By Brooke Holt
“I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; it marvelous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:21-23
If someone asked you what the foundation of your life is, how would you answer? The psalmist says the foundation of his life is the Lord’s salvation. This salvation is not based on his works or his adherence to the Law but on the Lord’s work in his life: “I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation” (Psalm 118:22). The psalmist had a need, cried for help, and received a salvific response from the Lord. What a precious gift from the Lord! No wonder the psalmist had to sing and write of this great salvation.
Even greater, this psalm held true for its day as well as a day that was yet to come. Jesus quoted Psalm 118 as recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, Luke 20:17 -- the Parable of the Tenant). Jesus, the Son of God incarnate, became this cornerstone. Through his death and resurrection, he was and is the way to the Father. Jesus was and is the cornerstone connecting a sinful humankind to the God the Father and to each other.
Many Jews would reject Jesus as that cornerstone, and just as Jesus foretold, the kingdom would be given to those who would receive it (as recorded in the Parable of the Tenant). This cornerstone now would hold Jew and Gentile together, slave and free, man and woman. Earthly divisions would come to an end through the universal offer of Jesus’ salvation.
The psalmist rejoices, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23). In receiving the salvific work of the Lord, the foundation of the recipient’s life stays solid and secure. The foundation will not break or crack, because it does not depend on you or any other person who trusts in Jesus. Instead of having to meet the requirements of sinlessness or do the work of salvation, you receive the gift of Jesus who did the entire work on your behalf. What a marvelous gift!
A great hymn celebrates this divine truth: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand: all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand” (My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, Edward Mote 1834).
What better foundation could you have? Check your life today. What are you standing on and in what or whom are you trusting? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Could you use some hope right now? Join Peter’s first audience—“elect exiles” undergoing persecution—and experience the apostle’s powerful call to follow Jesus in the midst of life’s challenges, knowing your Living Hope is not a distant one, but a daily, glorious, life-giving reality! This unique six-week small group Bible study, A Living Hope: A Study of 1 Peter, helps you uncover the priceless promises written specifically to the struggling and the hurting, with pastoral gentleness and bold confidence for the future. This study of 1 Peter will help you become utterly convinced that Jesus is the only sure, true, incorruptible, and permanent hope for you.
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