The Rejected Stone
A cathedral was being built in the city of Rome and in building the foundation they commissioned a group of stone masons to make sure the foundation was as strong as possible. The stone masons took great care in choosing the stones to put in the foundation, and hand picked each one to fit perfectly and also take the amount of weight needed to keep the Cathedral from falling down. These stones were brought in from a rock quarry in Italy that specialized in cutting stones to be used for foundations. This company was world renowned and trusted in the stones they supplied, so the masons were very confident in the choices they were making. These masons had built many foundations and used these stones countless times without fail. One of the masons, a man by the name of Petra, was responsible for carting the stones up to the place where the masons would choose the stones for the foundation and the place where they would also cull the ones not deemed worthy of the foundation. Through the years a machine had been invented to test each stone’s strength and when put under pressure the masons would see which stone could handle the pressure put on it by the machine. There was something else about the stones they would choose that was a very important factor, the color or look of the stone. The masons would carefully look at each stone and deem it worthy or not for use in the foundation, because the front side of the stone would be seen and the look needed to be acceptable to the watching eye. So, when a stone passed the pressure test and the appearance test, it would be added to the acceptable pile and the masons would begin laying those chosen stones to make the foundation for the great cathedral. On the last load of the day, Petra noticed a misshapen stone in the pile and they noticed it’s color was different than the rest. That stone was more subtle and unseemly, but very basic and natural in color and shape. He thought “This stone is not very beautiful, but there is something about it that just draws me to it.” Petra decided to present the stone to the masons for acceptance and walked away not thinking anymore about it. The masons bypassed the drab looking stone and chose others to test and qualify and soon it became aware there was only one stone left to test and approve, the very plain looking stone, that was a not of an acceptable shape to match the other stones they had chosen. Begrudgingly the mason moved the stone to test it for strength and to his amazement he could not put enough pressure on it to crack it. The other masons came over to the testing area and asked him what he was doing. “I can’t put enough pressure on this stone to crack it.” “That has never happened before.” He tried again and the machine itself broke down and couldn’t be used any more because of the pressure. The other masons looked at the rock and all agreed that it was not pretty enough to be used, so they threw it back into the cull pile. Work on the Cathedral continued and the foundation was completed and the walls starting going up at a very fast rate. The stone masons started laying stones for the inner walls and soon the Cathedral started looking very beautiful and people came from all around to see the progress of the workers.
One morning the workers came to work and noticed a huge crack in the whole side of the cathedral and they noticed it had started to lean. All their work, all their expertise was about to fall down around them if they didn’t figure out what was wrong. They started to analyze each inner wall and quickly realized that the corner area of the Cathedral, where all the weight of the whole building is directed had a weakness. They gathered at the cornerstone and saw the problem, the cornerstone had cracked under the pressure of the weight. That stone was tested as the strongest stone that also looked right to match the other stones in the foundation, but it had failed and now the whole thing was about to fall. “Where will we find a stone that can handle the weight?” asked the head mason. That was the strongest stone we tested. Petra overhead them talking and said,”There IS one stone that was stronger than that stone, but we rejected it because it didn’t look right to us.” The head mason told Petra to go get that stone and bring it to him. The masons applied jacks to the corner of the building and jacked it up and removed the corner stone that had cracked. Petra brought the plain looking stone to the head mason and he took the stone and placed it in as the cornerstone and after the mortar dried they let down the jacks and watched in amazement as the stone easily held up the weight of the whole Cathedral. For days they checked to make sure the stone wasn’t cracking and after a while even quit checking, because they knew it could handle the pressure of the weight of the whole building. The Cathedral was finally finished and on opening day people came from all over to see the great Cathedral and they were amazed with it’s majesty and beauty. In telling the story of the building of the Cathedral the head mason told of how the cornerstone had cracked and how it was replaced by a very plain looking stone that didn’t match the rest. All those in the tour noticed the cornerstone was totally different than the other stones and were amazed at how plain it was, but it was the strongest.
in Acts 4:8-12 Peter is standing before the Sanhedrin having to explain himself for preaching that Jesus is the only way to God and when asked by the elders and teachers by what power he was speaking these things. Peter tells them, ““Rulers and elders of the people!<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-27031B" data-link="(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-27032C" data-link="(C)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-27033D" data-link="(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-27033E" data-link="(E)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> that this man stands before you healed.11 Jesus is“‘the stone you builders rejected which has become the cornerstone.’ In verse 12 Peter says”Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Jesus Christ, the stone rejected by the builders becomes the cornerstone that holds the whole thing together. Whole thing? LIFE! Jesus is LIFE and there is no life without Him. All other things will crack under the pressure of life, but with Him as your cornerstone, you have LIFE. The rejected stone is the stone that holds this whole thing together. He may not seem cool, or trendy, or even that powerful. He may not look like who we think he should look like, or match the look of this world that seems cool and right, but He is the strength that we need to live, truly live. The rejected stone has become our cornerstone and salvation is found in no one else but Jesus Christ.
Won’t you trust him today and quit culling him for some worldly pleasure or cool looking option and just trust Him and His strength. He wants to build a beautiful Cathedral in your life, but it will all fall around your ears without Jesus as your cornerstone.
The Pilgrimage continues..