Devotion for October 10-12, 2017

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone
that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the
Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?…And the one who falls
on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it
will crush him.” Matthew 21:42, 44

Often, when we read the account of Jesus’ crucifixion, we think to
ourselves, “I would never do that!” We like to think that we would be
one of the “good guys”, the people who would have stood up and done
what was right. We want to believe that we would not have rejected
Christ the Cornerstone.

But is that the case? We might pretend as if we wouldn’t have
done it back then, but the truth is that we do that very thing every day
of our lives. How often do we reject the Cornerstone? How often do we
think that we know a better way that the one He has revealed to us?
How many times have we disagreed with a passage of Scripture
because we thought we knew better? How many things have we chosen
to fear, love, and trust more than God? Whenever we do this, we turn
our backs on God. We reject the Cornerstone. We’re no better builders
today than they were back then.

Jesus tells us something about Himself. “The one who falls on this
stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush
him.” Neither of those options sounds very pleasant. But notice the
difference: the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces.
Pieces can be put back together. But the one upon whom this stone falls
—the one who rejects Him right up to judgment—will have the
Cornerstone crush him at the Last Day. There’s no coming back from
that.

When we recognize how often we’ve rejected this Cornerstone and
fall upon Him in repentance, we’re broken. Our hearts are broken when
we see how often we’ve sinned against the God who loved us so much
that He went the cross to die in our place. But when we’re broken in
repentance, that’s when God puts us back together. He binds us with
the water of Baptism. He heals us with His forgiveness. He makes us
whole again when He comes to us in His Word and Holy Supper.
We might be broken when we fall down upon Jesus in repentance,
but He will always put us together again. And one day, He’ll finally put
us back together in body and soul, without any of the effects of sin,
without any of the sicknesses or pains that grieve us here, when He
raises us from the dead as He returns. Praise be to God for the love and
healing He shows to broken sinners!

Prayer: Gracious Father, You gave Your Son Jesus into the hands
of sinful men who killed Him. Forgive us when we reject Your
unfailing love, and grant us the joy of knowing Your salvation.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.