Day 7: 1 Peter 2:5-8
you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being
built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to
God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and honored cornerstone,
and the one who believes in him
will never be put to shame.
So honor will come to you who believe; but for the unbelieving,
The stone that the builders rejected—
this one has become the cornerstone,
A stone to stumble over,
and a rock to trip over.
They stumble because they disobey the word; they were destined for this.
1. Peter is writing a letter of encouragement to people under persecution, those he calls the elect exiles (1 Peter 1:3). They are being subject to public shaming and abuse, which the governing authorities of the time are doing nothing about. Peter encourages these elect exiles to recall the promise of God made through Scripture: they will never be put to shame because of the one in whom they have believed. The ultimate shame has already been placed on Jesus through the cross, and he has turned it upside and inside out: the shame of the world is the glory of the believer in Christ. Those who shame and abuse them cannot understand this. To them, Jesus is a stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over. They stumble over him because they disobey the word.
2. Jesus is the stone the builders rejected who has become the cornerstone. He is what those who do not believe stumble and trip over. Jesus stands in the way of everyone, and the only possible options are to submit and follow him or to trip over him. He cannot be avoided.
3. Though few believers will ever face difficulty on the order of those to whom Peter is writing, we may draw important lessons from the encouragement he offers. He does not say to work against or avoid the difficulty, but to recognize the ways in which it makes us like our savior. We are mocked? Jesus was mocked. We are abused? Jesus was abused. We are shamed? Jesus was shamed. If these things happen to us because of our witness to the good news about Jesus, we are like the apostles privileged to be found worthy of suffering (Acts 5:41). As the life of Jesus resulted in resurrection and glorification, we can see those ways in which we struggle as the road to resurrection and glorification. In the end, all these things are how we are built up into the spiritual house.
4. The cornerstone begins the building. It will one day be finished. The spiritual house which God began with Jesus as the cornerstone will bring endless honor to you who suffer for his name. Those who reject him will stumble, fall, trip, and be lost outside the house. There is final justice, and final reward. Jesus cannot be avoided.