Jesus, the Cornerstone: What Does This Mean for Us?

A teaching by Chuck Smith: The precious cornerstone that serves as humanity’s spiritual foundation

The Old Testament proclaims of a precious cornerstone that serves as humanity’s spiritual foundation: Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation” (Isaiah 28:16a). Yet, Scripture tells us that this precious stone was initially rejected by the builders: The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone (Psalm 118:22).

I once heard an interesting story concerning the building of Solomon’s Temple. The stones of the Temple were all quarried off-site and brought to the Temple Mount, with each stone labeled to show where it fit. Quarry workers had carved them in such a way that the blocks interlocked, meaning the builders didn’t have to use mortar. As the Temple rose on Mount Moriah, observers heard no sound of hammer or trowel. 

The story goes that one stone arrived without any markings on it. The builders didn’t know where it went and thought, They’ve made a mistake at the quarry. They’ve sent us this stone that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere. So they cast it aside. Over time, weeds grew and covered the discarded stone. 

Finally, the time came when the only piece lacking was the chief cornerstone. So the builders sent a message to the quarry: “Hey, you guys haven’t sent us the chief cornerstone.” But the quarry workers said they had already sent it a while back. A big dispute arose over the issue until someone finally stumbled across a stone hidden in the weeds—and they realized that the stone the builders rejected was in fact the chief cornerstone. 

What does this mean for us today? 1 Peter 2:4-5 explains that this stone is Jesus Christ, and that faith in Him is the foundation for all believers: Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Though Jesus Christ was the stone which the builders rejected—yet He is the Chief Cornerstone of God’s entire plan of redemption. In Him alone can we find salvation. Only by faith in Him can we enter into the kingdom of God. 

Once we place our faith in Jesus, our adventure of faith begins. We learn to trust Him for our needs, for guidance, for everything that matters. But we always have a choice: Will we believe His promises and exercise our faith? Or will we doubt and reject His Word and choose unbelief? Where are you today—are you walking in an attitude of faith or unbelief toward Jesus Christ?

Faith or Unbelief?

Faith sees that God’s help is greater than any force that can come against you. Unbelief looks at the problems and declares it just can’t be done. Faith declares: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Faith helps the soul to wait when God delays. Unbelief gives up if there is any tarrying at all. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Faith makes our most feeble works acceptable to God through Christ. Unbelief makes even our greatest works unacceptable, for whatever is not from faith is sin (Romans 14:23b), and without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6a). 

Faith causes us to see Christ as chosen by God and precious (1 Peter 2:4b). Unbelief sees no beauty that we should desire Him (Isaiah 53:2b). Faith helps us experience fullness in Christ. Unbelief leads to leanness of soul. 

Faith causes us to see glory in the things of the unseen world. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Unbelief sees only the misery and the things of the present, material world. 

Rest and Joy in Christ

Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone, invites you to walk in faith with Him each day. His love for you is sure. His plan for you is precious. He opens wide His arms and offers you an invitation. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Come to Him for rest today.

Don’t cast Him aside. Don’t reject Him, as the builders of Solomon’s Temple discarded the chief cornerstone so many centuries ago. Follow Him joyfully in full assurance of faith—and learn for yourself the truth of these stunning words: “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6b). 

Originally published in print Issue 89 of Calvary Chapel Magazine

All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2022 Calvary Chapel Magazine (CCM). All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission. 

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