Jesus Christ is the CORNERSTONE of the Church, His body.
For a building to stand, it needs a firm base, a foundational cornerstone to build upon. Jesus Christ is the CORNERSTONE, the firm foundation of the Church, His body built up of living stones.
- About 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, the prophet Isaiah spoke of this “precious cornerstone” that would be laid as a foundation in Zion. Those who believe in Christ as this cornerstone will not need to flee to a place of safety in danger or distress because the Messiah is their refuge.
“Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’ ” Isaiah 28:16 ESV
- Psalm 118 gives us more information concerning this cornerstone.
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Psalms 118:22 ESV
This stone that God had chosen to be the cornerstone would be rejected by the builders. Who are the builders? This Old Testament reference is quoted by Jesus as a part of the parable about the owner of a vineyard and his wicked tenants, recorded in Matthew 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-12 and Luke 20:9-19. Studying these passages gives the answer to this question. The corrupt Jewish religious leaders who were repeatedly trying to trap Jesus and find a way to put Him to death are the builders referred to in this verse.
- Those who come to Christ, the living Stone, become a part of this spiritual house and thereafter will never be put to shame.
“As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 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. For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.‘ ”1 Peter 2:4-6 NIV
- In Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone, the whole “building” of living stones, both Jews and Gentiles who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, are joined together as a holy temple in the Lord.
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV
Today, I’m grateful to be one of the living stones that are being built into a spiritual house, a part of the Church, Jesus’ body. And I’m grateful that Christ Jesus Himself is the chief cornerstone of this spiritual household of faith.