Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures,
The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner;
This was from the Lord, And it is marvellous in our eyes?
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
And he that falleth on this stone shall be broken to pieces: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will scatter him as dust.Matthew 21:42-44 ASV
Christ quoted Psalms 118:22ff.
The stone which the builders rejected Is become the head of the corner. This is Jehovah’s doing; It is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which Jehovah hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.Psalms 118:22-24 ASV
The example of a rejected stone becoming the chief stone was founded on historical fact.
The illustration seems to have been drawn from one of the stones, quarried, hewn, and marked, away from the site of the temple, which the builders, ignorant of the head architect’s plans, had put to one side, as having no place in the building, but which was found afterwards to be that on which the completeness of the structure depended, that on which, as the chief cornerstone, the two walls met, and were bonded together.
Christ as the Cornerstone suggests that:
(1) law and grace
(2) God and man
(3) time and eternity
(4) B.C. and A.D.
(5) the Mosaic dispensation and the Christian dispensation
(6) the letter and the spirit
(7) judgment and mercy, both begin and end, thus forming, in a metaphor, a true corner in him!
Following a little further the analogy of a rejected stone, we note that David, the despised one of Jesse’s sons, was raised to be the king of Israel; Zerubbabel was despised, but it was he who began and finished the building (Zechariah 4:7-10).
Thus, our Lord’s reference to the Pharisees’ falling on that stone (himself) is a reference to their stumbling at his word.
The apostle Peter, referring to this metaphor, quoted Isaiah 28:16 and added, “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; for they stumble at the word, being disobedient” (1 Peter 2:7,8).
therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone of sure foundation: he that believeth shall not be in haste.Isaiah 28:16 ASV
The passage also suggests Daniel 2:45 and the “stone cut out of the mountain without hands” which smote the kingdoms and broke them in pieces. Christ’s virgin birth was “without hands,” in the sense that it was not dependent upon human agency or upon the natural processes of procreation.
That little stone, Christ, from such humble beginnings (in the earthly view) grew and filled the whole earth (Daniel 4:34,35).
At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives for ever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing; and he does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What doest thou?”Daniel 4:34-35 RSV
This intriguing statement of our Lord (Matthew 21:44) suggests another remark he made, “The scriptures cannot be broken” (John 10:35).
Furthermore, there are two theaters of confrontation with that “stone” which is Christ.
In time, men may receive or reject him; but in eternity (the judgment), the stone will fall upon the disobedient with devastating and total punishment for their sinful and obdurate hearts.
CHRIST COMPARED TO A STONE
(1) He is a cornerstone (Matthew 21:43)
(2) he is a rejected stone (Matthew 21:43)
(3) a stone of stumbling and rock of offense (1 Peter 2:7,8)
(4) a living stone (1 Peter 2:4)
(5) a precious stone (1 Peter 2:6)
(6) a tried stone (Isaiah 28:16)
(7) a growing or increasing stone (Daniel 4:34,35)
(8) the Rock that followed Israel (1 Corinthians 10:4)
(9) like a meteorite, he is from another world
(10) he is the Rock of Ages, from everlasting to everlasting (Hebrews 13:8).