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Humble Hero

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    The Strange Stone That Prefigured Christ

    Looking at them with pity, the Savior continued, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:HH 276.2

    ‘The stone which the builders rejected
    Has become the chief cornerstone.
    This was the Lord’s doing,
    And it is marvelous in our eyes?’
    HH 276.3

    “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”HH 276.4

    The Jews had often repeated this prophecy in the synagogues, applying it to the coming Messiah. Christ was the Cornerstone of the Jewish system and of the whole plan of salvation. The Jewish builders were now rejecting this Foundation Stone. By every means in His power, the Savior tried to make plain the nature of the deed they were about to do. His warnings would seal their doom if they failed to bring them to repentance. He intended to show them God’s justice in withdrawing their national privileges, which would end not only in the destruction of their temple and their city, but in the scattering of the nation among the Gentiles.HH 276.5

    The hearers recognized the warning, but despite the sentence they themselves had pronounced, the priests and rulers were ready to complete the picture by saying, “This is the heir. Come, let us kill him.” “But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes,” for the public sentiment was in Christ’s favor.HH 276.6

    In quoting the prophecy of the rejected stone, Christ referred to an actual incident connected with the building of the first temple. It had a special lesson at Christ’s first advent, but it also has a lesson for us. When the temple of Solomon was constructed, the immense stones were prepared entirely at the quarry. After they were brought to the building site, the workmen only had to place them in position. One stone of unusual size and peculiar shape had been brought for the foundation, but the workmen could find no place for it. It annoyed them as it lay unused in their way. For a long time it remained a rejected stone.HH 276.7

    But when the builders came to the laying of the corner, they searched for a long time to find a stone of sufficient size and strength and of the proper shape to bear the great weight that would rest on it. If they were to make an unwise choice, it would endanger the safety of the entire building. They tried several stones, but under the pressure of immense weights these had crumbled to pieces.HH 276.8

    But finally someone called attention to the stone so long rejected. It had been exposed to sun and storm without revealing the slightest crack. It had borne every test but one—the test of severe pressure. They put it through the trial. The stone passed the test and was accepted. When they brought it to its assigned position, they found it to be an exact fit. This stone was a symbol of Christ. Isaiah says,HH 277.1

    “He will be as a sanctuary,
    But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense
    To both the houses of Israel. ...
    And many among them shall stumble;
    They shall fall and be broken,
    Be snared and taken.”
    Isaiah 8:14, 15
    HH 277.2

    The chief cornerstone in the temple of Solomon was symbolic of the trials and tests Christ was to bear.HH 277.3

    “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
    A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
    Whoever believes will not act hastily.”
    Isaiah 28:16
    HH 277.4

    God chose the Foundation Stone and called it “a sure foundation.” The entire world may lay their burdens and griefs on it. They may build on it with perfect safety. He never disappoints those who trust in Him. He has passed every test. He has carried the burdens placed on Him by every repenting sinner. All who make Him their dependence rest in perfect security.HH 277.5

    Christ is both “a sure foundation” and “a stone of stumbling.” “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ They stumble, being disobedient to the word.” 1 Peter 2:7, 8.HH 277.6

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