Psalm 118: 22-24 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;23 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.24 The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.
I'm not a Bible scholar, but sometimes sections of Scripture stand out to me and I want to learn a little more about them and riff on them here on my blog. Psalm 118 was one of the lexionary readings for today and it really stood out to me.
This psalm is a hymn of thanksgiving probably from a king after a military victory (NIV Study Bible). There is speculation that this is the hymn that Jesus and his disciples sang after the Last Supper.
In v.22, the psalmist talks about the stone that the builder rejected becoming the cornerstone. The cornerstone is the most important stone that is laid in a stone building. It is the one that determines the location and shape of the rest of the building. In the original psalm, this stone that was rejected probably referred to the king whose deeds were being celebrated (with the help of God, of course), but it also could have referred to Israel, who was a small nation but was doing big things.
What's important for me as a Christian, though, is how Jesus reappropriated this scripture for himself.
Matthew 21:42-44 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:“‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
And then Paul used the same imagery.
Ephesians 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
The church, the body of believers in Jesus, is based on Jesus, the cornerstone of our faith. Jesus is the only one able to hold that spot. He's God and he's man. He never sinned. He's the foundation on which we can build our lives individually and collectively.
Think about that today. Jesus is the foundation of your life, I hope. If you're a believer that means that you have a strong base to your life and your faith. If life is hard, stick with Jesus. He's the strong rock of life.