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“For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” 1 Peter 2:6
What stands in Scripture matters. What stands in Scripture stands for all time because You, Lord, stand for all time. You are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. James tells us that “every generous act of giving and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father who made the heavenly lights, in whom there is no inconsistency or shifting shadow. In accordance with His will He made us His children by the word of truth, so that we might become the most important of His creatures.” What stands in Scripture, what is written in Scripture, is solid. What stands in Scripture, what is written in Scripture, holds everything together, because it’s more than words in a book. It’s the words of life. No, it is the Word of Life. It is the representation of Jesus Christ, “in whom the whole body is united and held together” and “for whom and by whom all things exist,” and in whom ” all things hold together.”
So, how do You, Lord Jesus, hold everything together? What does it mean that God has laid You as a chosen and precious cornerstone? What was a Jewish cornerstone? Well, the Jewish Encyclopedia seems to trace the roots of a corner stone or foundation stone to the Babylonians. And the Babylonians would sacrifice a child under the foundation stone as a blood sacrifice to appease the diety. So, it’s interesting that the Old Testament refers to You, Jesus, as the Cornerstone of Israel. You were the Cornerstone of the Temple in Jerusalem. You are also the blood sacrifice, the child of God to be offered, opposed to one of our own children being offered, or actually, opposed to our being offered.
Looking at the Jewish Temple corner stone, instead of any Babylonian cornerstone, I’ve gotten really excited. This corner stone was the most important stone of the building. They actually located the foundation stone of the first temple in Jerusalem. It’s the cornerstone. It’s not only the cornerstone, but it’s the chief cornerstone. Because the Temple has a number of cornerstones. But there is one cornerstone that supports everything. At the bottom of the southeast angle, everything rests upon this one stone. Every other piece of stone, whether upwards or outwards, depends upon this one stone. Every other part of the structure is dependant upon this one. And it’s actually still there after all these years.
When the builders chose the stone, it had to be exactly right. It was carefully and specifically chosen. It had to be without flaw and laid accurately. It had to be the right size, as well as the right dimensions. It had to be just the right fit. 1 Peter 2:4 says, “Come to the Lord, the Living Stone rejected by people as worthless but CHOSEN by GOD as valuable.” God directed skilled men He had chosen to build the Temple. But even more importantly, God chose Jesus to be the chief cornerstone of those He is building into His Kingdom. And I’m learning more about the value of the chief cornerstone, which helps me learn more about You, the Most Valuable One.
It wasn’t just a stone stuck at the bottom. It held things together by it’s placement. It more than supported. “Being also the Chief Foundation Cornerstone it had to face both ways, it was a bond of union between the two main sides of the foundation substructure.” (http://www.biblefellowshipunion.co.uk/) It joined with the bedrock below and with the structure above. Subsequent blocks were laid within in such a way that they “welded together and dried out in an immovable solid mass.” That takes me back to Scripture again. Paul says that “under HIs control all the different parts of the body fit together, and the whole body is held together…” (Ephesians 4:16) And again Paul tells us in Colossians 1, “…all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him ALL THINGS CONSIST. And He is the head of the body.” You didn’t take this building plan of Yours lightly, Lord. Neither did the builders of the Temple.
None of this was done without “a great deal of surveying, calculation, thought and preparation.” It took an immense amount of work, excavation, preparation, and levelling of the rocky mount itself. Cutting the stones out of the mount below was an amazing feat. I wondered if there was an inscription on the foundation stone. Some writing was discovered on the stone, but not what I expected. Now, on this stone, which is not the largest foundation stone in the Temple, but it is the most important, were found writings by the original Phoenician masons. It was letters, numbers, and mason quarry signs, all the markings necessary for the precise fitting of the stone. This 14 foot long, 7 foot wide, 3 foot, 8 inch high chief cornerstone that weighs over 100 tons, didn’t have to be the biggest. But it did have to support everything and hold it all together lest the cornerstone give way and the Temple slide right off the mount! In Ephesians 2:20 Paul refers specifically to You, Lord, as the Chief Cornerstone. You are what faith is built upon and what holds it all together. The teaching of the apostles and prophets that You gave to us are the foundation under us. But they are melded to You, the Chief Cornerstone. And as I allow You to cut and mold me just right to fit in and meld perfectly with this building You have already started, I come to stand firm and strong and united with the faith of those already established under me because of the strength of Your foundation.
It’s funny, because it seems like the analogy of a body and a building are quite different. The foundation, the chief cornerstone is beneath the building, and except when it’s being laid, who really sees it? But the whole structural integrity of the building depends upon it. But then You use this other analogy of a body. And in that analogy, You are the “head” of the body. Either these two analogies are not related or there is this possibility that I’m not quite understanding one correctly. I mean most of the time I’ve been taught that You being the head means You are the authority over the body. But the foundation and what holds everything together and just being an authority are two really different ideas here, at least to me.
The word for head is “kephale.” And I wanted to think about it more so I did some research. Gilbert Bilezikian did some research too. He found that “Scripture and extra-biblical sources” never used “kephale” in a sense “of designated authority.” It was always used to show the origin of something like the origin of a river as in the “head” of the river, and was instead understood to be the source. Now this seems to meld for me. Yes, Jesus, You are the Creator and Source of Man. You are the Creator and Source of Your “church”, Your kingdom You are building together. You are the Source of the Body.
Even though the head is on the top, it’s the chief cornerstone of the body. It’s not just the center of authority for the body because it holds the brain. It’s the life source. All other parts of the body must be melded perfectly to it for their correct function. It’s the Source of Life. It’s more than authority. Remove the head, and the rest of the body can’t function. Remove the chief cornerstone, and the building falls apart.
Colossians 1:18 tells us “And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the SOURCE of the body’s life. He is the first-born Son, who was raised from death, in order that He alone might have the first place in all things. (Good News Bible). Now because You are the Source, that also gives You the right to have authority. But authority is a small idea compared to being the Source, at least in my mind. There’s that fact of Your preeminency, Your having first place, that means that You surpass all others. This position of Yours as the Source, gives You superiority. And when I stand on You, or draw my life source and thought sources and faith source from You, You promise me that I will not be put to shame.
When my trust is in You, I wont’ be confounded, or disappointed, or put to shame. I couldn’t help but ask myself what “confounded” really meant. So, I looked it up. I found some interesting stuff. Confounded, from the Latin, means to pour out or throw together. So, if I’m firm in You, united with Your thinking and in Your foundation, then I won’t be mingled and blended with the world so that my nature and it’s can’t be distinguished. But I will be mingled and blended with You in such a way that our nature will be one! I won’t be thrown into disorder. Quite the contrary, because You bring order. I won’t be perplexed. I can ask for wisdom and You will give it. I won’t be confused or cast down. “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory, and lifter up of my head.” (Psalm 3:3) I won’t be terrified or dismayed. I won’t be afraid of my enemies or lose courage or panic because “the Lord [my] God is going with [me], and He will give [me] victory (Deuteronomy 20:3) because You are my source of Victory! I will not be destroyed. See, faith is the mark of the Source of who I live in. It marks me, because You mark me by it. I have the mark of Your blood over me. And just like in Exodus 12:13, when You see the blood, You will pass over me and will not harm me when You punish for sin.
Now, I can’t quite stop here. When I am united with my Source, with my Chief Cornerstone, and melded with You, I will not be confounded and neither will I be disappointed. I won’t be unfixed and unsettled. I will have hopes and desires that are immoveable because they are Your hopes and desires and promised. I won’t have my expectations defeated. If my plans are Your plans then they cannot be frustrated. I cannot be hindered from the possession and enjoyment of Your plans and promises for me. What You intend, desire, hope, and expect will be done. I just have to meld my desires, hopes, and expectations with Yours. You are undefeatable.
Living in Your faith, I will not be confounded, disappointed, or shamed. As You give me Your righteousness, I don’t have to suffer from the pain of guilt or a broken reputation. I won’t have anything to hide. I won’t feel degraded. There will be no reason for me to blush. I won’t be disgraced or mocked by the One who counts. I will be able to hear the King of Kings, my Chief Cornerstone, My Head who holds me together, speak over me one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And I can have peace and joy in knowing that I am living that good and faithful life now, no matter what people say about me because I’ve learned they can’t hold me together. They can’t empower me. They are not my Life Source. But You are, and therefore Your opinion is what matters.
Lord, I believe. I want to stand melded in You, my Chief Cornerstone, and my Head. I want my heart to be Your home. I want my faith to be firmly rooted and grounded and founded in You and in Your love. I want You to knit me together with You and with Your thinking and with Your power so that I will be knit together with all Your people. I want to be so knit together with You and in You and with them that I would continually receive from the Power Source, and have the power to understand how broad and long and high and deep Your love is. Because I don’t just want to know about it. I want to experience it continually and know it . I want to be filled completely with the very nature of You. I want to be so welded together with You that Your power can work in me to do so much more than I could ever ask for or even think of. May I, and all of Your body, glorify You by being grounded and receptive to our Source of Being, Jesus Christ. Lord, I need You to under me and over me, all the days of my life.