Summary: Let us be willing to be built into a living cathedral for God, so that all people in our valley will be attracted to Jesus, and come into God’s holiness, and to be sanctified in his holy presence
I’m so proud of my baby girl. She's working on a project for the school’s science-fair by growing citrine-like, rock crystals in the basement. What normally takes thousands of years to do in nature; chemists have somehow been able to reproduce in a matter of weeks. I think this is kinda of cool.
Everyday with anticipation, we dash downstairs and observe the quartz growing before our eyes. It’s amazing to see the crystals getting larger and more defined with every passing day. It’s kind of like the citrine is alive and growing. The crystals are rising into something beautiful that speaks of God’s majesty. It’s as though they’re material expressions of living stones created by God so that his splendor can shine through for all to see.
Speaking of stones, here is an interesting factoid. There’s over 115 words in the English dictionary that end with “stone.” Here’s just a few: cobblestone, cornerstone, grindstone, lodestone and gemstone. However, what’s more interesting — I think — is that in all the lists I sifted through, not one listed the phrase “Living Stones.” But what is a living stone?
The Apostle Peter wrote about living stones in his first letter to God’s elect, whom he described as “strangers in the world.” Let’s open our Bible’s to the book of 1 Peter 2 and learn about these living stones. Because, oddly enough, these livings stones Peter described are somewhat like the crystals growing in our basement, with like qualities using the five words ending in stone I mentioned a minute ago. Okay, keep your finger on 1st Peter, because we’re going to read the text in just a few minutes.
The Bible speaks over-and-again how God chose Jesus before the beginning of time as the foundation of righteousness. He is the cornerstone of civilization, and the manifestation of the word of God. He is the living embodiment of the Ten Commandments, the entire law, and the writing of the prophets.
You know, in a real sort of way, the Ten Commandments were like the first “living stones” containing the Word of God. They were precious in God’s sight, for the Lord himself used his finger as a grindstone to carve his law into the hearts of humanity. God said to Moses — as recorded in Exodus 24:12 — “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.”
Upon these ten laws, God inscribed 603 additional laws to serve as the cobblestone for the Israelites to navigate their lives. These laws were the means for the Jews to walk down the road God fashioned for them upon hewn stone, and towards his holy city, to worship his holy presence within his holy cathedral. Here’s what I mean by that. Like a castle and cathedral, God built the entire law to protect the Israelites from worldly danger, and to serve as means for them to come into his righteousness, and to be sanctified in his presence, and to be a light for others to do the same.
However, like many castles and cathedrals in Europe today, true devotion and worship to God crumbled under the weight of apathetic complacency. And, we in America and Europe too are suffering because of our apathy, just as did Israel thousands of years ago. Because of us —all people in all ages — God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to become the living stone that is more precious than all others, to attract humanity to the Father.
That’s why this message is so important for us today. Like Israel, we’ve allowed the precious and living stone of God to sit upon our mantels and gather dust. But, God is calling us to be his children who maintain our cleanliness so that Jesus Christ, as the bright son, can shine through us as living stones —in his likeness — so we can sparkle upon the walls of human civilization, and attract all people to God. However, if we keep ourselves hidden within a dark and crumbling castle and buried under an inch of dust on an old shelf of stone, then God’s light cannot shine through us as precious, living stones.
JESUS IS THE LIVING STONE
Now, Peter said Jesus is the precious, living-stone, that the Father chose as the cornerstone of his kingdom. But why is this living stone precious? Let’s consider how Peter used the word “precious.”
First, Peter said that the blood of Jesus is precious. 1 Pe 1:17–19 says, “Live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ.”