Summary: In changing and uncertain times, we go back to Jesus, the Rock and Foundation of our faith
5.8.20 1 Peter 2:4–10
4 As you come to him, the Living Stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, like living stones, are being built as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, in order to bring spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it says in Scripture: See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who believes in him will certainly not be put to shame. 7 Therefore, for you who believe, this is an honor. But for those who do not believe: The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 8 and, a stone over which they stumble and a rock over which they fall. Because they continue to disobey the word, they stumble over it. And that is the consequence appointed for them. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, the people who are God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 At one time you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. At one time you were not shown mercy, but now you have been shown mercy.
Dear friends in Christ,
In one of our evening vesper prayers there is a phrase which reads,
Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the silent hours of this night,
so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
may rest upon your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In today’s prayer of the day we prayed,
Make us love what you command and desire what you promise, that among the many changes of this world, our hearts may ever yearn for the lasting joys of heaven; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
One of my favorite evening hymns, Abide with Me, says,
“Change and decay in all around I see, oh, thou who changest not abide with me.”
Now more than ever we need a foundation in life, and isn’t that one reason why Peter compares Jesus to a Rock? He’s dependable. He can hold up the entire Christian church. He is solid. His love endures through all generations. We need that dependability now more than ever.
On Christ, the Solid Rock, I Need to Stand
As you look throughout the history of the Old Testament, God used rocks as memorials and means through which He kept His people alive. Think of how Jacob was given a vision of heaven while he was sleeping with a stone as his pillow. He anointed the stone with oil as a memorial for the vision and promise God had given him. Think of the Israelites in the middle of the desert. They were starving and in desperate need of water. When Moses struck the rock, God had living water flow from this seemingly dead and lifeless thing. When the Israelites passed through the Jordan River, God had them carry 12 stones out from the middle of the Jordan and set them up as a memorial: to remember how and where God had brought them into the Promised Land.
Peter quotes Isaiah chapter 28 to talk about this solid Rock that we have in Jesus. See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who believes in him will certainly not be put to shame.
Think about what a wonderful promise that is. When we believe in Jesus we will CERTAINLY NOT be put to shame. Why? Because Jesus died for all of our sins, and we are covered and completely forgiven in Jesus through our baptism and through faith in Jesus. Imagine that! No shame! No digging up of our sins on Judgment Day. No sweaty trials of embarrassment! All because God has put this wonderful cornerstone as the foundation of the church, through which the church is built.
Think of how much this must have meant to Peter! Every year we mention Peter’s denials of Christ in the courtyard of the high priest. We drudge up his sin and examine his denial for a lifetime of seeming shame. But on Judgment Day, Jesus won’t mention that to Peter at all. When Peter was ashamed and embarrassed over what he had done, Jesus went and sought Peter out. He reinstated Peter into the ministry when He said to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” He took Peter from being worried and scared to being a solid missionary, confident in the faith once again. Jesus put Peter back on solid ground. He does the same for us by His death and resurrection.
Everything flows from Jesus and builds on Jesus. Why is this an Easter text? Because Jesus is ALIVE. He is a living stone! Now isn’t that an interesting thing! Rocks may be solid and dependable, but usually we consider them as dead as can be. It is oftentimes used as slang for an unintellectual person. “He’s as dumb as a rock.” When Stan Lee wrote the character called “the Thing,” who was a man transformed into rocks, he was powerful, but he was the least intellectual of the Fantastic Four. Jesus is far from that. He is the Living Rock, the wisdom from on high. In other words, not only do we have a solid foundation from which to build on, but also, when we are built onto Him, we also have LIFE flow from Him and through Him. Jesus also calls Himself the VINE, and we are the branches. So this isn’t a dead church. It is a LIVING church, where life and wisdom of salvation flows from Jesus, the Living Rock.