During Biblical times, because of its durability, this was a common building material and also used to make memorials of significant events (Gen 28:18; Josh 4:7,8). The cornerstone is a key element in a masonry building, being a reference point for the adjacent walls – Scripture uses this image to highlight the need to ensure sound structure, so there is no deviation into error. Although many of His own people rejected Jesus, He became the cornerstone of the church, while believers are added to His ‘building’ as ‘living stones’ to declare the praises of Him who called us out of the darkness of sin into the light of life and glory (Mt 21:42; Eph 2:20-22; 1 Pet 2:4-9).

Elsewhere the resilience of stone is applied to Christ who is spoken of as the rock, against whom people pit themselves, to their peril (Isa 8:14-16).  How we respond to Him, determines whether we will let Him break our stubborn exterior so His light can shine forth, or face Him as judge and be destroyed for rejecting His salvation (Mt 21:44; Rom 9:33).

The disciple Simon was given the name Peter (meaning little stone) while Christ (the rock) is called the chief cornerstone of the temple of God. While Peter was mightily used by God, and instrumental in the early church, he was not the one on whom the church was built as claimed by some when interpreting the words, “on this rock I will build my church” (Mt 16:18). If we build our lives on the solid rock foundation of obedience to God we will not be destroyed by the storms of life (Mt 7:24,25).

Figuratively our hard, stony, insensitive hearts that are adverse to receive any divine impressions will be replaced by the Lord with responsive hearts of faith and trust that are impressionable and receptive to Him (Ezek 11:18-21, 36:26).

See also: foundation, Peter, rock

Does hard stone or pliable flesh best describe                     my heart’s condition?


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