Pondering today’s reading, musician Michael Card wrote the song “Living Stones”:
“See, in Zion He is known
As a chosen precious cornerstone
And the ones who come to trust in Him
Will never know the shame
That He bore on that cross when it seems
That all was lost.
He is the Stone that makes men stumble
The Rock that makes them fall.
Living stones, living stones
We are holy, living stones
Built upon the firm foundation that is Jesus.”
What does it mean for Christ to be a Living Stone (v. 4) or a “chosen and precious cornerstone” (v. 6)? In today’s reading, Peter quoted several Old Testament references to show that Jesus was chosen by God but rejected by humans. Christ was the key to God’s plan of redemption. Those who do not believe in Him will trip over Him—their lack of faith will be their stumbling block (vv. 7–8). Those who do believe in Him, on the other hand, will receive God’s mercy (vv. 5, 9–10).
Peter quoted from a Messianic psalm: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (v. 7; Ps. 118:22). He had previously quoted this same verse before the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:11). Jesus Himself had also quoted this verse as part of the parable of the tenants, indicating that the Jewish leaders had rejected God’s Chosen One. He further said people who failed to accept Him would be “broken to pieces” and “crushed” (Luke 20:17–19). As God’s “precious cornerstone for a sure foundation” (Isa. 28:16), Jesus succeeded despite opposition in His mission of salvation. We, too, are “living stones” who “are being built into a spiritual house” or God’s family (v. 5; Eph. 2:19–22).
You are God’s special possession, and Peter urges you to “declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (v. 9). How will you praise Him today? Will you explain the gospel to a friend? Will you share a Bible verse on social media? Whatever you choose to do, give thanks for the gift of salvation!