Wait a minute! Shouldn’t Jesus be the centre of our lives?!
Indeed, Jesus is to be the centre, and I have no issue with that declaration at all. In fact, the term, “Christ-centredness”, is well accepted in Christian-speak and circles. Even the contemplatives have a discipline called, “Centering Prayer”, a prayer method that develops deeper intimacy with Christ. Symbolically, it helps the believer picture and understand the place of Jesus, and how He is to be involved in every aspect of their lives.
Biblically, however, there is only one direct mention of Jesus being in the centre, and that’s found in John 19:18 – “where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.” Not exactly great material for a doctrinal statement, is it?
Perhaps, it’s time to “move” Jesus back to where He really belongs … the corner 🙂
Before you baulk at the thought of relegating our Lord to such an obscure position, consider for a moment, the numerous verses that declare Jesus as God’s precious Cornerstone. Quoting Psalm 118:22 – The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone – Jesus (Matt 21:42), Paul (Eph 2:20) and Peter (1 Peter 2:6) boldly proclaimed the Person and Place of Jesus as God’s precious Cornerstone! And the last I researched, cornerstones are positioned – you guessed it – in the corner.
Let’s consider four key aspects of the cornerstone:
The cornerstone is laid first. Before anything can be built, the cornerstone must be put in place first. The question, “Is Jesus the centre?” is important. But the question, “Is Jesus first?” is critical! So often, we have laid in our lives weak and false cornerstones: dreams, relationships, money, career. And then, we try to fit Jesus in, somehow. If that doesn’t work too well, then too bad. Jesus will just have to left out of the equation. Little wonder then when it comes to important decisions, Jesus and His Kingdom do not come first. This is not to be at all! Jesus must be first and foundational in our lives!
The cornerstone provides the reference point. If we take our cue from worldly desires and pursuits, our choices and actions will follow. If our reference point is what the world says and how the world determines success and prosperity, this will be clearly evidenced in our lives. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to follow Him. And to do that, it means we align our everything with Him and what He stands for! If He is not the cornerstone of our lives, how will we know to seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness? Do we live in reference to Christ, and Christ alone? Or is Jesus only referenced in time of need?
The cornerstone strengthens the walls. When construction finally begins, bricks are laid on and from the cornerstone, and walls are raised up. This is not simply for alignment, but for strength and stability. If we build our spiritual walk upon worldly and popular theology, it might look good for a while, but will it stand the test of time? Is it not interesting that stone buildings that are centuries-old continue to stand firm through wars and devastation, whilst our modern spanky spiffy buildings collapse and fall at the slightest of tremors?
The cornerstone holds up the building. As construction progresses, the cornerstone not only provides strength to the walls, but also holds up the entire building! What we marvel as an architectural feat is grounded upon a humble, obscure, unnoticed stone in the corner! That is what a victorious walk in Christ looks like. People will observe the strength of your life through good and bad times, and wonder how you hold it all together. But it’s not you at all! It’s the Cornerstone that you are built upon: Jesus! The truth is, a life built upon Jesus will weather the toughest of storms and still stand tall and strong!
Let me state once again that I have no issue with the statement, “Jesus be the centre of my life”. However, in making Him the centre, I must be careful that I have not rejected Him as the Cornerstone of my life. Without realising it, I may simply display Him as a centrepiece that is attractive and generates conversation. Without doubt, Jesus is glorious and worthy of all conversation, but that is not the point of debate. The issue is more fundamental and foundational.
Ponder this, if you will: “In today’s popular brand of Christianity, has the centrality of blessings, success and prosperity become synonymous with the centrality of Christ?” If so, it is time to change the refrain and begin to pray, “Jesus, be the Corner of my life.”
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