The stone which the builders rejected as worthless turned out to be the most important of all. This was done by the LORD; what a wonderful sight it is! This is the day of the LORD's victory; let us be happy, let us celebrate! Save us, LORD, save us! Give us success, O LORD!
I was ordained on Sunday, May 26, 1985. The Psalm used as my ordination was from Psalm 118. Verse 22. It reads:
“The stone which the builders rejected as worthless turned out to be the most important of all.” (Psalm 118:22)
That verse is quoted several times in the New Testament. When the verse is quoted in the New Testament, the verse refers to Jesus as the one who was rejected.
The day I write this blog is Good Friday. Christians all over the world observe this day as the day Jesus was crucified on the cross.
The Gospel of Mark records the response of many in attendance at Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus ultimate rejection. Mark writes:
“People passing by shook their heads and hurled insults at Jesus: “Aha! You were going to tear down the Temple and build it back up in three days! Now come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the Law made fun of Jesus, saying to one another, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! Let us see the Messiah, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him!” And the two who were crucified with Jesus insulted him also.”(Mark 15:29-32)
Looking at these verses and other verses from the New Testament, one can see why these writers applied Psalm 118:22 to Jesus.
Let’s be honest. If we were in the crowd and saw a man being crucified on the cross, we would have doubted very much that this man was the anointed one of God. We would have rejected him as the anointed one.
On Sunday, Christians all over the world will also celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The one who was rejected and crucified comes back to life and is revealed as God’s anointed one.
This gives us hope for two reasons.
One reason is the hope of new life. All the pastors who were present at my ordination have since died. The resurrection of Jesus promises that they have new life in eternity with Jesus. That promise is also for you and me.
Another reason is the promise of new life in the here and now. All of us go through situations which test our hope at best, rob our hope at worse. Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that these times are not permanent but temporary.
Today I saw a quote on Facebook. It was from womenworking.com. Part of the quote is this:
“It’s Good Friday of Holy Week
All of our darkest moment are temporary
Rebirth and renewal are coming”
May the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection bring you new life.
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California