Friday, May 8, 2015

The Blarney Stone

Good morning,

I have a friend who, in a few weeks, is going to take a trip to Ireland.  She is so excited!  I don't blame her.  One of the more famous landmarks of that country, and one of the most famous stones in the world, is something called The Blarney Stone.  This is not a free-standing, round stone.  Rather, it is part of a limestone wall of the Blarney Castle, which stands in Cork, Ireland.  The word "blarney" has come to mean "deceptive flattery with a flair of humor and/or wit", or a form of "pretty lying".

In our text for this morning, a metaphor is used by Peter, comparing Jesus Christ to a stone....but not a Blarney stone.

4-8 Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. The Scriptures provide precedent:
Look! I’m setting a stone in Zion,
    a cornerstone in the place of honor.
Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation
    will never have cause to regret it.
To you who trust him, he’s a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him,
The stone the workmen threw out
    is now the chief foundation stone.
For the untrusting it’s
. . . a stone to trip over,
    a boulder blocking the way.
They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted.

The attributes of Jesus highlighted here are these:

  • He is the living Stone.  He is alive this very moment, has been forever, and will be forevermore. He is the eternal Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  (John 1:1-3, 14:  Hebrews 11:17; Colossians 1:17)  Like Him, we, His Church, are referred to "living stones" (vs. 5). 
  • He is the honored Stone.  (Rev. 5:12-14; Luke 21:27)  God has given His Son the place of highest honor.  Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.
  • He is the rejected Stone.  God knows that most people who hear the gospel of Jesus Christ will reject Him.  In this passage Peter was referring first to the Jews of his day, particularly how the Jewish "establishment" had Jesus put to death.  Today, as back then, in the case of scoffers and unbelievers, Jesus Christ is a stone over which they will "trip and fall" because they refuse to trust Him as Savior.
  • He is the Cornerstone.  
I don't know anything about construction, but I am told that the cornerstone is the linchpin to the success/strength of the entire building.  If the cornerstone is set wrong, then the foundation is off; and, if the foundation is off, then the whole building will be unstable.  All the other stones are set in reference to the cornerstone.  It determines the fitness of the entire structure.  The Encyclopedia Britannica states that the cornerstones of a building, often laid out with astronomical precision were viewed as "seeds" from which the rest of the building would grow and rise.  No wonder Peter chose this analogy for the Savior!

Unlike the Blarney Stone, Jesus Christ does not represent beguiling deception.  He instead represents eternal life.  He is SOLID!  On Him we can depend for our eternal security.  Peter emphatically states (vs. 6) that those who believe on Him and trust in Him will never have cause to regret it.

So the Church of Jesus Christ is here likened to an eternal building, one that will never be destroyed. There are earthly structures which have been so well-built that they have stood for thousands of years.  Examples include the pyramids of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Mexico.  But, they will pass away because this whole earth will pass away.  However, the words of God and the Church of Jesus Christ will never pass away (Matthew 24:35 and Ephesians 3:10-11).  This "building", this Kingdom, this Body of Christ, this Church is eternal.

Thank you, Father, for revealing to our finite minds some of the marvelous mysteries of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).  There is no blarney to be found in You.  On You, we can eternally depend.  Your Son is the Solid Rock, and yes, all others are like sinking sand.  I am so grateful that I can rest in that assurance.  In Jesus' name, amen.


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