Earlier today a reflection of mine on the subject of 1 Peter 2:2-10 was published over on Political Theology Today.
In three interwoven scriptural allusions, 1 Peter 2:4-10 presents us with a striking image. While undertaking a great construction project, a team of builders reject a stone. However, this stone is later placed as the chief cornerstone of a new divinely established building, a vast new temple constructed by the Spirit, formed of ‘living’ stones.
This stone which God has laid becomes a cause of division. On the one hand, people come to this stone in order to be built upon it. On the other hand, those who continue to reject it consistently find it to be an obstacle in their way and stumble over it to their destruction.
The imagery explored in this passage was deeply embedded in the consciousness of the early Church. The passages to which Peter alludes—Isaiah 28:16-19, Psalm 118, and Isaiah 8:11-15—are referenced in numerous other places in the New Testament (e.g. Matthew 21:42-44; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17-18; John 12:13; Acts 4:11; Romans 9:32-33; 10:11; Ephesians 2:20).
The significance of the imagery of this passage arises from the fact that the construction work described is not a general building project, but the establishment of the eschatological Temple itself. The stone that God lays is placed in Zion, where the Temple itself was located. Hence the imagery explored in this passage involves a searching interrogation of core scriptural symbols, and is not merely a random metaphor deployed only for a limited purpose.
Read the whole thing here.