Peter quotes Isaiah 28:16 and applies the Messianic stone reference to Jesus. Peter references vivid imagery from Isaiah. God placed Jesus as the chosen and valuable cornerstone. The cornerstone was everything when building a structure in those days. The cornerstone needed to be straight and square so that the rest of the builder would be built straight. A building that leans will not endure. I was able to appreciate this idea better when building the clubhouse/swing set in our backyard. My father-in-law and I made sure that the foundation was level and straight so that as we built up to the second story, we would be building a sound structure. We did not want a “leaning tower of Pisa” for the kids to play on. We constant checked our work to the level base that we had built.
This is the idea that Peter is giving to us by quoting Isaiah. Jesus is the perfect cornerstone upon which the spiritual house of God is built. We are the spiritual stones in this house. But we cannot be built just anywhere on this structure. We must be measured against the Living Stone to ensure that we are in line with it. As we are built upon this cornerstone, we must keep our lives aligned to Jesus. He is the foundation and we are to build our lives directly on him. Consider that Jesus is never out of alignment. He is the perfect, precious cornerstone chosen by God. We are the ones who get out of alignment and must constantly measure ourselves against Jesus as our standard. Too many people try to make Jesus conform to their lives, rather than making life changes to conform to Jesus. Churches are altering the clear teachings of the scriptures to have larger numbers and keep the people happy. When this is our attitude, then Jesus is not our cornerstone and our lives are not built on him.
When we build our lives on Jesus, we will not be put to shame. When we work to built upon Jesus, we will be established in our lives and will not be shamed. We will be rejected by people, but when we are built on Jesus, we will not be rejected by God. Our trials and hardships are not a symbol of God’s rejection. Our identity is not found in the opinions of humanity. Our value is in being living stones built into a spiritual house aligned with Jesus, our cornerstone. The concluding thought here is in the beginning of verse 7: “So the honor is for you who believe.” The honor is being joined with Jesus. The value in our life is by being united with him. Those who put their trust in the living stone and are built on the valuable cornerstone will be honored.