Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The King's Palace

"Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20).

The Bible reveals that God is interested in architecture. Exodus 25–31 devotes about 150 verses to detailing the furniture and architecture of the tabernacle, while Exodus 35–40 devotes over 200 verses to describing how these were built. The palace of Solomon and the temple of Yahweh are described in detail in 1 Kings 6–7 and 2 Chronicles 3–4. Ezekiel 40–48 includes paragraph after paragraph of architectural detail.

All of these structures were fundamentally symbolic. The structures represented the people of God gathered around His throne. The stones, the wood, the gold, silver, and precious stones, the furniture, the utensils, etc.—each represented the believer in one of his or her functions as a servant of God. And because Jesus is the only perfect Servant, each represented Him most of all.

With this as background, it is not surprising that Paul compared Christ’s church to a house of precious stones built of His people. The foundation of the house is the apostles and the prophets. But lest we think that the house of God is Himself built only on human beings, we are told that Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone.

The cornerstone of a modern building is usually not important and is included for tradition’s sake. In older buildings, however, the cornerstone determined the nature of the building. It was put into place first, and thus, first of all, the cornerstone determined the location of the house. Second, its size determined the size of the house, for a large house would need large foundation stones, and thus a large cornerstone.

Third, the orientation of the stone provided the orientation of the house. That is, if the stone were rectangular, if its outer sides faced directly north and east, then the building as a whole would face north, east, south, and west on its four sides. Fourth, the shape of the cornerstone determined the shape of the house. If a house had six sides instead of four, the cornerstone would have to reflect that shape. Last, if a house were to be beautiful, the cornerstone would also have to be beautiful.

Ephesians 2:21 says that God’s palace is to be fitted together. Are you tightly fitted into your church, or are you on the periphery? Are you helping support the building as it grows, or are you a loose stone out in the yard? Purpose to become more involved in your local church.