Tuesday, 22 September 2020
Title: The Rejected Stone Became The Cornerstone
By: Pastor Isaac Yim
22 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
Jewish tradition says the rejection of the cornerstone took place when King Solomon was building the temple in Jerusalem, where the Dome of the Rock now stands. All the pieces of rock were carefully and exactly crafted to fix into each location for the glorious temple. All these were done in Solomon’s quarries beneath the Temple Mount. The stones were transported piece by piece to the temple site. Each would fit perfectly in its proper place. The whole process of construction was to be done in silence without hammering or sawing or pounding of any kind. It was said that a huge piece was quarried and shaped, then sent to the temple. When this huge rock arrived at the temple site, the builders could find no place to use it. It did not seem to match any of the blueprints, so they discarded it aside. Over time, this huge rock became a stumbling block for the builders. They decided to push it over the edge of the bank, and it rolled down into the Kidron Valley and was forgotten.
When the temple was about to be completed, they discovered the cornerstone or keystone that held everything in place was missing. They sent word to the quarry to immediately deliver this cornerstone to the site. The masons replied that the cornerstone had already been delivered. Then someone remembered that a huge rock had been pushed over the cliff. When the workers finally retrieved the huge rock and hoisted it into place, it fit perfectly as the keystone of the temple.
The Old Testament description of the cornerstone being the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah by the Jewish leaders, is the second most quoted verse in the New Testament.
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes’? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” (Matthew 21: 42-44 ESV).
Please also read Isaiah 8:14-15 in addition to the following:
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,….7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (1Peter2:4; 7-8 ESV)
32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 9:32-33 ESV)
I just marvel at the accuracy of the prophecy of Jesus as the Messiah long before He walked on the earth. The meanings of the above verses are very clear. Those who reject the Gospel, instead of building on the “Living Stone”, will stumble and fall. Both references in Psalm 118:22 and Matthew 21:42-44 give a very clear picture of the Stone meant for the foundation, but the builders did not place it and later found it could fit no place. So, they “rejected” it and cast it aside. Then it became a stumbling block to them. They stumbled and fell over it.
Listen to the preaching of Peter in Acts 4:8-12 and how he interpreted Psalm 118:22
• Verse 10 the Stone is Jesus Christ of Nazareth
• Verse 8 the builders were the rulers and elders
• Verse 10 the rejection of Christ was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ
• Verse 10 the resurrection of Jesus Christ became the Cornerstone
• Verse 12 there is no salvation in anyone else
Today, as we ponder, Jesus is the Messiah and the Saviour of the world. Don’t be like the builders! You and I have been given a choice; to choose and build our lives on the Cornerstone, or reject it and become your stumbling block all through life.
Prayer for Today
Lord Jesus, we want You to be the Cornerstone of our lives. Forgive us when we build our lives on something else. We know that anything we build without You will not last. We have tried and we have failed. We want You to be the foundation of our lives. We need You. You make our life worth living. You give us strength and purpose for each and every day. Thank You for Your life, Lord. We love You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
42耶稣说、经上写着、『匠人所弃的石头、已作了房角的头块石头．这是主所作的、在我们眼中看为希奇。』这经你们没有念过么。43 所以我告诉你们。 神的国、必从你们夺去．赐给那能结果子的百姓。 44谁掉在这石头上、必要跌碎．这石头掉在谁的身上、就要把谁砸得稀烂。（马太福音21:42-44）
4 主乃活石．固然是被人所弃的、却是被 神所拣选、所宝贵的．7所以他在你们信的人就为宝贵、在那不信的人有话说、『匠人所弃的石头、已作了房角的头块石头。』8又说、『作了绊脚的石头、跌人的磐石。』他们既不顺从、就在道理上绊跌．〔或作他们绊跌都因不顺从道理〕他们这样绊跌也是预定的。（彼得前书2:4，7-8）
我惊叹于早在耶稣还没有来到世上以前就已预言祂就是弥赛亚的准确性。以上的经文的意思很明确。 那些拒绝福音的，不是在“活石”上建造，而是将会绊倒。诗篇118:22 和马太21:42-44 的引文里已清楚地说明了那就是奠基的石头，但是建筑工人没有把它安放，而之后也找不着适当的地方可以置放。所以， 他们“丢弃”它并把它撇在一旁。它便成了他们的绊脚石，他们就绊跌仆倒了。