October 12, 2003
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
Christ Jesus –The Chief Cornerstone
by Jack Northart
There is a record in the Gospel of Luke that chronicles the account of when Jesus was confronted by the religious leaders about his capability and integrity.
And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?
And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:
The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
The builders were the religious leaders in Jerusalem and the stone which they rejected was Christ himself. Christ is the cornerstone upon whom people will either stand or stumble. The rejection of the Messiah and his crucifixion by the leaders of Israel was the setting at naught of the stone by the builders. This truth was prophesied in the Old Testament.
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
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.
Jesus Christ is prophesied to be a “precious corner stone.” For those who believe, he is not a stumbling stone but the cornerstone of their salvation. The unbeliever stumbles at the Word of God and rejects Christ. To the believer he is precious, a living stone, indeed the chief cornerstone.
I Corinthians 1:23,24
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
For the Christian, Christ is not a stumblingstone, but the power of God. Cornerstones in the Eastern culture were vital parts of a building. In the Temple, for example, the cornerstones measured from twenty to thirty feet in length and weighted above 100 tons. People of the lands and times of the Bible reckoned cornerstones to be more important than the foundation. The chief cornerstone was the first stone laid above ground, and it sat on the foundation. It was the primary foundation stone at the angle of the structure by which the architects fixed a standard for the bearing of the walls throughout the whole building. The visible construction of the building began at the cornerstone. The building of the Christian Church begins at Christ Jesus, the chief cornerstone.
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ [Christ Jesus] himself being the chief corner stone;
I Peter also talks about the head corner or chief cornerstone.
I Peter 2:4-8
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
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 Zion 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.
We are “lively” or “living” stones built up as a spiritual house. We are not literally stones in a building, but it illustrates the great importance that Jesus Christ is to each and every believer. Without Christ as the chief cornerstone, all of our efforts to build will come to naught. But as we give Christ the rightful position in our lives as the chief cornerstone, we can manifest the power of God and the wisdom of God.
The Christian Church is not an inanimate building. Neither is it an organization. It is a living entity with Christ as the Head. Too often, we have tried to line up our lives with someone else rather than the chief cornerstone. God does not dwell in temples made with hands, yet we are His workmanship, a temple not made with hands, but harmoniously fitted together by God.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens 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.
Christ is the chief cornerstone.
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