The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone. Psalm 18:22
‘The stone that you builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.’
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11
Peter had just been arrested by the temple guard and taken before the highest council of religious leaders in the land. This was not just the local church board of elders, it was the center of power and control of the Jewish nation in its headquarters in Jerusalem in the temple that Solomon built. These were the guys in charge of the scriptures — the oracles of God — and the interpretation of those scriptures to the people. They were also the highest court in the land; they judged all factors related to the Jewish people. They were, therefore, speaking for God to the people. They were the voice of God. And Peter had the nerve to tell them they had just rejected the most important Jew in the history of the world — the very one they and their ancestors had been waiting for for generations. This was the Holy One, the Promised One, the One who was going to save them from Roman rule and establish His eternal kingdom, and Peter was announcing that they had not only rejected this Holy One, they had killed Him.
They’d been working on building the building since Abraham, waiting to fit the cornerstone in without which they could never finish, but when the cornerstone showed up, they rejected Him. Jesus was not their idea of the Messiah, and as a result, the finishing of the building would be handed over to non-Jews.
Peter indicted these leaders with one word. He changed one word of scripture and laid the responsibility of the death of the promised Messiah on them. They would have known the scripture. It was a prophetic passage from the psalms of David. Whether they knew it was prophetic or not we don’t know for sure, but Peter certainly made it prophetic when he announced that it was fulfilled.
The passage, as they knew it was, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22). The passage as Peter quoted it went, “The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone” (Acts 4:11) Big difference. They would have noticed it. When “the” becomes “you,” you are getting up close and personal. Peter was laying the blame for the death of the Promised One on them. But he also went on to announce that they had also done us all a big favor. They had murdered the Son of God, but the Son of God had to die in order to save the human race. Someone had to kill Him. They might not want to claim responsibility, but they had to realize that it was done, and in the undoing of the Messiah, the world had access to forgiveness. This was much bigger than just the small nation of Israel huddled in Jerusalem — this was the whole world we were talking about. Because: “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). In other words, you just rejected the cornerstone upon which the whole building of the kingdom of God would be built, and, by the way, thank you very much, because now we … and you, yourselves … can be saved, not just from Roman rule, but from the rule of sin in our lives and towards the establishment of His eternal kingdom.