“Christ the Living Stone”
Have you ever been called a “stone”? We don’t normally think of stones as being alive. Our friend, the Apostle Peter, referred to Jesus as “a living stone.”
In 1 Peter 2:4-5, we read:
“Coming to Him, a living stone – rejected by men, but chosen and valuable to God – you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Peter referring to Christ as a “Living Stone” is paradoxical because stones aren’t alive.
Sometimes we refer to someone as “stoned” or “stone dead.” Peter’s statement is both profound and symbolical because it reveals several things to us about Christ.
1 Jesus is the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. The Old Testament referred to the Messiah as a “stone.” Peter went on in his description of Jesus to say in 1 Peter 2:6-8 –
“For it stands in scripture: ‘Look! I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and valuable cornerstone, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame!’ So the honor is for you who believe, but for the unbelieving, the stone that the builders rejected – this One has become the cornerstone; and a stone that causes men to stumble, and a rock that trips them up.” They stumble by disobeying the message. “They were destined for this.”
Listen to what was promised in the Old Testament – Isaiah 28:16, “Therefore, the Lord God said: ‘Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes (in Him) will be unshakable.”
Folks, Jesus Christ is that stone. Is He the cornerstone of your life?
In Psalm 118:22-24, we read, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came from the Lord; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
One last Old Testament verse is Isaiah 8:14 – “He will be a sanctuary; but for the two houses of Israel, He will be a stone to stumble over and a rock to trip over and a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
When you compare what Peter wrote with these Old Testament passages, it should have been obvious to his Jewish readers that God had kept His promise to send a Messiah.
2 We observe also that as a “stone” Christ is the focal point of His spiritual house, the church. The Greek word for ‘stone’, in verse 4 of Peter’s epistle sometimes referred to the stones used in building projects. They were cut and chiseled to fit perfectly in a specific place and they were practically immovable. Not only is Jesus a stone, but He is the Cornerstone.
The cornerstone was the most important stone in the whole building. From Christ, the church draws its spiritual symmetry. Does Christ hold that pivotal role in your life?
3 One more thing that we conclude from what Peter wrote – Jesus is a living stone. He is not a lifeless rock. This is so important because everything that the Apostle wrote is based on the fact — that Jesus is alive. Every hope and privilege that we have is based on the fact Jesus is alive. In 1 Peter 1:3, we read, “You have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
The literal meaning of 1 Peter 2:4 would be — “Coming to Him as a living stone …”
Folks, Christ is a unique, one of a kind stone – He is the stone that possessed life. In coming to Him we also become living stones in His edifice — the church. 1 John 5:11 says it very clearly …
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”
As Ventura Jubilee Fellowship develops, I pray that first of all we will realize this is a work of God’s doing. Secondly, I pray that we will be His living stones, sharing His life throughout the church, the community and around the world.