Jesus saith unto them, did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. ~ Matthew 21:42-43
Jesus is the stone which the builders rejected. Who then are the builders who rejected Jesus?
They are the leaders of Israel (the chief priests and Pharisees ~ v. 45). They had corrupted the temple and had made it a den of thieves rather than a house of prayer (Matthew 21:13). Now their house was desolate (Matthew 23:38) and the Kingdom was being taken from them and given to another. Consequently, “there would be not one stone left upon another” of the temple they had defiled (Matthew 24:2).
The stone they rejected is the cornerstone which God himself has placed in Zion (1 Peter 2:6). This stone, Jesus, is the foundation of God’s true temple as testified of by the prophet Isaiah.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. ~ Isaiah 28:16
Jesus had asked the chief priests and Pharisees concerning this stone, “Did ye never read in the scriptures…?”
The scriptures given to Israel had testified that God would lay the foundation for his true temple (not the end time, man made temple which modern Christian Zionists claim) but God’s true temple, the temple he has always wanted.
God personally laid the cornerstone for this temple he desired to inhabit.
It is said that the stone would be laid “in Zion”. Under the Old Testament Zion (earthly Jerusalem) was a type of the Heavenly Jerusalem to which the true people of God belong: ” you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem…” says the writer of Hebrews.
When the temple authorities rejected Jesus, they rejected the cornerstone which God himself had established as the foundation for his true temple.
For this reason, the Kingdom of God was taken from them and was given to another nation – a chosen generation, a holy nation, with a royal priesthood, a special bought people, who were purchased by the blood of the lamb, and would demonstrate the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. ~ 1 Peter 2:9
They would bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom! For they would be inhabited by the Spirit of the Living God. The temple made with human hands would no longer serve as the residence of God among his people.
When Jesus breathed his last on the cross, and surrendered his spirit into the hands of the Father, the curtain (veil) of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Matthew 27:50-51) and a new an living way was opened for the people of God (Hebrews 10:19-22).
God’s presence now abides in the temple of which his people are living stones, built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, and who offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5).
God will never again make his abode in a man-made temple. God’s plan, revealed in Jesus Christ, was to unite Jews and Gentiles into one family in Christ. This is God’s house!
For through him we both (Jews and Gentiles) have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye (Gentiles) are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints (the Jewish remnant who trust in Jesus), and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye (Jews and Gentiles) also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2:18-22
This is the temple of the Lord, for it is his doing and it is marvelous in our eyes!