1 Peter 2:6 “I am laying in Zion a Cornerstone, chosen and precious, and the person who believes in Him will never be disappointed.”
Our cornerstones tend to be strictly ceremonial parts of the building. They tell us when the building was made, fill a hole in the wall, and maybe hold a few trinkets, but do little more.
A cornerstone in Bible times was an all-important part of the building. It was carefully chosen because all the lines and angles for the rest of the building would be measured from its sides. If you didn’t want a lopsided building, it was important that the cornerstone be cut just so. The quality and strength of the building often depended upon the choice of cornerstones.
For his spiritual house, God has chosen Jesus Christ himself as the cornerstone. Everything in that house must come into line with what Jesus taught and did. But not everyone agrees with God’s choice of stones. When God presented ancient Israel with the cornerstone for his spiritual house, they didn’t simply accept it on faith. They tested Jesus out to see whether he met their own standards, and it didn’t take them long to decide that he did not. You know the stories of how they constantly challenged Jesus, resented it when he exposed their self-righteousness, and whined when he ignored their man-made rules. They had been trying to build a spiritual house of their own, but its lines ran in an entirely different direction.
The same thing happens today. Not everyone is interested in being lined up with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Some reject him because his moral standards seem too strict. What goes on in a person’s bedroom or private life shouldn’t be any concern of his they feel. Others find him much too exclusive. “No one comes to the Father except through me,” Jesus told his disciples. That sort of thinking doesn’t wash in a “tolerant” society that thinks all roads lead to heaven.
Hardest to swallow, the assertion that Jesus has done everything for us, that we are saved by faith, is too much for many people to choke down. Inside each of us an Old Adam objects that we are really not that bad. We want to believe that we do have something worth contributing to our salvation. When Martin Luther was accused of making salvation too easy, he pointed out that believing we are saved by faith in Jesus is the hardest thing to do in the world. Every fiber of our natural self fights against it. In the end only a miracle of the Holy Spirit can bring us to accept it.
Many may try to replace God’s cornerstone, but it won’t budge. And everything in God’s house must line up with him. As we are built into its walls, not a single one of us lies outside the lines of Jesus’ life and work. The same way of salvation applies to every single member of God’s spiritual house, the Christian church. The lines we follow from our cornerstone intersect to form a cross, and it is our connection with that cross of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness he won there that make us living stones in God’s spiritual house.
That is what makes this cornerstone which is so precious to God precious to us as well. Peter promises, “the person who believes in him will never be disappointed.” How many things can you say that about in this life? How many guarantees promise you will never, never, be disappointed? Yet that is the unqualified, absolute, emphatic promise of God. We have complete confidence in everything Jesus has done, said, or promised. When we trust him with our salvation, that trust is never misplaced. We will never be disappointed. When we trust him with our lives, that trust is never misplaced. Perhaps we can’t understand everything he reveals to us. Maybe we won’t always see what he is trying to do with our lives. But he promises that the person who believes in him will never be disappointed, and we can take that promise to the bank.