Summary: Jesus is the firm foundation in our lives, Jesus the Good Shepherd wants us to be part of his flock. Alleluia!
Jesus the cornerstone and Good Shepherd will save us- by Richard Cussons
5 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John,* and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7When they had made the prisoners* stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, 9if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,* whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11This Jesus* is
“the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.”*
12There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’ ________________________________________
This Jesus is the stone rejected by you, the builders; it has become the corner stone.
I’ve been involved in some building work over the years, and my builders, thankfully, are a fussy lot. I still have a pile of bricks that they rejected; they are shaped like this: (example of mis-shapen brick)
Difficult to use and not really fit for purpose, which is why I still have them in a pile, asking every time I see them if there aren’t any they want to use. And every time they reject them, saying to me: “Not those again, you keep asking us, and we keep telling you.
Perhaps the Priests questioning Peter in the Acts passage, felt the same way; we keep being asked about this man Jesus who was crucified, but our answer is always going to be the same; he died. He was crucified. He had a spear put in his side. We put a Roman guard on the tomb. So, get this: He is not alive. At least that’s what the priests kept on saying.
But a bit like the Russians keep on saying they didn’t use a nerve agent to attempt the murder of the Skripals, for daring to defy them, so the statements of the priests interviewing Jesus didn’t make them right that Jesus was dead either. Disinformation is nothing new.
So how do we know that Peter is right? After all, it matters not how many times I ask my builders about using these bricks as cornerstones, they aren’t going to. So what makes a stone that has been rejected into one that can be used as a cornerstone? A miracle, that’s what.
For Jesus’ rising from the dead is nothing short of a miracle. We don’t just rise from the dead once we are dead and buried. That is it. That is part of being human.
And yet Jesus did just that; That is why Jesus is central to everything we do. No Jesus, no faith. Jesus, our risen Lord, is our cornerstone. The way that Andrew White, previous Vicar of Baghdad , put it in a story he tells of one of his adopted Iraqi daughters: When asked why she is happy amidst the devastation of her country, she replied; when everything else has been taken away, Jesus is always there with me. Our cornerstone. And at this Pentecost, we remember that Jesus and our Father God left us the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and protector at all times, living within us.
11 ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes* it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’