Life-Study of 1 Peterby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 2:4 Peter says, “To whom coming, a living stone, having been rejected by men, but with God chosen, held in honor.” We have pointed out that a living stone not only possesses life but also grows in life. The living stone in verse 4 is Christ for God’s building. Here Peter changes his metaphor from the seed of the vegetable life (1:23-24) to the stone. The seed is for life-planting, whereas the stone is for building (2:5). Peter’s thought has gone on from life-planting to God’s building. As life to us Christ is the seed. For God’s building He is the stone. After receiving Him as the seed of life, we need to grow that we may experience Him as the stone living in us. Then He will make us living stones, transformed with His stone nature, so that we may be built together with others a spiritual house upon Him as both the foundation and the cornerstone. Let us go on to consider what Peter says in verses 6 through 8 regarding Christ as the stone for God’s building.
First Peter 2:6, quoting Isaiah 28:16, says, “Because it is contained in Scripture: Behold, I lay in Zion a chosen stone, a cornerstone held in honor, and he who believes on Him shall by no means be put to shame.” Although this living stone was rejected by the leaders of God’s people, this stone was chosen by God. God’s choosing of Christ as the living stone is of two aspects. First, as we have seen, Christ was chosen by God in eternity past. That was God’s initial choosing of Him. Then God chose Christ the second time in resurrection. Resurrection is a strong proof that God has chosen Christ. This second choosing was a confirmation of God’s first choosing. Therefore, in resurrection God confirmed the choice He had made concerning Christ in eternity past.
When Christ was on the cross, apparently He was rejected by God. To the Pharisees and to all the others who opposed Him, the crucifixion of Christ was a sign that God had rejected Him. According to Matthew 27:42 and 43, the chief priests, with the scribes and the elders, said, “He is king of Israel, let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe on him. He trusted upon God; let Him rescue him now if He wants him; for he said, I am God’s Son.” Luke 23:35 says, “And the rulers were even sneering and saying, He saved others, let him save himself if this is the Christ of God, the Chosen One!” The religious leaders thought that God had rejected Christ. However, on the third day Christ was resurrected, and that resurrection was a sign of God’s choosing, a proof that God had chosen Christ to be the stone for His building.
From the time of Christ’s resurrection, Christ has been held in honor. The Greek word rendered “honor” in verse 6, the same word that is used in verse 4, also means precious. It differs from the Greek word translated “precious” in 1:19. There the word denotes preciousness in essence; here it indicates preciousness as recognized and held in honor.
The statement, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chosen stone,” refers not only to Christ’s resurrection, but also to His ascension. After God resurrected Christ, He lifted Him up to the heavens. Therefore, Christ’s ascension was a further sign and confirmation that God had chosen Him.
The Zion spoken of in 2:6 is not the Zion on earth; it is the Zion in the heavens. In the New Testament there are two Zions, one earthly and the other heavenly. The earthly Zion is a reflection of the heavenly one. The Jewish people may have an earthly Zion, but we Christians, those who believe in Christ, have a heavenly Zion. For this reason, we are not coming to an earthly Zion; we are coming to the heavenly Zion (Heb. 12:22).
God’s choosing of Christ in eternity past was not seen by anyone, not even by the angels. When God chose Christ, nothing had been created, for that choice was made before the foundation of the world. Only God knew that Christ was His chosen One. But this choice has been manifested in Christ’s resurrection and ascension. Soon after Christ’s ascension, Peter realized clearly that Christ is the Messiah chosen by God. This was the reason Peter said to the religious leaders in Acts 4, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (vv. 10-12). There is salvation in no other name because God has chosen Christ, and this choice has been manifested in and confirmed by Christ’s resurrection and ascension.
Along with the other apostles, Peter could testify that he had seen the resurrected Christ. Furthermore, they had all witnessed His ascension. These two acts, resurrection and ascension, prove and confirm that Jesus of Nazareth is the One whom God has chosen to be the head of the corner for God’s building.
As such a chosen One, Christ is now held in honor. Christ is not only in glory; He is also on the throne at the right hand of God. This means that He is in a position of honor. Because Christ is now in such an honorable position, He is precious, highly valued.
First Peter 2:6 also says that he who believes on Christ will by no means be put to shame. Christ is trustworthy, stable, and steadfast. We can put our trust in Him and be assured that we shall never be put to shame.
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