January 22, 2018

The Rejected Stone Becomes Precious

Psalm 118:15-27

Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else.

—  Acts 4:11-12

Psalm 118 was the final prayer song in the liturgy of the Passover feast, which celebrated Israel’s freedom from slavery. Israel was the stone that the builders of civilization had rejected, but God made his people the cornerstone of his plan for the world.

The apostles referred to Jesus also as the stone that was rejected, and he is now the all-important cornerstone of God’s kingdom. Jesus is the Messiah who rode into Jerusalem as Israel’s king. Though rejected by the Jews, he became the foundation stone for a new temple. And he will come again as the heavenly sovereign Judge. He ultimately is the one who says, “I will not die but live.”

Jesus the Messiah rises from the depths to the heights, and in the process he takes us along with him. The rejected stone becomes the new cornerstone, and we become living stones essential to God’s new building (1 Peter 2:5). The word for “cornerstone” can also be interpreted as “capstone,” indicating that Jesus becomes the crowning glory of the building that is the temple or the kingdom of God, and we will share in his glory (Romans 8:17).

No longer rejected but precious; no longer worthless but important—that’s our new identity in Christ.

Thank you, Jesus, for turning human plans upside down and making a new reality through your death and resurrection. Enliven your church today so that we are a truly faithful house built on your solid foundation. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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