Headstone of the Corner

“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” (Psalm 118:22)

That this enigmatic verse is really a Messianic prophecy is evident from the fact that Christ Himself applied it thus. “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?” (Matthew 21:42). The Jewish leaders had refused Him as their Messiah, but the day would come when they would have to confess their sad mistake.

Later, addressing them concerning “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead,” the apostle Peter said: “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner” (Acts 4:10-11).

This analogy evidently refers back to the building of Solomon’s great temple a thousand years earlier. At that time, each of the great stones for its beautiful walls was “made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building” (1 Kings 6:7). According to tradition, there was one stone which didn’t fit with the others, so the builders moved it out of the way. At last, when the temple tower was almost complete, they found they were missing the pinnacle stone which would cap all the rest. Finally they realized that the stone they had rejected had been shaped to be the head stone at the topmost corner of the tower.

Peter referred to it again in his epistle: “Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: . . . Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient”
(1 Peter 2:6-8). HMM

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