Christ the Rock
1 Peter 2: 4-10
There are many places in the Bible where the writer draws an analogy between the Lord and a rock. The first to think of the Lord as a stone is Jacob (Gen. 49:24). As written by Moses in Exodus, the rock becomes a source of life giving water (Ex. 17:6). David in the Psalms have written a lot about the Lord being compared to a rock. The attributes of large rock are, immobility, shelter from the elements, strong foundation, and impenetrable defence. All of these helps us understand the nature of the Lord. In the OT God is called rock at least 30 times and in the NT He is called rock at least 5 times. In our text Peter presents Him as a Living Stone. To some people (Christians), Christ is a cornerstone, while to others (unbelievers), He has become and a stumbling stone.
I. Cornerstone – The stone that binds together the sides of a building
A. It refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. “. In 1 Cor. 3:11 we are told `other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ;’
B. There is only one Saviour, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ, and only one spiritual building, the church.
C. Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of the church (Eph. 2:20), binding the building together and is the foundation upon which all the redeemed man and women rest.
D. As the stone which the Jewish builders rejected, Christ has become `the head stone of the corner’ (Ps. 118:22; Zech. 4:7; Mt. 21:42; Mk. 12:10; Luke 20:17; Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:7)”
E. Jesus Christ is presented also as a Living stone, because He was raised from the dead in victory.
F. He is the chosen stone of the Father, and He is precious. Peter quoted Isa 28:16 and Ps. 118:22 in his description and pointed out that Jesus Christ, though chosen by God, was rejected by men. He was not the kind of Messiah they were expecting, so they stumbled over Him. Jesus referred to this same Scripture when He debated with the Jewish leaders (Matt. 21:42, Ps. 118:22). Though rejected by men, Jesus Christ was exalted by God.
There is a tradition that during the erection of Solomon’s Temple, a stone was brought up by the straining oxen which refused to fit into any of the rising walls. It was cast aside, soon forgotten, and covered by weeds. At last, as the building neared completion, it was found that a stone of special form would be required to knit the walls and fill a particular corner. The need suggested the forgotten and rejected bit of masonry, which fitted perfectly. This remind us of Psalm 118.22, quoted by our Lord Himself.
G. As believers, we are also “living stones”. When we were born again or when we are converted, we are made partakers of the divine nature of God (2 Peter 1:4).
H. As living stones we are now being built into a spiritual temple, the temple of God.
I. We are now a “holy priesthood” and a “royal priesthood”. We also have a responsibility like:
1. To offer spiritual sacrifices to God as mentioned in Rom. 12:1- 2, our bodies must be offered to Him as a living sacrifice.
2. To offer our sacrifice of praise. ( He 3:15)
3. To offer the good works we do to others. (Heb. 13:16).
4. To walk in love. Eph. 5:2
5. The money and other material things we share with others in God’s service is also a spiritual sacrifice (Phil. 4:10-20).
6. Even the people we win to Christ are sacrifices for His glory (Rom. 15:16). We offer these sacrifices through Jesus Christ, for only then are they acceptable with God. If we do any of this for our own pleasure or glory, then it will not be accepted as a spiritual sacrifice.
A. Stumblingstone – An expression describing those who ruin themselves by rejecting Christ’s free salvation (Isa. 8:14; 1 Pet. 2:8). Free redemption through faith in Christ’s blood is a stumblingstone to those who desire to justify themselves through good works and religious rituals (Rom. 9:32-33; 1 Cor. 1:23).
B. Stumbling block – Something which causes a person to stumble (Lev. 19:14). It is the same as a stumblingstone. The term “stumbling block” refers to anything a Christian does to hinder the spiritual progress of another person (Rom. 14:13; 1 Cor. 8:9; Rev. 2:14).
C. Christ is either a cornerstone or a stumblingstone. No other choice.
D. It was prophesied that Christ will be a stumblingstone. (Isa. 8:14-15)
1. He became the stumbling block for the Jews. (Rom. 9:30-33).
2. The real cause of this Jewish stumbling was their refusal to submit to the Word (1 Peter 2:8)
3. He is a stumblingstone for many people all over the planet since He came here as a humble baby.
4. People today still stumble over Christ and His cross (1 Cor. 1:18), But those who believe on Christ “shall not be confounded” (put to shame, 1 Pet. 2:6)
5. It’s a sad thing that those who would be stumbled will spend eternity in Hell.
Illustration: Spiritual Lessons from the truth that Jesus Christ is called Rock.
1. Jesus Christ is identified as Jehovah God! That O.T. Rock was Christ (1 Cor. 10:4).2
2. Jesus Christ is the believer’s sure and solid Foundation (Ps. 40:2; Mt. 16:18).
3. Jesus Christ is the believer’s source of refreshment; water comes from the smitten Rock (Ex. 17:6; 1 Cor. 10:4).
4. Jesus Christ is the believer’s place of refuge (Ps. 28:1; 31:2; 61:2).
5. Jesus Christ is the believer’s strength (Ps. 62:7).
6. Jesus Christ is the fearful Judge of unbelievers (Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:8).
7. Jesus Christ is that Stone which will come from Heaven and destroy the wicked kingdoms of this world (Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45).
What is your relation with the “Rock”? Is He the chief cornerstone in your life or a stumbling block? Are you a “Living Stone” in His spiritual building? Your relationship with Christ (the Rock) will determine your future. We are all given a choice. Choose Christ and be saved from eternal condemnation.