Messiah to the point of putting Him to death on the cross, God raised Him from the dead to declare the truth and affirm Him as the Messiah.  The prophet Isaiah foretold this very truth.

Isaiah 28:16 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”

Note that Isaiah describes this stone as tried, precious and a sure foundation.  How was He tried? The writer of the Hebrews answers that question.

Hebrews 4:14–15 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

To be precious is to be of great price, value or worth.  The shed blood of Jesus is far more precious than silver or gold.

1 Peter 1:18–19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ….”

As the “sure foundation,” Jesus provides a foundation for our faith that will stand up to any attempt to destroy it.

1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

It is important to note that as both the foundation stone and the stone that became the head of the corner, Jesus is the “only” name under heaven whereby man can be saved.  Our salvation is dependent on the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  It seems that it is becoming more popular even in the professing church today to accept that there is more than one way to heaven.  Our own President provides a prime example.

From Jennifer Riley of The Christian Post of March 27, 2008:  “While answering a question about his Christian faith, Obama said he believes that Jesus Christ died for his sins and through God’s grace and mercy he could have ‘everlasting life,’ according to the Los Angeles Times.  But he also believes Jews and Muslims and non-believers who live moral lives are as much “children of God” as he is, according to The Associated Press.”

Paul describes the body of believers as a building and Jesus as the corner stone of that building.  The building is pictured as growing into a “holy temple” that provides a dwelling place for the Spirit of God.

Ephesians 2:19–22 “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

In his epistle Peter also likens the body of believers to a spiritual house and identifies Jesus Christ as the chief corner stone and the head of the corner.  In other words, Jesus is both the foundation of the house as well as the stone that completes the house, “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

1 Peter 2:5–8 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”

Peter also calls Jesus a “stone” of stumbling and a “rock” of offence.  He is a stumbling stone because he stands between the sinner and salvation.  To choose Him is to have to deny self and the lusts and desires of the flesh.  A rock of offence is called the “skandalon” in the Greek; it is a snare, a cause of displeasure or sin, something that offends.  When Jesus came as the Messiah, He was rejected because He did not meet expectations.  Because the people rejected Him, He became the “skandalon” that stood between them and salvation.

We believers are the representatives of Jesus here on earth.  We are supposed to declare the truth to the world by how we live.  In light of that truth I can’t help but think of the words of a song by Michael Card:

It seems today the Scandalon offends no one at all
The image we present can be stepped over
Could it be that we are like the others long ago
Will we ever learn that all who come must stumble!

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