Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Peter and John are still in the temple when they are confronted by the religious leaders of the temple. They thought Jesus was gone, yet here are his disciples teaching the same thing. They arrested them and then brought them to stand before the high priest and the high-priestly family. When they were asked how they healed the man, Peter told them it was by the power of this Jesus whom they had killed. He reminded them of the psalmist who said that the “stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.”
Cornerstones are fascinating to me. They were the most critical part of early building where there were no instruments to measure or level surfaces. The cornerstone had to be a perfect cube. Each of its corners had to be perfect 90 degree corners. Each of its sides had to be perfectly level planes. If the cornerstone wasn’t perfect, there would be structural flaws in the building. Corners would not meet. The building would not be level. Walls could fall in. So the builders took extra time in choosing, crafting, and setting the cornerstone.
The psalmist says in Psalm 118 that the chosen of God is rejected, but that God sees what the builders could not see. The stone is rejected because it doesn’t suit the purpose of the builders … or because it is not what the builders expected. In the case of Jesus, he was not the militant messiah that people expected. He went to the poor and disenfranchised … not the powerful and privileged. He courageously and non-violently spoke truth to power. And he was rejected.
I wonder how we reject Jesus today. We still hear people talk about the militant messiah as if, just maybe this time, he will get it right and come according to our expectations. I fear the cornerstone will be rejected again. But this week, I believe we can get it right … if we will just let God place the cornerstone!
Christ the Cornerstone, may we align our lives with you. Amen.