31st January 2021

The cornerstone question

I am no carpenter by the stretch of anyone’s imagination. Even though I did contract my own house in Fayetteville, North Carolina; I was there from the day we dug the footings until the locks were set on the front door.

In my construction experience, I crossed paths with many people in the building trade – framers, cabinet makers, brick masons, and others. A universal lesson I learned is that it is extremely difficult to get square corners and straight lines. And throw out the idea of ever building a perfect house.

In God’s self-revelation in the person of Jesus, the answer to square corners and straight lines is addressed.

Notice the metaphor Jesus uses in Matthew:

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”  Matthew 21:42 (ESV)

When the stonemasons looked through the quarries, they looked for the cornerstone which had the exact lines, weight, and shape to hold a whole structure together. They might use rejected or misshapen stones somewhere else in a building, but the cornerstone had to be flawless and fit the gap exactly or the whole structure falls.

This is how we might frame the question of Christ in our own minds and in our conversations with those who don’t know Jesus. Come at it from one direction, and it might seem absurd: an itinerant peasant preacher from nowhere is actually God? But if you see the gospel as the cornerstone—as that foundational starting piece that makes all the other pieces hold together, then the cornerstone—originally rejected because he didn’t seem to fit—holds up the whole structure.

The gospel doesn’t always make life easier, or even happier, or even more exciting, but it does enable life to make sense. That’s why Jesus is the answer to the cornerstone question.

And it is in him that you and I are fitly framed together and made strong. And it is in him the perfect house is being constructed.

Presented by Greg Williams


About the presenter:
Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

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