Last night, we welcomed new members into our church. I was asked by one a very good question:
“Why is this church named Capstone?”
Here’s the answer.
Psalm 118:22 (King James Version) The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This passage of scripture is a great Psalm of praise. In it we see the praise of one who is delivered because of their total dependence upon the Lord for their help.
In the midst of this praise comes what is later recognized by Biblical scholars as a Messianic phrase, or one that refers to the coming Messiah. This phrase becomes one of the most repeated references used in the New Testament to verify the fact that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.
Jesus Himself is the first one who uses this phrase to reveal who He is to the chief priests and elders. It was such a powerful reference, with such great impact that Matthew, Mark, and Luke recall it in their gospels. In each gospel, Jesus tells a parable of how the tenants working in a vineyard refuse to give the owner of the vineyard his share of the fruit of the harvest. They shamefully treat his envoys and finally he sends his son to speak to them thinking that they will respect him. The tenants decide to kill the heir thinking that they will then be able to own the vineyard for themselves. Jesus then asks the question, “When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
The chief priests and elders convict themselves by saying, “He will bring these wretches to their end and give the vineyard to someone who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”
Then Jesus brings the revelation, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
In this reference, Jesus tells the priests and elders that He is a stone that has been rejected by the builders. But, someone with greater authority than the builders has taken this same stone and made it the capstone.
What is the capstone?
The capstone is the top stone on a structure or a wall. It is the apex, the final piece in a completed structure. It is also the final achievement or the final stroke. It is the culmination of all that has been built.
When Jesus died on the cross, He said to the people standing by, “It is finished!” He was not just saying, “I am dying”, but He was saying to the people, “The final piece is now in place. The house of God is complete and ready to receive all who will live within its walls.”
Who has made this rejected stone the most important one? This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes!!
When Peter and John were used to heal the cripple at the Beautiful gate of the temple and were arrested because they were teaching the people, Peter used this same reference, the one that he had heard his savior use when speaking of what power had set the cripple free, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Jesus said about this stone in Matthew twenty-one, “He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”
If you are willing to fall upon this stone, the capstone, the crowning achievement of all God has done, you will be broken so that you can be restored. But, if you refuse this stone, it will fall upon you one day and will crush you and destroy you.
Later in Peter’s life, he reflected on his savior, this is found in 1 Peter 2:7, “Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, the stone the builders rejected has become the capstone and a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”
Jesus is the capstone, the precious stone, the crowning achievement of all that has been and ever will be in the church. He is the apex. God’s house is not brick and mortar. As Peter states in verses four and five of 1 Peter two, “As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
The house of God is made of living stones with Jesus Himself as the apex – the culmination of all that we aspire to and adore.
That’s why we are called “Capstone”.
This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel (one building the house of God after the exile of Israel): ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the Capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” Zechariah 4:6-7