Jesus said to them, 'What does this text mean:
"The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone"?
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.'
When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour but they feared the people.
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
In the Old Testament the Messiah is often compared to a stone or a rock. He is a stone that provides food for the Israelites when they travelled in the desert (1 Corinthians 10.4); he is the stone that can cause people to study (1 Peter 2.8); and he is a stone that can crush kingdoms (Daniel 2.45). But first, let's look at what exactly is a cornerstone.
Well it's a stone used at the the corner of a building which bears the weight or stress of two walls. It's a bit like the stone that completes an arch and holds the whole edifice up at its centre. We are to think of Jesus then, as the stone that holds the whole church together. The phrase itself originally comes from Psalm 118.22 and was used by early Christians to explain the importance of what Jesus had done for them in dying and rising again and his creation of the Church.
Just before today's reading, Jesus has told the Scribes and Chief Priests a parable about the heir to the vineyard who is killed by his tenants. Now he tells them that the is the cornerstone - in other words he is the Messiah. They know that he is speaking against them, and want to kill him, but they fear the anger of the people, so for the moment they step back.
Looking at God's plan as it slowly came to fruition, 2,000 years ago, the question for us is do we really appreciate the generous act of love that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit made in rescuing us and giving us the opportunity of being restoring to God?
whose great plan was to
rescue Your people,
by making he Messiah the cornerstone
of Your Church,
we thank You for Your
love and generosity to each one of us.
Help us to appreciate that You
invite us into a partnership,
through Your son, our Saviour,
You might like to read other verses that refer to the Messiah as the 'corner stone', in which case look up this site: