Advent Reading 2 Week 2: December 5 - 11
In our present culture, there are constant arguments over who is speaking the truth. Multiple fact-checkers spring up, claiming to be the arbiters of accuracy or authorities on what constitutes truth. These fact-checkers can be financially motivated, politically motivated, or less than transparent. With so much different information coming from so many different places, it can be difficult to determine the truth.
Due to our fallen nature, we need a marker, guide, or measure that is unchanging and reliable. When farmers want a straight row, they set stakes in the ground or have a fixed point they go by to make sure they are plowing straight. Builders have plumb lines and levels that ensure they are building straight and not relying on their own guesses to guarantee a stable structure.
In ancient times, when building a structure, they had to start with as close to perfect measurement as possible or whatever built on top would be unstable. To achieve this, they would use a cornerstone. This was the first stone set during the building process. Careful measurements were taken to ensure the cornerstone was square. This ensured the proper alignment of the remainder of the building. Christ used this as an illustration in teaching his disciples about the importance of what we build our lives on. The sand of falsehood is unstable and leads to ruin. But building on the solid rock of truth allows the house of your life to remain stable, withstanding any storms.
Throughout scripture, Jesus is called the Cornerstone. David prophesied in Psalm 118:19–24, “Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.  This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.  I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.  The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.  This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
This same image is later mentioned in Isaiah 28:16, “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: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’”
Jesus referred to these scriptures when he rebukes the leaders of Israel, and pronounces judgement on them, as says in Matthew 21:43-44, “ Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.  And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
After Our Lord’s sacrifice and resurrection, Peter delivers this message again to the same rulers, saying, “ On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem,  with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.  And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?”  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,  if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed,  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well.  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” (Acts 4:5-12).
This name of Christ is so important, Peter uses it again in his first letter to the churches, where in 1 Peter 2:4-7 it says, “ As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,  you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’  So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.’”
Jesus is our Cornerstone. He is the one we can rely on as our absolute guide to truth, purity, and holiness. He is an unwavering foundation we can build our own lives on, as it says in Ephesians 2:18-22:
 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Jesus is the only sure foundation. He is the only one who is reliable. He is the truth. What are things you have been doing in your life to build your life on Jesus as the foundation? What are some ways you can learn truth from Jesus this week?
Jesus we praise you, our Cornerstone. Teach us to follow your example. Make us holy stones who rest securely on you, our foundation.