It's hiking time! Just the other day, my husband (Keith) my son (Keebryn) and I chose a Sunday hike for our day's agenda after worship and lunch.
I am the runner of the family. Keebryn is the soccer player. Keith... Well apparently, he's the hiker.
When we left cozy home with water-pack and hiking boots, I didn't grasp the reality that my idea of a leaf stroll would be Keith's idea of a Mountaineer's Quest ...along half of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Have mercy!
Keebryn, up for anything in the woods and totally resolved with being far from civilization, jumped and bounced his way along the trail. And often times off the trail :) Grabbing and climbing onto anything he could discover! Our little 9 year old was perfectly at - home among trees and rocks.
Me? I enjoyed watching the adventurers, adventure. I love the woods, but found myself after trecking far, day dreaming about pizza for supper.
Keith, who has a bad ankle, bad shoulder, and bad blood pressure... tapped into energy and ability of a Wilderness Warrior! Many times, leaving us in the leaves as his hiking boots turned into rocket jets.
Somewhere along the trail, he ran over something unexpected. Being the first ahead, he was our scapegoat. I watched him in the path ahead, holding his ankle with the face that declared pain and gave light to what had happened. He had turned his ankle on a rock.
Along this portion of the woods, were scattered rocks that required intent focus in order to dodge. But something about this particular one was unexpected. This rock grabbed his attention because it caused him to stumble. His size 11 boots did not prevail against this stone of stumbling that would not budge.
In Isaiah, the coming Messiah is referred to, as a corner stone, elect and precious. But He is also described as a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence..."
This coming Messiah would be, to our walk on earth, as this leaf covered rock in my husband's path.Forcing us to question our own humanity and thus, our need for and BeLiEf in the StOnE himself.
1 Peter 2:6-8 records, in short, that we have a ChOiCe in what this "stone" becomes to us.
A corner stone is the foundation of a strong building. It stands to support and give strength. The metaphor gives us insight to Christ himself. If we choose to see him and accept his complete perfection, He becomes our Chief Corner Stone. Our RoCk in which we can be assured is a steady and sure absolution.
Was Keith offended that this rock, hidden under leaves had grabbed his attention. You bet. It was written all over his face. He was not a happy hiker for a couple moments :)
Christ did the same. Hidden under the humble title of a carpenter from little ol' Nazareth, He spoke with more undeniable wisdom than any Pharisee could comprehend. They were quite offended. As well as many will be until the return of Christ, Messiah.
They stumbled over His perfect simplicity.
"How could THIS be from God?"
They stumbled over their law in place of grace.
"How could grace of one Man be made available greatly enough to cover the law?"
They stumbled over a StOnE they refused to accept.
Many still question. They face a path of reluctance which refuses to acknowledge the absolution of this Messiah that prevails over humanity...Continuing to bruise their feet on something that doesn't budge. The StOne, disallowed, therefore becomes a continual place of falter.
Some will recognize this pure and perfect StOnE . The humble, loving Christ who came to earth, shook up the law and then left grace in its place! To those, He is recognized as "Precious". He becomes the absolute and unshakable foundation in which we build our lives. The Chief Cornerstone.
The only tipping of the scales between "The Stumbling Stone" or The Chief Cornerstone" is bElieF and aCCePtAnCe in the Messiah.
A solid and sure foundation to life for this life and eternity OR a plaguing disbelief to stumble over and reject.
Which one He becomes to us, is up to us.
"To you who believes, he is precious." (1 Peter 2:7)
Can you sweetly confess...
He is my PrEcIoUs StOnE?
1 Peter 2:6-8