Sunday, 4 April 2021
“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.” - Psalm 118:22-23
Imagine something being picked from the dump and turned into something precious! A stone rejected and tossed away has been picked to be the capstone! Psalm 118 is one of the Passover Psalms (Psalms 113-118) sung as a hymn of praise. The Psalm celebrates the victory the Lord had gained either for the king or the nation as a whole. If it pertained to the king, he was delivered from those who surrounded him and God became his salvation (V.14); if it was a psalm of victory for the nation, the “the right hand of the Lord does valiantly” (V.16) reminding us of the victory in Exodus. Either way, having faced rejection as a person or the nation, the Lord has intervened and turned it around in making it into a cornerstone!
The key verses are prophetic and find their fulfilment in Christ Jesus. We can examine the mention of a few of those passages in the New Testament to find their significance:
Matthew 21: 42-44: Jesus quotes this in The Parable of the Tenants, making it quite clear the He is the stone, rejected by the Pharisees and chief priests but made a Cornerstone by God. The consequence of rejecting Him is mentioned too—“crushed”, “broken into pieces” by the Cornerstone.
Acts 4:11-12: Peter in his defence before the Sanhedrin explains the healing of the lame man performed by them in Jesus’ name, making them understand that though they had rejected and crucified Him, God raised Him up and caused miracles to be done in His name! And he added: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”(V.12)
1 Peter 2:4-9: Peter in his epistle exhorts his readers to come to the “living Stone”- rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him (V.4) in direct reference to Christ Jesus. To those who reject Him, it’s a stumbling stone, a rock that makes them fall; but to those who believe, the Stone is precious!
Eph. 2:20-22: Paul mentions Christ as the “chief Cornerstone” of the dwelling place of God (we believers) where God dwells by His Spirit. “In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” (V.21)
Putting all these references in perspective, we understand that Jesus Christ is the stone whom the builders rejected but has been made the chief Cornerstone by God! In Isaiah 53, we read the prophetic note about Jesus: “despised and rejected by men,” yet He took upon Himself our sins and sorrows and the punishment that brought us peace with God! John 1:11-12 [TLB] reads thus: “Even in his own land and among his own people, the Jews, he was not accepted. Only a few would welcome and receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.” Rejected by men but accepted by God in being made the Saviour of the world and as Phil.2:9 [NLT] says: “God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names.”
Friend, have you accepted Christ Jesus, the Author of life into your life- only in His name is salvation found. If you are someone who is facing rejection from people, especially loved ones, meditate on the above Scripture and see how God’s acceptance of you as His child is the best privilege you can have. He has carved you in the palm of His hand and you are precious to Him even though you may feel forsaken; He will never forget you! (Isaiah 49:15-16).
“Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.”
Listen: ‘Amazing love’