February 20

1 Peter 2:7-8 (NLT)
Christ the Cornerstone

Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” 8 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

V7, In the preceding verses the Lord Jesus has been presented as the living stone, a rejected stone, a precious stone and the cornerstone. Now, without using the word, Peter seems to picture Him as the touchstone. A touchstone reveals whether certain minerals rubbed against it are genuine or spurious. It shows, for instance, whether a nugget is gold or fool’s gold.

When people come in contact with the Savior, they are shown for what they really are. In their attitude toward Him they reveal themselves. To true believers, He is precious; unbelievers reject Him. The believer can get some small indication of how precious He is by trying to imagine what life would be like without Him. Not all earthly pleasures are “worth comparing for a moment with a Christ-filled life.” He is “Chief among ten thousand” and “altogether lovely” (Song 5:10, 16).

But what about those who are disobedient or disbelieve? The writer of Psalm 118 predicted that this precious stone would be rejected by the builders, but would later become the head of the corner.

There is a persistent legend in connection with the building of Solomon’s temple that perfectly illustrates this prophecy. The stones for the temple were prepared in advance in a nearby quarry. As they were needed, they were raised up to the building site. One day the workers in the quarry sent up a stone of unique shape and proportions. The masons saw no place for it in the building so they carelessly pushed it over the hill where, in time, it became overgrown with moss and surrounded with weeds. As the temple neared completion, the masons called for a stone of certain dimensions. The men in the quarry replied, “We sent that stone up to you long ago.” After careful search, the discarded stone was found and was set in its proper place in the temple.

The application is obvious. The Lord Jesus presented Himself to the nation of Israel at His First Advent. The people, and especially the rulers, had no room for Him in their scheme of things. They rejected Him and delivered Him to be crucified.

But God raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in heaven. When the Rejected One returns to earth the second time, He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will then be publicly manifested as the chief cornerstone.

V8, Now the figure changes from Christ the touchstone and the head of the corner to Christ the stone of stumbling. Isaiah predicted that for those who did not believe, He would be a stone that will make men stumble and a rock that will make them fall (Isa. 8:14, 15).

This was literally fulfilled in the history of the nation of Israel. When their Messiah came, the Jews were offended by His origins and His simple way of life. They wanted a political demagogue and a military strongman. In spite of the most convincing proofs, they refused to accept Him as the promised Messiah.

But this does not apply only to Israel. For any who will not believe on Jesus, He becomes a stumbling stone and a rock that trips them. Men either bow before Him in repentance and faith to salvation or stumble over Him into hell. “What might have been their salvation is made the cause of their deeper condemnation.” There can be no neutrality; He must be either Savior or Judge.

They stumble, being disobedient to the word. Why do they stumble? Not because of honest intellectual difficulties. Not because there is anything about the Lord Jesus that makes it impossible to believe in Him. They stumble because they willfully disobey the word. The trouble is in the human will. The reason men are not saved is because they do not want to be saved (John 5:40).

The latter part of verse 8, to which they also were appointed, seems to say that they were destined to disobey the word. Is this what it means? No, this verse teaches that all those who willfully disobey the word are destined to stumble. The words to which they also were appointed refer back to the entire preceding clause, they stumble, being disobedient to the word. God has decreed that all who refuse to bow to the Lord Jesus will stumble. If a man insists on going on in unbelief, then he is appointed to stumble. Unwillingness to obey makes stumbling a foregone conclusion.

Messanic Prophecies Jesus Fulfilled

Messiah would be silent before his accusers

Isa 53:7 (ESV)
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

Mar 15:3-5 (ESV)
And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.