“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.”
In ancient times a capstone was the most important stone of a great building. From Psalm 118:22, the passage Jesus quoted in our reading, we find that this term literally means “head of the corner,” so it could also refer to a cornerstone.
A cornerstone was essential for laying a firm foundation. This stone was very large and was set carefully in place at the beginning of a construction project. All other stones were set in line with the cornerstone. Everything was built around it and depended on it.
In God’s plan of salvation, Jesus himself is the cornerstone (see Ephesians 2:20), and everything is built around him. Though his enemies rejected him, he remains the pivotal center of God’s saving work.
Jesus was saying that although his enemies would kill him, they could not defeat him—and that is precisely what happened. Jesus’ enemies sentenced him to death on a cross, but three days later he rose triumphantly from the dead. He was rejected on our behalf so that all who believe in him as Lord may be accepted by God and forgiven of their sins.
Let’s ask ourselves: Is Jesus our personal cornerstone? Are all the things we do, the values we hold, and the goals we pursue centered in him? If not, we’d better look out, because we’re building our lives the wrong way!
Lord, you bore the punishment of our sin on the cross, and you rose victorious from the grave. Guide us to honor you as our cornerstone, the center of our lives. Amen.
Rev. R. Scott Greenway