Page Two: “Who Is The Head of the Church?” 10/21/2012
Then, in the NT, from the lips of Jesus Himself we find this.
Matthew 21:42 “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”
And the Apostle Peter in one of his earliest sermons to the Jews at Jerusalem, He tells them Who this resurrected man Jesus is. Acts 4:10 “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (11) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.”
Oftentimes one large stone, a stone that was refused by the builder, would be quote “in the way.” Today, any stone of any size would be removed by an earth-moving machine. But the Jews perfectly understand this word picture of a stone that stood in their way.
And both the OT and Jesus Himself teach us that this “rejected stone” became the “cornerstone” of the Church.
And the Apostle Paul, in writing to the NT Church at Ephesus wrote this.
Ephesians 2:19 “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;…”
Then there’s a word from the Apostle Peter on this very same topic. Here’s I Peter 2:4.
I Peter 2:4 “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, (5) Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
(6) Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded [ashamed].
(7) Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, …”
Folks, there is a large amount of teaching in the Bible on just Who the Jewish Messiah is and that the only one Who fulfills every prediction about the Messiah is Jesus Christ.
And, as you can see, what men despise and reject God, the Father chooses to use as the most important stone in His building. Critical to God’s work in the world is the fact that, in Christ God intended to lay down a foundation stone for a particular building. That building, as you are about to see, is the Church.
Now, let me say something about the cornerstone. I’m not a builder, but I do know this. Most buildings built today are made of steel. But throughout many, many years of history, stone was the builder’s choice. And whenever a large structure was built, one stone was the most important stone. That was the cornerstone.
Usually the first stone placed at or above ground level was the cornerstone. Generally, it was a very large stone and typically marked the northeast corner of the building. It was laid in such a way that all the other stones in the building would be lined up and set in place using the cornerstone as a reference. The cornerstone determined the level, the angle, the beams and the other lines, the walls, and all the other dimensions of that building. The entire structure would be dependent upon the setting of this particular stone.
Take the laying down of the cornerstone of a castle or some great stone building of days gone by. This is a Scottish castle on the North Sea. It’s known as Tantallon Castle. The height of this castle wall is 150 feet. It was built in the 1450’s and still stands today. And, like so many large stone buildings, a cornerstone was first laid.
Then, as time went by and as better methods for measuring were discovered, foundation stones took on a different purpose. And someone of importance usually laid the cornerstone. And it was always attended with a lot of fanfare. Then, once it was laid, the cornerstone would have the date chipped into it.