1 Peter 2:6-8 – “For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ 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,’ and ‘a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.’ They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.”
What does it mean that Jesus is our cornerstone? David, Isaiah, Zechariah, Paul, and Peter all declare that Jesus is the cornerstone (Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16, Zechariah 10:4, 1 Peter 2:6-8, Ephesians 2:20). Matthew, Mark, and Luke all quote Psalm 118:22 to declare Jesus our true cornerstone. Because of this, we rightly sing the truth about Jesus being our solid rock, our cornerstone. “My hope is build on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand” (Edward Mote). “Christ alone, cornerstone, weak made strong in the Savior’s love. Through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of all” (Hillsong Worship).
Paul argues that while the foundation of the church is built on the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ is the cornerstone. The cornerstone of a building is the first block placed that the rest of the foundation is laid next to. Paul is therefore saying that Jesus Christ himself is laid down as the true foundation, while the words of the apostles and prophets are what they are and where they are because of Jesus Christ himself.
Peter takes a slightly different angle in describing Jesus as the cornerstone. For those who believe in Christ, Jesus is the foundational stone that they place their trust in. For those who reject Christ as King, Jesus is instead a stumbling stone, a rock of offense. He is the rock of offense to those stumbling because they hear the truth about Jesus and don’t just reject it, but they also are offended by it.
Practically speaking, what does it mean for you to believe that Christ is the cornerstone? Too many people who believe in Christ forget that Jesus is in fact their true foundation. Remember the story of the man who built his house upon a rock. The one who built his house on sand was foolish. But the one who built his house upon a rock was wise and was awarded with a house that could withstand harsh storms.
If you are in Christ, you must remember that your foundation is not your abilities, your talents, your skills, or your giftings. Your foundation is Jesus Christ who dwells within you. If you think your foundation is something you do, or somebody you are, you will one day come to find out just how faulty your foundation is. If the weight of the world comes crashing down on you, you will fall right down with it if in fact your foundation is not in Christ Jesus. If in fact Christ is your cornerstone, not only will you be able to weather the storms that unleash destruction on the world around you, but you will also be able to weather the storms that bear down on you directly.
Christ Jesus must be our cornerstone. He is the cornerstone of the church and of our faith. He must be the cornerstone of our lives and our ministries as well.