Saturday, 4 December 2021


The day that God made Jesus the ‘Cornerstone’ was certainly a day for rejoicing
Christ alone, Cornerstone

Weak made strong

in the Saviour’s love,

Through the storm, He is Lord

Lord of all!

You may recognise this as the chorus of a well-known song called ‘Cornerstone’. This song has been a blessing to my husband and to me over the years, not least at the time when he was undergoing treatment for a serious illness. Recently I listened to a sermon on Psalm 118, in which the preacher commented that this Psalm is largely regarded as a Messianic prophecy of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. 

From verse 22-24 it says: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

This name ‘Cornerstone’ applied to Jesus does seem to be very significant as it is mentioned in Matthew, Mark and Luke, who all tell the parable of ‘The Wicked Tenants’. This is about a farmer who rents his vineyard to tenants. At harvest time, he sent servants on separate occasions to get some of his fruit and they wounded them or killed them. He then sent his son and they killed him too. 

This parable is an allegory of the ministry of Jesus. The vineyard is an Old Testament picture of God’s chosen people of Israel. The story of how the tenants refuse to give the owner some of the harvest even when the owner sends his own son is a picture of how the Jewish leaders treated God’s son, how they threw him out of the vineyard and even killed him. In each of the three gospel accounts Jesus ends the story with the quotation from Psalm 118 ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’ He is therefore applying this to himself.

It is not only mentioned in the gospels but in various other places too. I will just give two more examples.

In Ephesians 2:19-22 Paul says: So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
And in Acts 4:11-12 Peter says, when he and John are brought before the Sanhedrin: This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

So, we know that Jesus is the cornerstone but what is a cornerstone? The cornerstone was the principal stone in any building. It was usually, the most solid, and the most carefully chiselled of any of the stones. The strength, the integrity and unity of the whole building depended on the cornerstone. If the cornerstone was not exactly right, the entire building would be out of line and likely to collapse. 

And who are the builders that rejected Him. At the time of Jesus, it was mainly the Jewish leaders, who wanted to carry on building their own religion the old way. Jesus was not conforming to their way of doing things and they didn’t like it. They argued He did miracles by the power of Beelzebub. They began to plot His death early on in His ministry. But it wasn't just the builders of leaders who rejected Jesus. 

Many of the people of Israel did as well. At the trial of Jesus, it was far too easy for ‘the builders’ to whip the entire crowd into demanding that Pilate crucify Jesus. Of course, Israel is not the only nation that has rejected Christ since then. There are political and religious leaders and ordinary people in all nations of the earth that have rejected and are still rejecting the moral and spiritual authority of Jesus Christ. 

So let me take you back to Psalm 118:23-24, where it says after talking about the cornerstone: This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

Yes, The Lord has done this! He has made the rejected stone the cornerstone. It was part of His plan from the beginning, which He fulfilled through the actions of the builders, who rejected Him and who put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. But God raised Him from the dead and exalted Him to His right hand where He is King of kings and Lord of Lords. We often sing or say the words ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it’ and this of course is entirely appropriate for any day, but the day that God made Jesus the ‘Cornerstone’ was certainly a day for rejoicing. 

So, in conclusion, as Christians we are to be part of what Christ is building and He is to be our Cornerstone. To those builders who reject the Cornerstone of salvation, He will be, as it says in 1 Peter 2:8: ‘A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’ Salvation is found in no one else, there is no other name by which we can be saved.

In 1 Peter 2:5 it says: ‘you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.’

Christ is the cornerstone of every part of our lives. Christ is the cornerstone of the church. He is our very rock and our salvation. In Him the building holds together, without Him it falls apart. No stone can be part of the church unless it is in alignment with Him. As we often quote in our fellowship, from Psalm 127:1: ‘Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labour in vain.’

Author: Thelma Cameron

May God bless and enrich your life

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