A divine oxymoron
“And coming to Him as to a Living Stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” − 1 Peter 2:4-5
Having grown up in flat Kansas, I love the Western United States. The scenic vistas are indescribably beautiful. There is a rock structure in Wyoming called Devils Tower. Legend has it that some young girls or boys (the stories vary) were being pursued by a bear. When all looked hopeless, a rock appeared and they were able to climb up, just out of reach of the angry bear. The bear was unable to reach the children. The tower is called Devils Tower.
Isn’t that just like the world? Always climbing up, thinking that they are escaping enemies, and yet, there they sit on the Devils Tower. The world is never going to bring safety or joy. If we run to structures, things, events or people that we think will bring us happiness, success or safety, we could actually be climbing up Devils Tower. All of us are going to have to fight bears, tigers and lions in this world. The reality is that this world is full of tribulation. We are called to suffer, to fill up that which is lacking in Messiah’s body. However, we have the True Rock of Ages, the true Ebenezer (Stone of strength). Yeshua is the “Even Khy-eem” the Living Stone.
I have a lot of pretty stones in a jewelry box, yet none are as lovely as Yeshua. All other stones are amulets. Our Yeshua is the living stone, the Even Khyeem. Living stone? What does this mean?
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word, Oxymoron, as a combination of words that have opposite or very different meanings. “Living stone” is an example of an oxymoron. Although a stone might change appearance by erosion, there is no life in a stone. The stones in my jewelry box do not have a heartbeat; they are dead; pretty – but dead. Yet, Peter, Kefa, tells us that Yeshua is a Living Stone, the Even Khyeem. Jesus is alive; He is our foundation, we can trust Him, He is our Rock of Refuge, Rock of the Ages past – present – future, we can run to this Rock and find safety.
Unlike other dead stones, Yeshua is the alive Stone. Only God in His divine sovereign wisdom could think this one up. As if this were not profound enough, we as believers are called living stones, too! God is using each of us, building a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to be used for His glory. Paul exhorts in Romans 12:1 “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
When we say ‘yes’ to Yeshua, when we follow Him in our love walk, we offer up ourselves to Him. This is our spiritual worship, adoring Him, loving Him, loving others, serving others, serving Him. By rubbing up next to other stones, allowing the friction of our closeness to wear down our edginess, we become polished stones, fit for the Master’s use.
The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone.
The first foundation stone was jasper;
The second, sapphire;
The third, chalcedony;
The fourth, emerald;
The fifth, sardonyx;
The sixth, sardis;
The seventh, chrysalides;
The eighth, beryl;
The ninth, topaz;
The tenth, chrysoprase;
The eleventh, jacinth;
The twelfth, amethyst.
“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” − Revelation 21:19-22