1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
5 On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 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. 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.”
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
At the time of the 2nd Temple, the Dome of the Rock, the highest peak of the City of David, had been reshaped by Herod - to the shape it is today, because Herod built upon it. It is believed the Holy of Holies was on or near the the huge rock. Some descriptions believe the Holy of Holies was under the Pierced Rock. But many descriptions and the Talmud all disagree.
Which only increased one of the reasons the Religious leaders were impressed.
These men should have looked smelly from being imprisoned, unclean in front of the elite, clean keepers of the Law. Meager in front of the powerful. Unwise in front of the wise. Instead they said Jesus is now the cornerstone. Why is this important - in a day there are many historical documents still in existence for reference - we still aren't sure what was the physical foundation of the Temple.
The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is the first stone. The blueprint. The core. Placed to let the builders know all of their effort and will is set in the construction position of the entire structure. Not everyone was literate, but this sign was easily understood. A sure sign to the passerbys, the workers, the leaders - this is how the structure will stand. Irreversible. Sure. A sign for all time.
The Religious Elite are being told the Structure - Jesus Christ - will be so clear, everyone will understand who the first stone is. Not the building, not the Temple. It was completely astonishing to them.
No need for a religious lawyers. No need for Priests to interpret. No set of rules about hand washing or purity. A beacon set. One sure sign. A relationship instead of religion.
Jesus is the Christ. Our cornerstone.
1 Corinthians 3:9-17
9 For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him.
For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.Father God, the day the disciples of Jesus stood in front of the people, the priests and the Captain of the Temple and the Sadducees - they appeared to be wrong. As foolish as publicly running up and kicking the Temple. Yet Father God, what You told them came to be pass. Jesus the Cornerstone, still being the Rock on which we can stand. That day the Holy of Holies was empty, You never returned the Ark of the Covenant to the Second Temple. Instead You gave Your Holy Spirit to us when we ask You to move, live and have Your dwelling in us. Dwell in us richly, that we might be, each day, living to Your pleasure, Your love, Your joy. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.