16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.
What is a cornerstone? In practical terms, the cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonary foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.
In New Testament times, the cornerstone was the most important stone in the building. Builders lay the cornerstone first, then used it to determine if all other lines in the building were straight by comparing them to the cornerstone.
How ironic it would be for builders to reject a stone as unusable, only to later realize it was the most important stone in the building! Yet this is what many people of Jesus’ day did. The Jewish religious leaders rejected him, not realizing he was the one they had been searching for all along. Roman rulers saw him as expendable, willing to sacrifice a single man’s life in order to keep the illusion of peace. But those who believed recognized that Jesus is the cornerstone—the foundation of our faith and one on whom we must depend.
Today, some people can’t understand why we place such value on the words of a man who was crucified almost two thousand years ago. Yet when we look through the eyes of faith, we realize that Jesus is a priceless treasure. When we build our lives on him, everything else falls into place. What are you basing your life upon? Let Jesus be your cornerstone.
The Lord has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord
through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
22 The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.