Lord, thank you for responding to me. You’ve truly become my salvation! The stone the masons discarded as flawed is now the capstone! This is God’s work. We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it! This is the very day God acted—let’s celebrate and be festive! Salvation now, God. Salvation now! Oh yes, God—a free and full life! (Psalm 118:21-25 The Message)
The Capstone or Keystone
A keystone is a wedge-shaped stone at the top of a masonry arch, often in a doorway or window. It is the final piece placed during construction and locks all the stones into position, allowing the arch to bear weight. The Romans first used the capstone in their arches about 1000 BC. The state of Pennsylvania calls itself the “Keystone State,” because during early American history, Pennsylvania held a crucial central position among the Thirteen Colonies geographically, economically, and politically, like the keystone in an arch.
Scripture calls Christ the capstone and cornerstone in God’s plan of redemption. His resurrection from the dead is the keystone of God’s arch of salvation. Remove Jesus’ resurrection and the whole universe crumbles in the dust, as well as our eternal security. The Son of God existed before anything else, and He holds all creation and us together.1
The good news of Jesus’ gospel is that He died for our sins and rose again according to the Scriptures. Christ’s resurrection proves that His death atoned for sin and reconciled His followers to God. When Jesus arose, it proved that He had completely satisfied God’s demands on us. When He cried on the cross, “It is finished!”, His work was done.2 Jesus paid our debt and set us free. God was satisfied and then proved the completeness of Christ’s work by raising Him from the dead. We shouldn’t wait until Easter to celebrate Jesus’ victory. We commemorate His resurrection on the first day of every week (the Lord’s Day, Sunday) and every day of the year. “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”3 Christ did not remain in the tomb but conquered death for us, so that we can live cheerfully, gratefully, at peace with God and with others because of our risen, living, and returning Redeemer.
What has God accomplished in raising Jesus from the dead? Here is another one of Scripture’s answers.
Raised with Jesus, Our True Life, Identity, Citizenship, Destiny, and Value Is in Him.
Scriptures: God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Jesus….Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at God’s right hand. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Jesus, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory….You belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.4
Comment: People often base their identities on their roles in relationships or on their jobs. But that way of thinking limits our lives badly. What happens when our loved ones are taken away, or abandon or reject us? What happens when we lose our job or the ability to do it because of economic downturns, COVID-19, illness, unfairness in the workplace, or our own poor performance? Then we may slip into depression, anxiety, self-doubt, and other negative thoughts. God wants us to find and enjoy our identity in Christ more than everything else. The verses above say that Risen Jesus is our life and our future. We belong to Him and He will never reject or forsake His followers. Nothing can take away our standing in Jesus or snatch us away from Him.
If you are a true Christian in the Bible way (yet still imperfect), you are loved with God’s everlasting love, made a new person by the Holy Spirit’s new birth, and forgiven, accepted, and adopted by the Lord. You have been saved by God, are being re-shaped by Him (progressive sanctification), and you will be finally brought home to Christ in Heaven. You are appreciated by God, blessed by Him, heard by Him, gifted by Him, rewarded by Him, and victorious in Him. So we pray with thanksgiving: Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory.
The Bible’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry is the only biography that does not end with death and burial. Christ’s resurrection morning was only the beginning of God’s great, grand, and vast outreach that has never ended and will not end until our Lord comes back again. Jesus and His resurrection is the capstone and cornerstone of God’s plan of redemption and of our life with Him.5
Think on these things, beloved, and live in the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit!
To be continued.
Notes (various translations): 1 Col 1:17. 2 John 19:30. 3 Psalm 118:24. 4 Eph 2:6; Col 3:1-4; 1 Cor 3:23. 5 Adapted from A. W. Tozer.