Posted September 10, 2012
11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 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.”
These powerful words were spoken by a Spirit-filled Peter before the religious authorities of the day in Jerusalem after being questioned for healing the sick in Jesus' name. In the previous chapter, we're told that a man who had been lame from birth was begging at the temple when Peter passed by and said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” The lame man proceeded to do just that, and the crowds were astonished & captivated. However, things got intense when Peter started preaching and informed all who were listening in that the Name who healed this man happened to be the man they had sentenced to death just months before and had risen from the dead! What were they to do? Repent & turn back, putting their faith in Jesus, so that their sins might be blotted out.
The religious leaders did not like "this Jesus" because they had brutally tortured and murdered him in an attempt to silence him. "This Jesus" of Nazareth, the historical Jesus who took on literal flesh and blood, was born of a virgin, and dwelt among us. "This Jesus" who sat with sinners, drunkards, & prostitutes and reached out to lepers and outcasts on the Sabbath. "This Jesus" who never succumbed to the pressure of the Sanhedrin or the religious leaders to fit into their religious mold and regulations. "This Jesus" who for the joy set before him endured the cross for our sins, rose three days later in victory, and now sits at the right hand of the Father. This Jesus.
Perhaps we're more akin to the religious leaders in how we approach Jesus... You see, "this Jesus" that Peter spoke of is not "that Jesus" that we often think of in our minds. "That Jesus" we color and decorate according our whims and preferences. "That Jesus" always agrees with us, and just so happens to love all the things that we love & hate our enemies. "That Jesus" always is more offended by the sins of others than by our own. "That Jesus" marks all the same ballot entries as us. "That Jesus" is controllable, manageable, and never disruptive. "That Jesus" is easy to accept, because he's, well, just like us. The sad news is he's not the real & risen Jesus, but rather an extension of us & our sinful desires, an idol of our making.
"This Jesus" that Peter spoke of is much harder to swallow. He calls it like he sees it, not like we want him to see it. He's never on our time table. He confronts our sin and warns us that unless we repent there is no blotting out of our sins or refreshing for our souls. When confronted by "this Jesus", we'd probably do the same as them and try to murder him (or at least silence him). How intolerant of Him! Who is He to tell us that we need a Savior? How does He claim to know how bad off I am? Well, He's the Risen King, the Cornerstone (meaning essential to holding the building together), the all-knowing Creator and Sustainer of the world, that's who He is... You can't domesticate Him.
Take your pick:
Will you be like the religious leaders of the day and reject "this Jesus"? Or will you join the lame man who put his faith in Him?
Regardless of your choice, know that there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved... Take time to pray and ask Jesus to be the foundation and Cornerstone of your life! If you're looking to explore these verses more, check out the Fighter Verses blog: http://fighterverses.com/blog-post/salvation-in-no-one-else/
This week's song was written by Jaime Cochran, produced & recorded by Dustin Ragland, and features Ariella Wilson singing backing vocals. The artwork was created by Jonathan David Lindsey (http://www.jonathandavidcreative.com/)