Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. – Ephesians 2:11-22
These days the most important part of any building is the foundation. When we were building the worship center at St. John, I took photos of the massive footers and concrete foundation. The largest of those supported the large glulam beams that would hold up the ceiling/roof structure of the building.
My understanding is that in Jesus’ day the cornerstone was the most important part of the building. From it every measurement for the building would be made. Every angle. Every dimension. Every measure.
In biblical times, a cornerstone was used as the foundation and standard upon which a building was constructed. Once in place, the rest of the building would conform to the angles and size of the cornerstone. In addition, if removed, the entire structure could collapse. – Compelling Truth
This is Jesus. He is the measure of all the things of God. His presence is essential to the spiritual household that is the church. Without him we fall. Without him we have no reliable measure. Without him we would not know how to manifest God’s will and ways.
When we build on Jesus as the cornerstone, we will seek to love God as he did. Praying regularly. Worshiping faithfully. Obeying completely. We will love our neighbors as he did. Acting kindly with compassion. Speaking grace and truth. Caring for the poor. Honoring the meek. Healing the sick. Forgiving the sinner.
We’ll never do any of that perfectly. That makes that final action so precious. This is not, however, only an individual calling. The cornerstone holds the whole building together. Each of us together is being built up into a spiritual temple. That means the whole church is to express the love of Jesus…for God and for our neighbors.
The most glorious temple can be inspiring. But the body of Christ taking its cue from Jesus’ love for God and neighbor is a glory beyond words. To this we must aspire, taking our cue from Jesus individually, and encouraging each other to do so as members of the body of Christ.