Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees when he quotes Psalm 118:22. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, or cornerstone. Jesus, though rejected by the religious, is the foundation from which God’s grace will be built in the world. He is the cornerstone. But then he says something interesting…in vs. 44 he says that those who fall on the cornerstone are broken to pieces, and those who it falls on are crushed. Admittedly, the story goes on and the Pharisees knew Jesus was talking about them. They plotted to have him arrested and killed.
But it got me thinking…why did Jesus say it two different ways? Broken and crushed? Maybe there is more to glean.
It’s obvious to me the part about being crushed. The stone falls on you, you are crushed. End of story. Those who reject Jesus will find judgement in the end. If he’s the cornerstone then you either build off of him or you end up crushed underneath the capstone.
But what about falling on the stone? It could be argued Jesus is double emphasizing the judgement, but maybe there’s more here. Maybe the point is to fall on the stone and be broken. We all carry pride, sin, selfishness, and the like. No one wants to believe they can’t do it on their own. But to begin this new life, we must be broken. We surrender our old life and build it upon the cornerstone. We break the old, shatter it, and allow the chief builder to rebuild us new on the cornerstone. The Pharisees couldn’t see that. They couldn’t hear anything but their own pride and power. Let us not make the same mistake as them.
Today I want to fall on the cornerstone, being broken, and allowing my Father to build me back up on that same stone…Jesus. I hope you will join me.