Daily Thought for: 8th March
THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REFUSED
Psalm 118. 22; Matthew 21. 42; Mark 12. 10; Luke 20. 17
The Stone is a title of deity and evokes the thought of strength and durability, Job 6.12; 41. 24. Jacob recognized that Josephs steady aim and strong arm came from the mighty God of Jacob . . . the shepherd, the stone of Israel, Gen. 49. 24. This is the first mention of the Stone of Israel and of God as the Stone.
Psalm 118 is a Messianic Psalm and gives the title, the Stone, to Christ. He is clearly in view in the three synoptic passages where verse 22 is quoted. In them, the Lord links the metaphor of a vineyard with that of a building, Matt. 21.42; Mark 12.10,11; Luke 20.17. The first metaphor, in the parable of the wicked husbandmen, focuses on a son. Sent by his father, recognized as the heir, he was cast out and killed. The vineyard is Israel. The husbandmen are Jewish leaders. The son is the Lord Himself, voluntarily coming down from the side of the Father to face death in the outside place.
The second metaphor starts with a common stone among other stones at the builders feet. How lowly He was! Though in the likeness of men, Phil. 2. 7, He was the Stone, He was God. Rejected, He was separated from the other stones, cast aside, despised and left alone of men, Isa. 53. 3 JND. The rulers, the builders, incited the people to say, Away with him. Men lifted Him up on a tree. But God lifted Him up to a throne. He is the head stone or capstone that completes the building, Zech. 4. 7. He is the keystone, central in beauty. This was marvellous, passing human comprehension, Thayer. As the Son, he humbled himself. As the Stone, God . . . highly exalted Him, Phil. 2. 6-11.
Matthew and Luke record the Lords extension of the metaphor. Those who fall on this Stone will be broken. Those on whom the Stone falls will be ground to powder. Daniel tells us that the Stone, cut out without hands, will fall on the Gentile kingdoms, breaking them in pieces. The setting of all of this is Israel. The story of the rejected Stone captures the wonderful theme of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow, 1 Pet. 1. 11.