Acts 4:11/12 – This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Often when I’m studying scripture, I will look at different translations and use a concordance to enhance my understanding of a word or phrase and then maybe a commentary to see if I am interpreting a passage as others do. But sometimes I also like to see how the dictionary defines a word which has been used in a biblical description.
In describing Jesus as the cornerstone, Peter had learned from the Teacher to use terms that the people would understand. Many of those listening to Peter would be skilled in masonry and would know the importance of the cornerstone. So, what is it?
- A stone representing the nominal starting place in the construction of a monumental building.
Jesus is the starting place for the forgiveness of sins, for there is salvation in no one else.
- A stone uniting two masonry walls at an intersection.
Jesus unites all men – Jew and Gentile – in one common purpose when they join themselves to him.
- A stone that is essential, indispensable.
Without Jesus we are lost, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
- The chief foundation on which something is constructed or developed.
Jesus is the chief foundation of our salvation. Through him our faith grows and develops and our hope for eternal life with him is secured.
We need to be sure of the foundation on which our lives are built. When we choose Christ as our cornerstone and hand our lives over to the great Architect, we are building upon a firm foundation. Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation” (Isaiah 28:16).