“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious”
1 Peter 2:4 (ESV)
It is amazing just how weightless the thoughts, plans and actions of man are when they do not align to God’s truth. It matters not how mighty the men opposing God are, it matters not how influential or impressive, intelligent or religious or great in number they are, if they oppose God, their efforts in their totality are like the morning mist under the noon day sun, their actions come to naught, like rebellious waves crashing into the cliff, they might make a lot of noise and stir up foam but the rock, without needing to exert force, remains unmoved. This was the fate of the men who rejected Jesus (2:4,) those who did not believe (2:7,) who are compared to the builders who rejected the cornerstone (2:7b,) who viewed him as a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense (2:8a) because they disobeyed the words (2:8b.)
Picture the disciples in the midst of the raucous caused in Jerusalem on the night of Christ’s crucifixion. We can imagine how powerless they felt as Jesus got condemned by the High Priest in that sham of a trial, how intimidating it must have been to hear the mob thunderously shout, “crucify him, crucify him”, how helpless they were in the face of Pilate and the Roman soldiers. The rejection of men sure did not sound nor look powerless on that night. It seemed like darkness had won the day. And it did, for at Golgotha they took the Son, nailed him to the cross and killed him. The cute rhetoric of dew in the face of the noon day sun feels silly now. That is, until Sunday morning when Jesus rose from the grave with more ease than you wake up from an afternoon nap. All of the rejection from man, the unbelief and disobedience aimed at him did not change what God had declared about him, Jesus was His beloved Son, the promised one and not even death could stop him. At the end of the day, the best that Christ’s worst enemies could accomplish was serve his eternal purposes.
As believers we do well to latch onto that little phrase that Peter used to define Christ, “but in the sight of God”. That is what came up against all the forces of evil. That is why Jesus rose from the grave. Because God said of Jesus something contrary to what the mob, the high priest, the Roman officials, the Devil and what even death itself said, He said Jesus is the chosen and precious one, the cornerstone. That meant that even though the whole world were to reject him, he and he alone would be God’s chosen one through whom salvation would come. God’s purposes are an immovable rock. It must have been of great encouragement for suffering saints to see that Peter uses the same term to define them just a few verses later, “chosen race”.
Even though it is so hard to swim against the tide in a world that has rejected Jesus. Even though it is so tempting to yield to the allure of fitting in at the price of obedience, let us remember that what we have become and what we have in God can never be taken away from us. No kind of rejection, not insults, alienation or even death itself can alter our privileged status in the sight of God. We do not resist sin in vain. Your choices to walk in love, obedience and holiness might appear senseless and futile if not foolish to the onlooking world. But remember the futile life is the life of rejecting Jesus, walking in unbelief and disobedience. That is the life that amounts to nothing. May your resolve to follow after God be strengthened as you learn to see yourself in light of what you are in the sight of God and unlearn seeing yourself in the terms and perception of those who have rejected God.
- In what ways are you tempted to be ashamed of your testimony as a follower of Jesus? How does this relate to the devotional above?
- Have you believed in Jesus as Savior and Lord? If you have or have not, take some time to ponder the futility of rejecting Jesus in area of your life
- Pray that our congregation will grow in humble submission to our risen Savior.